It was recently reported by NOAA that an El Nino weather pattern is forming in the Pacific Ocean, and is expected to strengthen and continue through the 2009 – 2010 winter season. As stated by NOAA, an El Nino weather pattern “typically brings beneficial winter precipitation to the arid Southwest”. The so-called “negative” impacts of an El Nino include damaging winter storms in California and increased storminess across the southern United States.
The last El Nino winter we experienced was the winter of 2004 – 2005, a winter in which we were at 150% of our normal snowpack depth. If conditions hold, it looks like we could be in for another record setting winter in the San Juans. Time to start thinking about Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Courses?