This year’s El Niño has received more press than Josh Duggar’s Ashley Madison account. That said, the jury is still out until the first of November, when snow actually begins to stick around for ski areas across the Northern Hemisphere. And although the ski tribe is focusing mainly on California and the Pacific Northwest as the two regions who have the most to gain and lose at the hands of this meteorological phenomenon, what about the rest of the world?
Specifically, what kind of snowfall can we expect in the Alps during an El Niño year?
The Good News
So far most scientists remain unsure and have not studied the correlation in-depth as of yet. According to wepowder.com, the only study completed on the subject was done by a group from the Netherlands, which indicates that there may (emphasis on “may”) be a correlation between a wet spring in the Alps and a strong El Niño year. That’s the good news and now…
The Bad News
The bottom line is that there is not enough data to determine if there is a direct correlation between the weather patterns in the Alps and an El Niño trend. Current global observations reveal little to no relationship between El Niño and particularly deep winters in the Alps.
This is what ski-lifts.com had to say
“For example, if you look at the last two El Nino winters, you can see very different results. The winter of 2006/07 was a weak El Nino and that season was one of the worst for a long time in terms of snow cover across the Alps. However the more recent event in 2009/10 was a strong El Nino and that winter saw some of the coldest weather in the Alps for several decades.”– ski-lifts.com
Traditionally, March and April are the most precipitous months for the Alps but that is a generalization at best. That said, we’ll have a correspondent reporting from Chamonix for the majority of the season to keep you up to date on real-time conditions in the Alps throughout the winter.