Saturday, October 12, 2013

No Niño Forecast Persists

Early last week, the Climate Prediction Center issued its monthly El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) diagnostic discussion, confirming earlier forecasts for "ENSO-neutral" conditions to continue through spring 2014.  ENSO-neutral means that neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions will predominate.

For the Wasatch Range, this means little.  We discussed last month how little correlation there is between snowfall at Alta and ENSO (see Outlook for the 2013–2014 Ski Season), as illustrated by the reproduced figure below.
Three month (NDJ, DJF, JFM, FMA) accumulated snowfall at Alta–Guard vs. the
corresponding ENSO index.  Courtesy Jeff Massey.
So, regardless of what you see in the news, or crazy ideas about caterpillar fur or groundhogs, nobody can say with any reliability what this year will be like in the Cottonwoods  We have roughly equal chances of a below average, average, or above average snow year.

1 comment:

  1. I have been hearing more comments than ever about people expecting a "bad" winter this year. Pretty sure these are all based on the Farmer's Almanac. Does anyone know where these forecasts actually come from? Also wondering if anyone has ever looked to see whether they have any skill score at all.