The weather gurus have spoken: An incredibly strong El Niño is brewing over the Pacific Ocean. Caused by the periodic warming of surface waters in the Pacific Ocean and the changing wind patterns along the equator, El Niño storms impact the atmosphere and, therefore, the plant’s climate. Although El Niño storms are not punctual, scientists have created a timetable that shows El Niño storms resurface every three to seven years. Forecasted to continue to strengthen throughout fall and carry on through winter, the 2015/2016 storm cell is predicted to greatly influence winter weather patterns.
The last super El Nino occurred in 1997 and experts are now predicting that the 2015-2016 El Niño will rival the impacts of the big 1997 storm. This year’s El Niño began in the spring of 2015 and is continuing to grow stronger; it is expected to peak at the start of 2016 and weaken through the spring early next year. What does that mean for Breckenridge? Well, in a nutshell, we are expecting to top snowfall records for the decade. Based on how wet spring 2015 was in Colorado, it is fair to expect a more seasonable winter season with significant accumulations falling during the early season all the way through February. Last season, Breckenridge experienced some of the best snowfall across North America and we are so excited to hear that this year is expected to be even better. While there are no guarantees when it comes to predicting snowfall amounts, the effects of a strong El Niño are generally well understood. That being said, snowstorms are incredibly complex weather events that are difficult to forecast, even just a few hours ahead of time, so this is not to say that Colorado should bank on big snowstorm this year. However, thanks to El Niño, the odds are in favor of a big snowfall season for the mountains. Stay tuned to local weather stations for the latest impact predictions.
The bottom line is that the growing storm will most likely deliver heaver perception amounts than in average years. So, start planning your winter wonderland getaway ASAP! As of today, opening day for Breckenridge Resort is scheduled for Friday November 13, 2015.
For additional information and to track this year’s storm, visit http://www.weather.com/news/climate/news/el-nino-forecast-record-strongest-2015-2016