In case you haven’t heard, El Nino is here now, it’s getting stronger, and the this “Godzilla” El Nino may be the strongest on record. We know that in California, 4 of the 5 strong El Ninos on record have resulted in above average precipitation, but what does it mean for our snow-crazed friends in Utah?
The only information we’ve been able to dig up so far is the last 5 strong El Nino snow totals at the Alta Guard station in Alta, Utah. The Alta Guard station sees an average annual snowfall of 499″.
Two of the three strong El Nino’s produced below average snowfall, but not much below. 433″ in 65/66 and 496.5″ in 72/73 ain’t bad. Three of the past 5 strong El Nino’s in Alta have produced above average snowfall with 97/98 standing out at 575″ of snowfall. Overall, the past 5 El Ninos at Alta averaged 540″ of annual snowfall which is 41″ above the average annual snowfall.
Strong El Ninos appear to be pretty darned good for Utah so far. Hopefully we’ll see the same pattern this winter.
Overall, meteorologists are favoring southern Utah over northern Utah for the coming El Nino in 2015/16.
Utah appears to be in line for normal to slightly above normal winter snowfall. In particular, southern Utah has the best odds with Brian Head in good position.” – onthesnow.com meteorologist Chris Tomer
“Steamboat is favored by La Nina and Brian Head is favored by El Nino. El Nino/La Nina have no predictive value elsewhere in Utah or Colorado. Nor in the Northeast.” – meteorologist/skier Tony Crocker
Of course, nothing is for sure with these El Nino forecasts, but the record does show that strong El Ninos have been a good thing at Alta, UT thus far.