Tracking the Heaviest Snowfall for The 2016/17 Season

by Kirsten Dobroth | August 5, 2016

Already dreaming of powder days, and hence where might have the heaviest snowfall for the 2016/17 season? On the Snow has come out with it’s prediction for next season’s snowfall, and if you’re planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, Great Lakes, or Northeast, La Niña has your back. What exactly does a low grade La Niña weather pattern mean for the winter forecast? Cooling water temperatures around the equator in the Pacific Ocean lead to widespread changes in weather patterns across North America. While there’s no way to predict exactly what a season will look like in a given resort, forecasters can use the history of other La Niña cycles along with the intensity of the cycle to predict where and when ski resorts might get hit most frequently from the resulting storm cycle.
According to On the Snow’s predictions, the following will reap the most benefits- hence powder days- from the ensuing La Niña weather pattern:
Pacific Northwest
-Mount Baker
-Mount Hood
-Mount Rainier
-Mount Bachelor
-Lake Louise
Northern Rockies
-Sun Valley
-Big Sky
-Bridger Bowl
-Jackson Hole
-Grand Targhee
-Buffalo Pass
-Squaw Valley
In particular, forecasters are predicting that La Niña’s storm cycle will hit resorts around the Pacific Northwest the hardest, and Mount Hood, Mount Baker, and Mount Rainier might see upwards of 130% of their average annual season’s snowfall.
And while the list above reflects areas that forecasters think might see the heaviest snowfall for the 2016/17 season, resorts around the country should see hefty snow packs and plenty of powder days as well.  Skiers and snowboarders out west should be pleased to hear that popular destinations such as Aspen, Snowmass, Copper, Vail, Loveland, Alta, Snowbird, Snowbasin, and Park City are all moderately favored by this winter’s La Niña cycle, and while they might not have a record breaking season, frequent snowfall should provide good coverage and plenty of powder turns. East coasters should also delight that the upcoming winter’s predictions include regional favorites like Jay Peak, Smugglers’ Notch, Stowe, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf and Killington after a dry and disappointing winter season this past year. 

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