For winter enthusiasts, these may be the worst of times. Trust me, there will be plenty of winter coming our way. Just not any time soon. We are looking at another 15 days with high temps around the mid-80's with little variability. Our cool days will find highs in the mid-70's. There is literally no chance of any precipitation over the next 2 weeks, so expect an abundance of sunshine. Right now our weather is the best in the country and looks to stay that way for some time.
La Nina Affect
What a difference a year makes. Last year we had mountain snow during the Street Vibrations event. I remember thinking about all those cyclists that came here and how cold it was. This year, the temperature was in the 90's with beautiful clear skies.
What is the difference? That's easy; last year was an El Nino year, this year is the exact opposite, a La Nina year. La Nina is the culprit. La Nina is a cooling anomaly in the equatorial pacific waters. Look at the image below, taken by NOAA on September 22nd. It shows that we are already in a moderate La Nina. Three of the last four years have been La Nina years, with last year being the exception.
What Can We Expect This Winter?
I have heard many winter enthusiasts out there making their own winter weather predictions. They usually go something like, "There is a nino or nina out there which means we will get no snow this year!". Yikes! Fortunately, it is not that simple. La Nina does mean that we will not receive the same above average snowfall that we received last year during El Nino. However, it does NOT mean that we will miss winter. Our average snowfall for the season at Slide Mountain is around 30-35 feet. When you average that kind of snowfall, it is a safe bet that winter will show up and at times, in force.
La Nina is very difficult to predict for our area. Below I have two charts, Expected Precipitation and Expected temperatures for the months of November, December and January. These charts work off our averages that we have accumulated data on for over 100 years. As can clearly be seen, we are right in between above average precipitation and below average. In fact, NOAA's climate prediction center, is calling for average precipitation. That means around 30-35 feet of snow, which is much more than zero!
|November, December, January Precipitation Forecast|
|November, December, January Temperature Forecast|
I believe that our temperatures will be above average for most of the winter. Expect January to be much above average which means tailgate parties in the parking lot of Mt. Rose, Ski Tahoe.
For now we can only wait for winter. Golf and fishing conditions are near perfect, so enjoy the nice weather. Be rest assured, winter is on the way!