Based on the latest temperature readings from the Pacific, the scientist at NOAA believe that the 2014-2015 winter season will be heavily effected by an El Niño. It is still unclear how strong of an El Niño we should expect, but it may be the strongest we have seen since the 1997-98 event.
So what does this mean for the United States and us skiers?
For more info on what we could likely see this upcoming winter we turn to adventure-journal.com
Alaska: South-Central Alaska – looking at you, Anchorage, Homer, and Seward – should be in for a balmy winter. That’s bad news if you’re among the mushers bound to slog through another miserable 975-mile Iditarod dog race, and good news if you’re one of Anchorage’s ubiquitous reindeer-dog vendors, who should do unseasonably brisk business as lunch-eaters venture outdoors even in the depths of February.
Arizona: Back in 1997 and ‘98, the largest El Niño in recorded history dumped a whopping 136.7 inches of snow on Flagstaff – 43 more than usual. And that city was far from alone: past El Niños have brought above-average precipitation to every corner of Arizona. So 2014-15 should be a bountiful period for the perpetually water-stressed state. The Colorado River could get used to this whole reaching-the-sea business.
California: If there’s one faction sure to welcome El Niño with open arms, it’s California farmers, who have spent the last year locked in the mother of all droughts. El Niño should provide some welcome relief: During past events, the jetstream has migrated south into California, bearing ample rain. In fact, Cali could go straight from drought to flood, as torrential storms in 1998 destroyed homes and forced the evacuation of towns. At least sport fishermen will be satisfied: the warming Pacific conveys exotic gamefish to the California coast.
Colorado: Interesting news for Front Range powder-hounds: According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, 20-inch snowstorms are almost twice as likely to occur during El Niño years as neutral years. Most monster storms, though, hit during spring and fall, while mid-winters are relatively dry. Bust your skis out early and don’t get discouraged by a snow-free January – a late-season blizzard could be just around the corner.
Idaho: Brace yourself, Idahoans: you’re in for a dry winter. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger – check out the below map. The same meandering jetstream that brings rain to California tends to shift wet weather away from the Pacific Northwest, Idaho included. Plenty of precipitation fell on the Gem State this winter, so hopefully the reservoirs contain a bit of a buffer.
Montana: If you think Idaho looks brown, take a look at Montana. Yikes. Expect lots of scraggily-bearded ski bros grumbling into their Moose Drools about the lack of powder on the slopes around Whitefish. The meager snowpack could also mean a tough 2015 for lynx, wolverines, bull trout, and other species already imperiled by the climate change-induced demise of what’s soon to be Ex-Glacier National Park.
Keep reading @ adventure-journal.com