By Joel Gratz, Founding Meteorologist Posted 9 years ago April 17, 2014

Where will the snow fall next season?

Longtime readers know that I hate providing or relying on seasonal snow forecasts because they are usually wrong. However, when there is a strong La Nina or a strong El Nino, sometimes there is more skill in forecasting where the snow will fall during the season ahead.

Right now forecasts show a 65% chance of an El Nino for next winter (those odds are twice as high as normal). An El Nino means that water temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean would be above normal, and when this happen, storms usually track over California and the southwestern United States. Often this translates into big snows for California, Arizona, New Mexico, and southern parts of Utah and Colorado. The correlation between El Nino and other mountains is less certain.

Forecasts for next winter's El Nino are not very accurate when they are made now, in the spring. However, if we get to July and the forecasts still show the likelihood of a strong El Nino, then we'll have higher confidence that Chris Farley will return next winter.

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About The Author

Joel Gratz

Founding Meteorologist

Joel Gratz is the Founding Meteorologist of OpenSnow and has lived in Boulder, Colorado since 2003. Before moving to Colorado, he spent his childhood as a (not very fast) ski racer in eastern Pennsylvania.

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