The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is in a hybrid state. El Niño tried to get a toe-hold during summer but fizzled by fall.
It’s likely that ENSO will either be neutral or revert towards a very weak La Niña state during the heart of winter. This could bode very, very well for many ski areas in the West. Without a blocking high in the eastern Pacific like last winter, the storm trains can ride the rail from the Pacific straight to Tahoe, the Wasatch, the Tetons, and mountains in Colorado that got shafted last winter.
However, I think the Pacific Northwest including British Columbia, the Tetons and the northern Rockies should do well. This is just my take on current conditions based on all the weather resources that I follow. We’ve got the depths of winter still ahead; there will be copious powder somewhere.
One thing I’ve learned in my two decades of tracking weather and chasing storms is that nothing is ever guaranteed and there is no “normal” winter. Whatever happens, if the snow doesn’t come to you, then you must go to the snow. I’ve included some photos below of my friends and I going to the snow.
One of your best bets for scoring fresh powder is to track weather and be ready to chase storms. Better yet, let Powderchaser Steve at powderchasers.com track the storms for you. He’s been chasing powder for far longer than me and is a storm-tracking guru. He’s led me to deep pow many times. Cheers to Steve for his passion for the art of the chase!
If you’re looking for a new all-mountain ski that devours powder check out my new shred sticks home-grown by H2O Outdoor Gear (H2OG). Traditional camber underfoot, early rise in the tip and tail with a sidecut that will lay down carves. These are the skis that Dean Cummings designed for you to access the goods. Pray for snow!