I have heard non-stop talk around town over the past 2 weeks about a big winter coming up. I’ve seen the La Nina articles in the paper but nothing points towards a big year. Some people may have ignored my entire last post and skipped to the last line. Here is what the NWS said about La Nina on the Monday update: ENSO-neutral is expected to continue into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2011, with ENSO-neutral or La NiƱa equally likely thereafter. Basically, if the ENSO region stays neutral we should have a dry year based on the research from the post below.

That being said the ENSO region has begun to cool here in August and (key word here) “some” models are predicting moderate to even a strong la nina developing this winter. We have no records in recent history for a moderate la nina season followed by another moderate la nina season during a cold -PDO cycle, it didn’t happen during the last one. It only happened once during the last warm PDO cycle in 1998-2000 with the second season being at only 84% of average. But that was in the middle of a mini 4 year cold PDO phase. That may be our go to year, but that means a best case of 84% of average. So I’m going to stick with 75-95% of average snowfall as my prediction for now.

If the La Nina only comes on weak we could be drier than that. I hate to even mention this again for people that only hear what they want to, but there is a very small chance we could have a strong la nina. That would analog us with 55-56 which had 144% of average snowfall on Donner Summit. That would be just under the 157% of average we picked up this past season. That is a very remote chance but I have to mention it because some models are predicting it. Right now though put your money on being below average for snowfall in the 75-95% of average range. As we get closer to winter I will hone in on a more specific number.

The August recap will be out next week and then it’s time to start tracking storms in September as we tend to get our first dusting in September. Winter is just around the corner. BA

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