The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has officially issued a La Niña Advisory for the 2017-2018 winter. This occurs when La Niña conditions are observed and expected to continue.
What is La Niña and what can we expect?
La Niña (translated from Spanish as "little girl") is a natural ocean-atmospheric phenomenon marked by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean near the equator, the opposite of El Niño ("little boy").
Typical La Niña patterns during the winter include above-average precipitation and colder-than-average temperatures along the northern tier of the U.S. and below-normal precipitation and drier conditions across the South. NOAA’s 2017-2018 Winter Outlook anticipated that a weak La Niña was likely to develop.
There’s a 65-75% chance that La Niña conditions will continue through the winter and into the spring of 2018.
Highest Odds of Deep Powder
If you want the highest odds of deep powder, here's what our Chief Powder Officer, Joel Gratz recommends:
First, live in a location that's close to mountains with the deepest snow. For La Nina, that translates to mountains in the northern half of the US and in Canada.
Second, if you can't live close to deep powder, wait until 7-10 days before booking your trip.
Third, even if you wait until 7-10 days before booking your trip, consider only booking to a general area.
Fourth, if you have to book a trip far in advance, pick locations that statistics show have the deepest powder. For La Nina, that translates to mountains in the northern half of the US and in Canada.
And fifth, if you can't execute any of the above strategies, don't make 'fresh powder' the #1 expectation for your ski trip.