The first witnessed snowfall this year was going over Mt. Rose on August 28th. That makes the only month I haven’t seen snowfall being July. If you have a story of July snowfall please share. Check out the new live feed of the MJO on the sidebar that we will be using this winter to track it’s progress.

It is gloomy looking outside today as the cold front is pushing through. The main low will come over the area later today and tonight bringing even colder air and unstable conditions that will produce showers. Snow levels will drop as low as 7500 ft. tonight, so depending on where the showers show up there could be some white peaks in the morning.

Interesting watching the Pacific Ocean temps. The PDO, or in simple terms the overall Pacific Ocean temp cycle, hit it’s lowest temp for August since 1955. That year it lead up to the strong La Nina winter of 55/56. I wasn’t around that year, but it looks like it was quite a cold and snowy winter. The cold ocean has been keeping all of CA cold this summer and that will run right into this winter.

In the spring I forecasted a warm dry fall which is typical leading up to La Nina winters, but I didn’t realize how strong the La Nina could be or how cold the Pacific would be already. We are in 55/56 & 73/74 territory. Like the moderate La Nina year of 07/08 I would expect an early snowfall later in the month or beginning of October and then warm and dry until Thanksgiving, with an early ending season in March. But like I’ve been posting I like 73/74 the best as to what is most similar to this year, and that year there was not a dry period in the fall or an early end to the season.

As of Monday’s NWS ENSO discussion we are now officially in La Nina conditions with the 3 month average of the ONI at -0.6. We need 5 consecutive months at -0.5 or lower for full fledged La Nina. The temps in all 4 zones this week were around -1.5 so I expect the ONI number to crash in Septeber. We need -1.5 or lower 3 month average for a strong La Nina and we are well on our way to hit that by December and January.

We are in a pattern that have not seen in my lifetime, so that makes forecasting the winter very hard. Especially since there have only been 4 strong La Nina’s since record keeping began 60 years ago. So we will have to rely on history. One of the fun things this year will be that the MJO will have a big affect on the pattern so we will have to track that. Also we have a better shot at a pineapple connection and with the colder than average temps it might not be a bad thing. Stay tuned……..BA

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