Headlines: It's official - La Nina returns - NOAA: La Nina Advisory issued today Expect above normal Cascade snowfall Prepare for epic powder days ahead.
La Nina has returned for a back to back performance. Let's all welcome her home with a round of applause. Honk if you like La Nina - beep, beep.
Recharge your batteries for now and enjoy this current warm & dry weather for the next 10 days, because La Nina will serve up an active winter here in the Pacific Northwest.
La Nina is the best long range predictor for an above normal snowpack in the Washington Cascades. It's is not a guarantee, but like last season showed, La Nina delivers the goods. Right now this is a weak La Nina, but it may strengthen. A weak La Nina does not mean weak storms. In fact, we often see a comforting consistency with mountain snowfall during La Nina years.
Above normal snowfall is the exclusive and predictable NW seasonal weather feature produced by La Nina. No other region can make that claim. Everyone else will be rolling the dice. For us, the dice are loaded strongly in our favor with La Nina nudging the storms in our direction. Beyond our region, they are drooling with snow envy. See: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/seasonal.php?lead=3
Above average Cascade dumpage is a good bet, but one thing we never know is; what will be the profile or character of how the snow may fall over the winter. Will it be like last year? A great start, flat January, then epic mid Feb- April? The snowfall signal is usually strongest in late December into January - but last year showed there can be variations to that theme.
I would favor a normal or earlier than normal start to the season (November). We've had a trend of challenging Januarys (mild/wet or dry). This may be the season that unusual trend could change. Great spring skiing is almost assured with outstanding snowpack bases and continuing storms to freshen up the program.
As always this pow alert will keep you informed as to the best days ahead in the short term. But you must do your part - get your boss and others primed for your sudden disappearing act, mysteriously connected to epic Cascade powder days. Be prepared. Take advantage of those fall equipment/clothing sales, early season ticket sales, block out time to hit the pow on short notice (you tell em whose the boss), and stay close to home -- Ski Washington!
|Grand Pubah floats a sweet powder turn, with stunning Cascade backdrop. Steven Pass: Friday - Feb 25, 2011 Thanks, La Nina - I look forward to seeing you again this season!|
The NOAA Climate Prediction Center released this updated assessment this morning.
EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO) DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION
CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/NWS
8 September 2011
ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory
Synopsis: La Niña conditions have returned and are expected to gradually strengthen and continue into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2011-12.
La Niña conditions returned in August 2011 due to the strengthening of negative sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies across the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. 1). With the exception of the far westernmost Niño-4 region, all of the latest weekly Niño index values were -0.5°C or less (Fig. 2). Also supporting the return of La Niña conditions was the strengthening of the below-average subsurface oceanic heat content anomaly (average temperature anomalies in the upper 300m of the ocean, Fig. 3), in response to increased upwelling and further shoaling of the thermocline across the eastern Pacific Ocean (Fig. 4). The atmospheric circulation over the tropical Pacific continued to exhibit La Niña characteristics, but remained weaker and less canonical than the wintertime atmospheric patterns. For example, convection continued to be suppressed near the Date Line, but remained south of the equator, while convection was only weakly enhanced near Papua New Guinea (Fig. 5). In addition, anomalous low-level easterly and upper-level westerly winds persisted over the central tropical Pacific.
Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric patterns reflect the return of La
Grand Pubah of Powder