The Winter Weather Forecast was presented at the 25th Annual American Meteorological Society meeting at OMSI Saturday. One after another local meteorologists confirmed that we’re heading towards a weak La Niña this winter and that means a good snow season - possibly even more than last year!
Rod Hill (KGW and PortlandWeather.com) said this winter could be up to 123% of normal, and mentioned that Meadows could get over 600 inches this season - exceeding the 556 inches of seasonal snow last season.
Kyle Dittmer (Hydrologists and Meteorologist with CRITFC) said skiers should be happy about this forecast - that could bring more snow to the upper elevations than last season. At the conference a year ago Dittmer predicted Government Camp would receive 250 inches - it actually received 264 inches last winter. And Dittmer right now is predicted 266 inches in Government Camp - which translates to more than double that amount at Meadows due to the higher elevation.
Evan Bentley (National Weather Service) presented data showing a very strong correlation between La Niña winters and above average snowpack on Mt. Hood.
Excerpts of their presentation is shown in the video, and the AMS has provided links to the presentations.
How do weak La Niñas stack up historically at Mt. Hood Meadows? Very well indeed! Since 1981 there have been 16 La Niña seasons, with an average of 462 inches. The six week La Niña seasons averaged 480 inches, including last years phenomenal winter that accumulated 556 inches of seasonal snowfall at Meadows. Our average seasonal accumulation (from the first storm that opens the ski area, through closing day) is 433 inches.
Looks like we're headed towards another awesome season!