It’s August 7, 2018 as of this article’s posting so we still have about 14 weeks until start of the 2018-19 Lake Tahoe winter ski season. Checking in with meteorologists at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) reveals their early winter weather predictions for the coming 2018-2019 season to be a 70% chance that we will have an El Niño winter season which calls for a warmer than average winter across the United States.
Specifically, the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Rockies will all see below average chances of precipitation from October through December. However, Colorado, parts of Utah, and the Southern Rockies are all expected to see above-average precipitation for the start of the season. New England is expected to see average precipitation throughout the start of the winter.
While predictions for low precipitation averages and warmer temperatures are not good news for powder chasers among us, it’s important to remember that this just an early forecast; bookmark this page to revisit as we’ll post updates as the season draws closer.
Keep in mind last season’s precipitation called for mostly average precipitation across much of the country, with higher than average precipitation in Colorado and much of the Rockies. This turned out to be incorrect, as Colorado suffered from one of the worst winters in 60 years, while Utah and much of the Pacific Northwest saw average to higher than average precipitation totals.
The Climate Prediction Center defines. . .
“El Niño conditions” as existing when:
A one-month positive sea surface temperature anomaly of 0.5C or greater is observed in the Niño-3.4 region of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (5oN-5oS, 120oW-170oW) and an expectation that the 3-month Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) threshold will be met AND
An atmospheric response typically associated with El Niño is observed over the equatorial Pacific Ocean (see The ENSO Cycle).
“La Niña conditions” as existing when:
A one-month negative sea surface temperature anomaly of -0.5C or less is observed in the Niño-3.4 region of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (5oN-5oS, 120oW-170oW) and an expectation that the 3-month Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) threshold will be met AND
An atmospheric response typically associated with La Niña is observed over the equatorial Pacific Ocean.