Report: El Niño could bring more snow to Colorado’s southern resorts this season |

Report: El Niño could bring more snow to Colorado’s southern resorts this season

John Meyer
The Denver Post
A skier and a snowboarder make their way down Fanny Hill Thursday afternoon of Snowmass Mountain's opening day in November 2017.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times file

A good winter could be in store for southern Colorado ski resorts that endured drought last season, thanks to a reappearance of the climate phenomenon known as El Niño in the Pacific Ocean.

Weather forecasters and climatologists say it’s too soon to say with reliability what kind of snowfall patterns are likely for Colorado, but a report issued this month by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center said a weak El Niño is forming and is expected to build through the winter.

NOAA said there is a slight positive probability of above-normal precipitation in southern Colorado from November to January and an equal probability of normal precipitation in northern Colorado.

The building El  Niño — the weather pattern that occurs when surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific are above average — may be responsible for a series of tropical storms in the eastern Pacific in recent weeks.

El Niño cycles tend to favor storm tracks from the Pacific that move across the southern U.S., and in some years that bodes well for southern Colorado resorts. Last winter featured a mild La Niña — the opposite of El Niño — which is related to below-normal Pacific surface temperatures. Northern Colorado resorts had near-normal snowfall while southern Colorado suffered.

Read the full story via The Denver Post.