Monday, September 14, 2009
Should you take a chance on a season ski pass this winter?
Several of you have asked about the outlook for this coming winter...and specifically what it implies for the ski season. Should you buy that season pass at Snoqualmie Summit or Stevens?
I hesitate to answer this question...I am already in big enough trouble with KING-5 for teasing them about my favorite Jim Forman....I don't want the Washington State Ski Owners Association on my case. So I won't give you a specific recommendation. Just some information.
This is going to be an El Nino year...one in which the tropical Pacific is warmer than normal. Take a look at the latest data over the Pacific (see attached). Meteorologists pay particular attention to the Nino3.4 area, and you can see it and adjacent sections of the tropic Pacific are now well above normal and are predicted to warm further this winter.
During El Nino winters the Northwest tends to be warmer than normal and a bit drier than normal (see figures). Cascade snowpack tends to be less. Remember this is a statistical relationship. There is a correlation with less snow during El Nino years in our mountains and in the lowlands. We will probably see less snow than last year (which ended up a surprise La Nina year). The Seattle Dept of Transportation will have an easier year, pretty much for sure.
Should you get that season ski pass? To quote Clint Eastwood: "Do you feel lucky?"
Posted by Cliff Mass at 9:04 PM