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NOAA Heading into a Niña Season

Categories: Guest Connection Media Center Weather Blog

La Nina weather pattern favor snow for the NorthwestThe Climate Prediction Center for the National Weather Service is forecasting a La Niña for this winter. The Center says, “There is a ~60% chance of La Niña development during Northern Hemisphere fall 2020 and continuing through winter 2020-21 (~55% chance).” La Niñas historically favor a colder, wetter winter in the Northwest, which suggests we’re in store for a good snow season on Mt. Hood.

La Niñas come in different strengths

Weak La Nina conditions historically have produced good snow years at Mt. Hood MeadowsThis La Niña is forecast to be on the weaker side. But that’s OK, as a review of previous weak La Niña seasons bodes well here at Meadows.

  • 2017-18 443"
  • 2008-09 566"
  • 2005-06 526"
  • 2000-01 183"
  • 1974-75 Not recorded. But that three-month precipitation map would show it was a good season.
  • 1967-68 Lots (we don’t have the seasonal snowfall recorded from our first year, which battled deep snow all season long.)

So there is good evidence that these kinds of La Niña conditions can bring us good snowfall. Of course, every season is different, not only in terms of how much snow we’ll receive, but when it will fall, and how many quality powder days we’ll receive. Since La Niñas are generally colder, we are hoping for powder aplenty!

Speaking of forecasts:

How accurate are preseason forecasts? went back and looked at several of these forecasts from last fall and then compared them to what really happened.

OpenSnow.Com last season forecast comparison ENSO, El Niño, & La Niña - Explained