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Park City’s 2023-24 winter weather prediction, the return of El Niño

PARK CITY, Utah — The big question on everyone’s mind going into this ski season is will we repeat last year’s record breaking snowfall totals?

TownLift set out to get some answers, and our first stop was to check in with the Powder Buoy. According to Powder Buoy, the first regional snow dusting of the season will be over Labor Day weekend, September 3-4.

When Powder Buoy was asked for their thoughts on the upcoming 2023-24 winter season, they told TownLift, “Strong El Niños have been good to us in the past, I would guess less pineapple express storms that favored the Wasatch back like last year and more normal North West flow, but we’ll see.”

 

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While the first dusting of snow in early September is not uncommon for Utah, and can be detrimental for snow-pack stability, is this dusting of snow an albatross of things to come?

All signs currently point to a strong El Niño winter for the 2023-24 winter season, as we are coming out of a streak of three consecutive La Niña winters. The Farmer’s Almanac, OpenSnow and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have all predicted a strong El Niño weather pattern.

Farmer’s Almanac editor, Pete Geiger, said, “After a weird and warm winter season last year, this winter should make cold weather fans rejoice, the ‘brrr’ is coming back! We expect more snow and low temperatures nationwide.”

Farmers Almanac

NOAA’s long range temperature and precipitation forecast are not much help predicting equal chances of above or below average precipitation and temperature for Park City and Utah.

OpenSnow says that Strong El Niño winters favor warmer and drier winters relative to average across the Northern U.S. Rockies, and colder and snowier winters across the Southern Rockies of New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern Utah.

Across the Central Rockies, there is less of a correlation. Drier winters are slightly favored across Northern Utah and Western Colorado, with little to no correlation near the Continental Divide in Colorado.

While another 600″ winter is not foretasted in the long range models it appears we can expect an average winter with the possibility of being slightly above or below average for temperature and precipitation.

What is your call for the 2023-24 winter season? use the comments below to share your thoughts.

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