2021-22 Ski Season Forecast – La Niña is Here

backcountry skier enjoying a la nina powder day - 2021-22 ski season forecastWinter 2021-22 Ski Season Forecast

It’s still mighty early to be shouting about favorable ski season forecasts and predicting what the weather gods may or may not bring for winter 2021-22. That said, the current ENSO research hints at La Niña conditions taking shape. Based on sea surface temperatures being near-to-below average in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, forecasters have increased the likelihood (~70% probability) that La Niña will reemerge by early winter. Thus a La Niña Watch is in effect. Let the powder dreams begin . . .

OCTOBER 15 UPDATE – La Niña is here.

According to the climate scientists, the latest sea surface temps in the equatorial Pacific has hit the threshold for declaring a La Niña winter. These water temps are the leading indicator of La Niña and El Niño conditions. The current -0.5°C below the norm is expected to hold or trend cooler through the winter. A second indicator that suggest La Niña it’s here to stay is the presence of cooler-than-average water beneath the surface of the equatorial Pacific, too. The cool water appears to be intensifying, and this means La Nina is likely to hold. Read the latest ENSO update from the NOAA Climate Center.


image credit: NOAA

La Niña vs. El Niño

Need a refresher on La Niña vs. El Niño and what they mean for your ski season? Check out La Niña, El Niño and your ski season for an explanation of the El Niño Southern Oscillation – ENSO and how it influences the ski season forecast.

For a deep dive into the current ENSO climate picture, check out the NOAA Climate Prediction Centers ENSO blog. The author is actually pretty creative with her presentation!

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