To the delight of many skiers and snowboarders, the chance of a strong El Niño for North America continues to increase, according to scientists and forecasters.
Today’s ENSO update on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) website reads:
“El Niño conditions are present. Positive equatorial sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies continue across most of the Pacific Ocean. There is an approximately 95% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, gradually weakening through spring 2016.”
In July 2015, NOAA said there was a 90% chance that El Niño would be ongoing through North America’s winter 2015-16. Thanks to a persistent increase in sea-surface temperatures and the weakening of trade winds in the Pacific, they’ve updated the chances of an El Niño event by 5%.
“The ocean has warmed up a little bit more…It’s certainly still a strong event,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, in a LA Times article. Halpert also said this El Niño still isn’t quite as strong as the 1997-98 record holder, but it’s “still respectable. Probably the second strongest we’ve seen at this time of year.”
The peak of the 2015-16 El Niño is expected to be seen in late fall and early winter, according to NOAA, and we’ve already seen some snowfall across Colorado. Stay tuned for more snow photos and reports here on the Ski.com Blog.
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Director of SEO + Content
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.