Farmers Almanac Ski-Season Predictions

by Travis McCullough | November 17, 2023

After three long seasons of La Niña, it’s finally time to say goodbye to that girl and hello to our boy. The 2023-2024 season marks the beginning of the first El Niño event in four years! On top of that, we get to look forward to a strong El Niño season. Let’s take a look at what this means for North American snowfall and what to expect during the 2023-2024 ski season!

El Niño Vs. La Niña

While La Niña means cooler than average water temps in the Central/Eastern Pacific Ocean, El Niño means warmer than average waters. But what does this all mean for the shred season?

Generally, while the Niño is in town, we can expect wetter conditions throughout the southern US and the Pacific Northwest. This usually means fatter dumps throughout the season. On the flipside, the northern part of the US and Canada are milder and drier with fewer snowfall events over the course of the season. Basically, La Niña tends to favor the northern states, and El Niño favors the southern states. All of that said, these models are certainly not set in stone.

What Does The Farmers Almanac Predict?

The trusty old Farmers Almanac tells us that this winter is going to look more traditional than the warmer winter of last year. We are to expect colder temperatures and wetter conditions than the previous ski season.

The long-term picture for the 2023-2024 ski season is calling for below-average temps that pack plenty of moisture and snow. The Great Lakes, Ohio River Valley, Midwestern US, and New England are supposed to get more than their fair share of moisture during the months of January and February. Residents of DC and Boston in particular can also expect a different winter than last year. This winter will make up for the lack of moisture from the previous year.

The Pacific Northwest and California aren’t going to stay as dry as last year either. For all of you Rocky Mountain skiers out there, don’t worry, the Rockies should get pounded with powder just as much as these other hotspots.

For those of you who live in the southern US and enjoy warm dry winters, the outlook isn’t quite as great. Texas in particular will be unseasonably cold and wet. This opens the door to the possibility of a repeat of last winter’s ice storms and calamities.

The Southeastern United States, including Florida, can expect more of the same. Temperatures aren’t expected to dip like they are in other parts of the country, but the amount of precipitation is expected to be well above average. This means the southeast could expect more than a few frosts over the course of the winter season.

December Forecast

The first day of winter doesn’t technically start until December 21, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get any winter weather during the tail end of the fall season. 

Farmers Almanac is calling for December to kick off with some much-wanted and needed winter storms. This prediction includes New England, the North Central US, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Final Thoughts

Skiing this year should look significantly different than the past few seasons as we move away from the La Niña trend and into El Niño. Some skiers may need to chase storms this winter, but regardless of where you reside within the US, you can bet there will be an influx of snow this season.

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