Winter 2017 El Nino or La Nina for Lake Tahoe Area?

Will 2017-18 Tahoe ski season bring another epic powder winter like last year’s? Will this ski season be another el nino or la nina season?

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The 2016-17 winter season for the Lake Tahoe area brought a new record of 650 inches of snow totals recorded at Mt Rose ski resort. How much snow dumped in any single day last season? Tying for first place with 48 inches of snow in one day snowfall record on Jan 11, 2017 were: Kirkwood Mountain, Heavenly Mountain, and Donner Ski Ranch. 

Is there such a thing as too much snow?

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According to a September 14, 2017 report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service indicates that there is an increasing chance (~55-60%) of La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere for fall and winter of 2017-18.

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WHAT DOES LA NIÑA MEAN FOR TAHOE?

 
LA NIÑA usually means a “neutral” weather outlook for Tahoe (past couple ones have been average snow years), higher than normal precipitation for PNW, and below normal precipitation for Southern California (SoCal). The wet storms paste snow onto the rocks, which makes the base good.

Or, take some ski ride trips or move to Mt. Baker area or Whistler or Jackson Hole for an epic snowfall powder galore winter for these ski resort areas.

Synopsis: There is an increasing chance (~55-60%) of La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2017-18.

Over the last month, equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were near-to-below average across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean [Fig. 1]. ENSO-neutral conditions were apparent in the weekly fluctuation of Niño-3.4 SST index values between -0.1°C and -0.6°C [Fig. 2]. While temperature anomalies were variable at the surface, they became increasingly negative in the sub-surface ocean [Fig. 3], due to the shoaling of the thermocline across the east-central and eastern Pacific [Fig. 4]. Though remaining mostly north of the equator, convection was suppressed over the western and central Pacific Ocean and slightly enhanced near Indonesia [Fig. 5]. The low-level trade winds were stronger than average over a small region of the far western tropical Pacific Ocean, and upper-level winds were anomalously easterly over a small area of the east-central Pacific. Overall, the ocean and atmosphere system remains consistent with ENSO-neutral.

A majority of the models in the IRI/CPC suite of Niño-3.4 predictions favor ENSO-neutral through the Northern Hemisphere 2017-18 winter [Fig. 6]. However, the most recent predictions from the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFSv2) and the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) indicate the formation of La Niña as soon as the Northern Hemisphere fall 2017 [Fig. 7]. Forecasters favor these predictions in part because of the recent cooling of surface and sub-surface temperature anomalies, and also because of the higher degree of forecast skill at this time of year. In summary, there is an increasing chance (~55-60%) of La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2017-18 (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome for each 3-month period).

This discussion is a consolidated effort of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA’s National Weather Service, and their funded institutions. Oceanic and atmospheric conditions are updated weekly on the Climate Prediction Center web site (El Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions). Forecasts are also updated monthly in the Forecast Forum of CPC’s Climate Diagnostics Bulletin. Additional perspectives and analysis are also available in an ENSO blog. The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for 12 October 2017.” – NOAA

Read more about the 2017-18 Lake Tahoe Area Forecast..

1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service

2. OpenSnow – Snow & Powder Forecasts for Tahoe

3. SnowBrians 2017-2018 Winter Forecast

UPCOMING...

+ Check out our upcoming ski and snowboard preseason kick-off parties with door prize raffle giveaway

+ Watch a ski n ride movie screening and score lift tickets

+ ENJOY FOUR HOURS of wine and beer tasting plus free lift tickets; get 1`/2 off SNOWBOMB SKI SNOWBOARD FESTIVAL SHOW TICKETS

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