Will the 2016/17 winter be good for Skiing/Riding in the U.S?

PowderCam Weather

It’s October and the weather is starting to turn a little cooler and for most skiers and riders that sparks that feeling that ski/snowboard season is almost here. After a lousy season last year, many skiers and snowboarders are wondering what this year will be like? In my case, I’m on the east coast and I’m wondering where do I want to go skiing this year? Something new? Out west? Europe? Canada? (I always love Tremblant). But, will there be any snow?

Last year was a crappy winter on the slopes. We had some of the worst snowfalls on record throughout the east coast. Mad River Glen (Vermont) is known for letting the mountain have its natural snow with little to no grooming. But, with little snowmaking and as little as 20 inches of snow, the mountain ended up being closed for large portions of winter. Early closings were common throughout the country.

But, every year brings new hope. Before I start planning out my mountains for this winter, I decided to check out what everyone is predicting. Last year, we kept hearing about El Niño. You can check our article from last winter. But, this year the term everyone will be talking about is “La Niña”. Basically, this changes to weather patterns and gives the United States (and Canada) more cold weather from the north as oppose to a more flat pattern that caused a lot of warm days.

I decided to take a look at the different weather predictors to see what they are predicting. I looked at AccuWeather, Farmers Almanac, National Weather Service, and OnTheSnow. Based on the 4 different forecast, here is what is getting predicted for different parts of the United States:

Regions

Northeast

Overall the Northeast of the United States is expected to be cold and have more snow then usual with numerous storms expected. Farmer’s Almanac is predicting the snow to begin in mid-November and some large 1 to 2 foot snow storms in February. They even go as far as predicting specific days by predicting a large storm February 16-19. I’ll need to keep track of that one.

Midwest / Northern Plains

With the jet stream shooting straight down, the Midwest and Northern Plains can expect a brutally cold winter with temperatures averaging 6 to 9 degrees lower overall than last winter. Some areas will see temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero. Expect an early start to lake-effect snow.

Rockies

The jet stream should come in from the north and bring with it some very cold temperatures. Montana and Wyoming should expect some very bitter cold days. For the most part, snowfall should be average.

Pacific Northwest

All of the predictors are saying it is going to be wet and stormy in the Pacific Northwest. With the jet stream coming more from the North than last year that could mean a lot of snow. These predictions include Northern California and to the east into Nevada. On The Snow believes that Squaw Valley could get a large amount of snow this year.

Southern California, Southwest

Not a lot of skiing down south. But for the hills that are there, expect it to be warm and dry continuing drought conditions. AccuWeather believes December could break some record high temperatures.

The Weather Maps

AccuWeather

Weather map AccuWeather
Credit: AccuWeather

Farmers Almanac

Weather map Farmers Almanac
Credit: Farmers Almanac

OnTheSnow

Weather map AccuWeather
Credit: OnTheSnow

National Weather Service

Weather map NWS
Credit: National Weather Service


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