The bitch is lingering in the corner and if things line up, the western United States could be in for some serious snowfall this upcoming year if Chris Farley’s estranged sister, La Niña decides to return.
In a recent post, NOAA has indicated that the likelihood of a strong La Niña following a strong El Niño remains weak. That said, the likelihood of a weak El Niño after this year is fairly strong. In the post, Anthony G. Barnston confirms the above claim saying, “according to this analysis, the best guess for the 2016-17 ENSO state would be within the weak La Niña category.”
“When looking at the results for weak, moderate, and strong El Niño separately, I find an average sea surface temperature anomaly of -0.15 °C the year after the 11 weak El Niños, -0.40 °C after the 7 moderate El Niños, and -1.17 °C for the 3 strong El Niños.”– NOAA
Statistics aside, physics does point to a La Niña following this past year’s ENSO phenomenon. The reason? Something called the delayed oscillator theory, which we’ll let all you weather buffs delve into on your own. Basically, two separate waves (wind related) near and above or below the equator push cool water towards the equator, giving the trademark cold, La Niña waters near the equatorial part of the Pacific.
Top 10 Snowfalls From The 2010/2011 La Niña
1) Mount Baker, WA – 857″
2) Alpine Meadows, CA – 852″
3) Squaw Valley, CA – 810”
4) Snowbird, UT – 783″
5) Alta, UT = 723″
6) Mammoth- 668″
7) Mt. Bachelor- 665″
8) Whistler, B.C. – 662″
9) Jackson Hole, WY – 557” (as of April 4th, but we know they got a lot after that. I’m sure they got over 600″)
10) Vail, CO – 524″
Based on past records (physics aside), the chances of a La Niña event following this year’s El Niño is about 6 out of 10 with a good chance of a weak La Niña event affecting the western United States.
Also Read: Tahoe’s 12th Snowiest on Record – 2010/2011
LET IT SNOW!
Find the entire NOAA post here: Will La Niña follow El Niño? What the past tells us