Winter Weather Forecast Out West: La Niña Brings the Snow

Skiers and snowboarders may disagree on the best method of racing down a mountain, but there’s one thing they definitely agree on — fresh snow is the best snow! For that reason, they probably have their eyes glued to the weather report, mutually hoping for a winter wonderland on the west coast.

La Niña and El Niño

Even the smallest changes in ocean temperatures cause massive shifts in weather patterns across the world. For those who might not remember from all the way back in high school science class, La Niña refers to cooler than average temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean, while El Niño is characterized by unusually warm temperatures. These two phases are on opposite ends of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. To make things easier to remember, think of La Niña as the cold phase, and El Niño as the warm phase.

Winter Predictions

On September 10th, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a La Niña advisory. It said that cold phase conditions were expected to continue through winter. As a matter of fact, the forecast predicted a ~75% of it persisting. But it gets even better...

Those odds are already solid, and at the time, many people thought they were as good as it could get. Now, as recently as October 8th, there is an ~85% chance of it lasting in the Northern Hemisphere through the winter of 2020-21; and even a strong ~60% chance that it’ll continue through spring.

In other words, winter is coming and it’s bringing buckets of snow.

Always Check the Immediate Weather

Ultimately, these long-range probabilities for snowier-than-average conditions are useful for ski areas based in western mountain ranges like the Rockies and Sierra Nevadas — just like Steamboat Springs, CO and Mammoth Lakes, CA. They can help our renters plan ahead for the course of the season. However, weather forecasting isn’t an exact science, and as always, to find the absolute best powder, you should keep an eye on the 1-10 day weather forecast.

Rent with Nomadness

We know that times are tough, not just for our country, but for the entire world. Nomadness believes, however, that travel is a force for good, and whenever you’re ready to venture out again, we’re here to welcome you. We promise, if you rent with us, we’ll do our part to keep you safe. This year, our Nomadness rental properties in Steamboat Springs and Mammoth are probably going to look like the inside of a snow globe, and who among us couldn’t use some breathtakingly beautiful winter weather?


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