NOAA predicts, “There is an 85% chance El Niño will last through the 2015-16 winter”

El Niño’s coming! This could mean a great snow year… or not. We tend to associate El Niño years with increased rainfall, and that typically means more snow in the mountains. We desperately need both!

As you can imagine, we pay a lot of attention to the weather here at The Ski Renter, and it turns out, it’s been about 50-50 in the past, with some El Niños delivering strong rains in the valleys and great snows in the mountains, and some not so much. It depends on the size of the El Niño, and a lot of other factors, many of which even the weather forecasters do not understand. However, the El Niño that is forming currently is one of the larger ones on record. And of the last five El Niños of this size, four delivered great snow, and three were some of our snowiest winters on record, so we’ve got a good chance!

Typically, we get our first snows in mid-November and Boreal is usually the first ski hill to open, with most of the others following soon after. As soon as the temperature gets low enough, they start making snow to help ensure an early opening. If they then get a storm or two on top of it, its assured!

I looked up the last ten seasons, and on average, opening day was November 21st; the earliest opening day being the 15th, the latest the 30th.

For many, the goal is to be able to ski Thanksgiving Weekend. Thanksgiving is November 26th this year, so it looks like we have a great chance, but after all the weather pundits have spoken, it’s still “wait and see”. Still, wouldn’t it be great enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner in a mountain cabin looking out over snow covered meadows and pines?

Mark Twain, famous writer and political commentator, once exclaimed, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Trust me, Mark; we would if we could!

“Think Snow!”

And in the meantime, there are still some great camping days out there until then. It’s beautiful this time of year. The trees are in full Autumn color, most of the insects are gone, and the campgrounds are less crowded. The mornings are cooler, so take your long Johns, a sweater and jacket, and a poncho just in case. We’ve got it all and more; everything you need at The Ski Renter.