It’s the end of a successful season, but Northwest ski areas are already revving up their marketing campaigns with a La Niña forecast for next year.
NOAA has issued a La Niña watch for next winter, saying the current El Niño pattern will be gone by this summer.
For skiers in the Pacific Northwest, La Niña is great news. The weather pattern, with colder than normal temperatures in the Pacific, can spark a steady flow of powerful storms from the gulf of Alaska. In the La Niña winter of 1998-99, a world-record 95 feet of snow fell at Mt. Baker Ski Area.
Crystal Mountain in Washington and Schweitzer Mountain in North Idaho are already touting the La Niña forecast on their home pages, hoping to entice skiers to buy season passes for next year. It won’t take long for other ski areas to jump aboard the La Niña marketing train.
Remember that almost nobody was right about last winter’s dire El Niño forecast, as the SkiZer detailed in this post. El Niño typically brings drier and warmer weather than normal to the Northwest, but that didn’t happen. Only the Farmer’s Almanac correctly called our wet winter — so stay tuned for that publication’s old-school forecast.