Winter Snow Forecast 2015-2016

2015-2016 Winter Weather Forecast / Prediction

What I keep hearing so far is all about “El Niño.”

NOAA Predicts A Strong El Niño For Winter 2016 (

There is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere fall 2015, and around an 85% chance it will last through the 2015-16 winter.

Consequently, it’s great news for Tahoe and the state of California. During 3 out of the last 5 strong El Nino events, Tahoe received significantly larger than average snowfall totals.

However, like all predictions, these models are susceptible to unseen and unpredictable meteorological factors. El Nino by no means guarantees a 500+ inch winter, however it does make the chances better.

That’s good!

2015-16-winter-elninoEl Nino Still Strengthening, Likely Into Spring 2016, NOAA Says (

El Niño has an 80 percent chance of lasting into early spring 2016, according to an updated forecast released on Thursday by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Adminisration (NOAA). NOAA also reported that there is a greater than 90 percent chance of El Niño lasting through the upcoming winter.

There’s also an increasing chance El Niño may become strong, perhaps the strongest since the 1997-1998 episode and, thus, may play a stronger role in your weather.

First, keep two things in mind throughout this discussion of potential impacts:

1) El Niño is not the sole driver of the atmosphere at any time. Day-to-day variability in the weather pattern, including blocking patterns, forcing from climate change and other factors all work together with El Niño to determine the overall weather experienced over the timeframe of a few months.

2) No two El Niños are exactly alike. The intensity matters for impacts.

El Niño’s clearest impact on northern hemisphere weather patterns occurs from late fall through winter.

Looking at past moderate-strong El Ninos, here are the upshots for temperatures and precipitation from late fall through winter in the U.S.:

– Wetter: Southern U.S. from California to the Carolinas then up parts of the East Coast

– Drier: Parts of the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, Northwest and Northern Rockies

– Cooler: Desert Southwest, Southern Plains, northern Gulf Coast

– Warmer: Northern tier of states from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, and Northeast

In the Midwest (Wisconsin), it’s going to be warmer, they say. I hope not too warm but I hope warmer than the last 2 years… brr!


[09-28-2015:] Here are some more predictions for winter:

climate-predictionIt looks like Colorado will get good snow this year! In the Midwest, it’s supposed to be drier and warmer, so that’s not good for us.

The big buzzword this winter will be “El Nino”

[09-29-2015:] Some predictions for the 2015-16 Wisconsin winter:

Ask the Weather Guys: What does El Nino mean for southern Wisconsin’s winter this year? (

Generally, El Nino is associated with warmer than normal winters in the western Great Lakes states so we can reasonably expect that this coming winter will be milder than the last two. Though there is a tendency for a bit more precipitation in El Nino winters here, since it is usually warmer than normal, there is usually less than the normal amount of snow.


I guess I don’t mind it being a little warmer but the less snow thing is not great. We’ll see… sometimes these guys are wrong. Heck, the 10-day weather forecast is usually entirely wrong and here they’re predicting the weather months from now.

Either way, if the temps are under freezing, we’ll make snow and the man-made snow now and grooming they did is WAY better than most people think it is or better than they remember. Midwest skiing isn’t all ice anymore.

[03-03-2016:] Well, they were right. Colorado and Utah got lots of snow. In the Midwest, it was very mild – almost too warm on many days. There were only about 2-3 weeks of frigid temperatures. Our hill made snow whenever possible and our snow was great.

Come back to my website next year for the winter 2016-2017 snow forecast!

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