Colorado ski slopes could see above-average snowfall this winter thanks to a “triple-dip La Niña”

The coolest surface water temperatures since 2010 means potential pow-pow in the Rockies

John Meyer
Denver Post
Skier Bruce Ruff from Golden enjoys 13 inches of fresh powder at Loveland Ski Area.
Casey Day/Courtesy photo

Confidence is growing that Colorado skiers and snowboarders could see above-average snowfall this coming winter, based on one of the key climate factors meteorologists monitor to predict seasonal precipitation patterns in the U.S.

Because of relatively cool surface temperatures in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean, meteorologists say a “robust” La Niña phenomenon is strengthening there, and that usually means good to great mountain snow for Colorado and the northern Rockies. La Niña events typically produce storm tracks that predominantly flow from the Pacific Northwest.

The opposite phenomenon, El Niño, occurs when surface water temperatures in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific are above normal, producing storms that predominantly track across the southern U.S.

Current conditions could portend abundant powder come winter.

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