Wednesday, October 20, 2010

more La Nina

The graph Chris is referring to can be found at the link above, along with a technical discussion. Both compare a current ENSO index - a combination of sea surface temperatures and other measures of equatorial Pacific conditions - with the six strongest La Nina years since 1949. The years they highlight are almost all big snow and avalanche years in the Glacier National Park Region. Some, like the mid-50s and 1972, were huge. The current index is lower than all but one point in those years, and it's fallen faster in the past six months than any other six month period.

That doesn't guarantee the Glacier region will have an epic snow year. ENSO is a about probabilities. In El Nino years, there are more dry weather cards in the deck. In La Nina years, there are more wet and cold cards in the deck. The Glacier Region could still draw a dry card or a warm card. It's just not as likely. The discussion and the graph suggest that there may even be more than four big-snow-year aces in the deck we're drawing from this winter.

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