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El Niño Forecasted To Continue Through The Winter- Snow Is In The Forecast For Areas Of The West

Good morning powder lovers. This is Powderchaser Steve with a quick update on the latest climatology forecast plus a few flakes that will be flying in the west at upper elevations in the next few weeks. 

An update was issued on September 14th by the climate prediction center on the ENSO (El Niño Southern- Oscillation) forecast for the upcoming winter. In addition, looking at the models for the next few weeks, there appear to be a few periods of cold air that could bring a return of a few flakes to the peaks of many areas in the west. BC or Alberta Canada might end up with some moderate totals. 

Below: Very high percentages of El Niño continuing into the mid or late winter season. 

Below:  Average sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies (°C) for the week centered on 6 September 2023. Anomalies are computed with respect to the 1991-2020 base period weekly means. (Climate Prediction Center)

There has already been some high-elevation snow in areas of the Rockies (teasers with melting). Below: Summit of Breckenridge Ski Resort September 11

Looking at the weather models this morning shows another round of high-elevation snow possible for Colorado this weekend above 11K feet dusting the peaks around Summit County with higher amounts possible for the San Juan Range. 

A stronger cold front is likely to impact Canada and the Pacific Northwest early next week. (Temps at -4C at 10K). 

Yet another push of colder air arrives further south extending into Oregon and eventually the Sierra at some point next weekend (September 23)

Models lose reliability in the long term, however, the current trend shows some colder temps for the Tetons and areas of the Northern Rockies settling in near the end of September (Map is September 30th). Precipitation guidance indicates a chance of some measurable snowfall during that weekend (Low confidence being 14 days out).

Below: Models hinting at some high-elevation snowfall for Canada extending into the Northern Rockies especially mid or late next week (Areas near Whistler or in Alberta could see some decent totals at the peaks). Areas of northern Wyoming are also highlighted for late next week. 

Please support Powderchasers by joining our Concierge program if you want to chase powder this season. Or donate some powder funds to our website. Promotion: Any donation of $100 or more earns you a $30 Powderchasers tee shirt. 

Please welcome our newest gold sponsor Skis.Com who is still a family-run business after 50 years. They have a very comprehensive selection of skis, snowboards, and clothing (snowboards.com, skis.com, winterkids.com)

Fall is in the air, with trees beginning to change in the west.

You will see my latest Alaska Brown Bear collection from the summer on my Instagram page @powderchasersteve 

Powderchaser Steve 


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