Remember back in school when the weather man would predict a snow storm that would close school the next day? The forecast was a 100% chance of snow, with 6-8 inches expected by daybreak. If you were like me, you would blow off your homework or studying for that big test, as you knew tomorrow was going to be a day off with your friends in the snow. The next morning you’d dash out of bed to the window only to hear your heart break as not even a trace of snow was on the ground. This is how I felt last ski season in South America. Sure we had some snow, but nothing like that was forecast by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and the expected arrival of El Niño.
I’ve been sitting here going back and forth in my head if I should even write this post. After all, last year we did 2 pre season write ups on El Niño (The Return of El Nino and What’s Up With El Nino) and how record snowfall for the ski resorts of Chile was expected. It never happened. NOAA extended and extended their 2014 El Niño watch, but nothing ever developed. It reminding me of those days back in school.
El Nino 2015 Is Officially Here According to NOAA
Now, finally, according to N.O.A.A., El Niño is officially here. (*update May 17, originally considered a weak El Nino, according to scientists, it is currently gaining strength). Will it grow stronger, hold it’s ground or will it fizzle? No one really knows and according to experts, spring makes predicting what will happen with the El Nino event even more difficult. If there is any good news coming out of this as far as ski season in South America is concerned, there is an approximately 70% chance El Niño will continue through the Southern Hemisphere winter 2015 (June to September), and a greater than 60% chance that it will last through spring (pushing into December 2015).
El Nino Snow 2015 and The Ski Season in South America
What does this mean? In theory, and going by past El Niño events, Chile and Argentina should see an increase in precipitation this winter, bringing back more of those deep Andes powder snow days everyone dreams about like Curtis Ciszek scored below in Valle Nevado in the central Andes on our photo shoot with Dakine. Time will tell as the season nears and I am optimistic. I just won’t get too excited until I look out the window and see it with my own two eyes. Learn more about snow and weather in South America.