El Nino takes a hike…so what will we have for Opening?


by Pete ‘The Frog’ Taylor

It looks like we can finally say goodbye to El Nino and possibly look to see a La Nina pattern emerge later in the season as surface temperatures across the Pacific have cooled significantly . But for the time being we are in a nuetral (ENSO) state, which is positive news for the snowfields with cooler nights expected and less warmer airflows from the the north to the mountains.

Snow’s coming!

We are about to see an icey blast hit the SE of the country bringing snow to the mountains this week and into the weekend. It currently looks like we could see aroound 10-20cm above 1600m. The snowmakers will be able to operate overnight on Friday and into Saturday creating a nice base. Next week we should see a high pressure system move across the continent bringing fine weather, but also some cool clear nights which is just what the snowmakers need.


Snow's coming this week!
Snow’s coming this week!

Looking further ahead there is a chance of some snow falling from a cool change on the 8th and into the 9th. It doesn’t look like a big fall but if we could get 5cm or so it would definately help. This would be perfect timing for the opening weekend which begins on Saturday the 11th of June.

 So what does this mean for opening weekend?

At the moment I can only see areas with snowmaking open for the opening weekend and possibly into the second week at least (which is quite normal for this time of year). A stronger system due around the 14th-15th is the best chance of dropping enough snow to open some more lifts, with another strong one due around the 23rd-25th.


1981 had a fairly slow start but built up to the 4m mark.
1981 had a fairly slow start but built up to the 4m mark.

I still see a slow start to the season but after that, the chances of a good mid to late season are quite high. Our better snow seasons on average have occured in neutral (ENSO) periods. August and September have the potential to be up in the ‘epic’ range and I’d be surprised if the Spencer’s Creek depth reading didn’t crack the 2m mark this season sometime mid August.

Click for Long Range Forecast…

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