SKIING Scene: La Niña Repetida


For good or ill, she's sticking around. That's what the weather gurus are saying about La Niña. According to Brad Colman, science officer with the National Weather Service (NWS), "It's becoming more and more likely that the winter will be strongly influenced by a moderate-strength La Niña." In California and the Pacific Northwest, where La Niña deposited huge dumps (world-record dumps in the case of Washington's Mt. Baker) last year, skiers like what they're hearing. Not so in Colorado, Utah, the Midwest, and New England, where she was stingy. Either way, the experts suggest that in '99¿'00 she's likely to behave a lot like she did last year.

Skiers in the lean zones can pray the soothsayers are wrong; weather being what it is (unpredictable) and forecasters being how they are (inaccurate), there's room for error. But the Climate Prediction Center, from which the NWS derives its data, has been reasonably successful in foretelling what regional mischief to expect from the El Niño¿La Niña cycle of the past few years. Looks like another feast-or-famine year.


OK, sports fans, La Niña is back. This is good news for some mountains and bad news for others. And it’s actually really bad news for meteorologists, who now must answer the barrage of requests for a six-month snow forecast. Just remember that a seasonal forecast is less important than following each individual storm during the winter. That said, here’s the scoop on La Niña.Water temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean are much colder than average, which is the definition of La Niña. Those temperatures can affect weather patterns across the globe, and that’s why La Niña is important. For North America, La Niña has some predictable consequences for snow during the winter: it snows a lot.

La Niña Round Two

The bitch is, apparently, back. Our weather guy gives us the scoop on where and how much it could snow this winter.