El Niño has come and gone.
That said, lingering effects continue to impact much of the western United States and in some cases this “Godzilla” El Niño continues to deliver. Yet what came in as one of the most highly billed meteorological events in history has proved wildly unpredictable and in many ways, defied early projections made by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
#WayBackWednesday: 2015-2016 El Niño Winter Weather Forecast
For one, the Pacific Northwest, which was initially projected to have a well below average season, came out on top. On the flipside, southern California, which was originally pegged as a El Niño favorite, remains drought stricken.
So without further ado, here are this season’s El Niño winners and losers
The Pacific Northwest – The Pacific Northwest was the Rocky Balboa of this year’s ski season. When comparing this year to the 2014/2015 season, the difference is remarkable. Needless to say, Mt Baker locals are beyond happy to see the snow return in force to Mt Shuksan.
All in all Mt. Baker snagged a massive 613″ of snowfall!
The Northeast – It’s hard to rub salt in the wound but thankfully Mad River Glen was happy to do it for us.
All in all Mad River Glen closed on March 14 and Maine ski areas turned on its snow guns in April for the first time in history– both are rough looks.
Winner: Northern Colorado
While Steamboat had a mostly dry March, the season is ending how it began– on a high note. Right now, the Steamboat zone is reporting a snowpack that is at 108% of its average for this time of year.
Loser: Southwest Colorado
While snow levels varied greatly between small distances in the San Juan, Telluride never felt the love. Although the premier ski resort in the San Juans was predicted to have well above average season, they only received 290.”
Winner: Southern Utah
This year was one of the few in recent history where skiing in Moab was a real option. WATCH: Skiing In Southern Utah Looks Rad!
Loser: Wasatch Range
While the Wasatch saw some unbelievably good days, the area is reporting only 82% of its average snowpack. So far, Alta has received 384″ of its 551″ average.
While Tahoe’s season didn’t get the same snowfall as the PNW, Tahoe is the Unofficial winner this season after 4 years of drought gave way to powder days, never ending atmospheric rivers, and mostly stable backcountry conditions. Thanks Ullr!
Loser: Southern California
While southern California started strong, the season has ended on a low note. For one, Mountain High had to close early and drought conditions in southern California are still in full effect.
JH ended their 50th year on a seriously high note and Teton locals were stoked to end the season with a snowpack that measured in at 100% of normal according to the National Water and Climate Center.
Loser: Bridger Bowl
While Bridger Bowl had some epic days this past season, the Montana ski area fell 128″ short of its average 350″ before closing its doors for the season.