December 20, 2014
Two big October storms gave a glimmer of hope for this year's snow pack.
But new research is hinting that this year's weak El Nino may mean drier than normal conditions.
El Nino - the warming of ocean waters in the equatorial pacific. What's different about this year's apparently weak El Nino is its location - way to the west, well across the international dateline.
Strong El Nino's can often times bring above average precipitation to the West Coast. But with this type of El Nino scientists only have three or four analogous episodes over the past century to study. But when put into new computer models they seem to favor dry conditions along the west coast more than wet conditions. The cascades, the sierras and the inter-mountain west.
Still we best not forget Sierra Nevada in spanish means "Snowy Range" with even average precipitation piling up hundreds of inches of snow a season. Whether this dry forecast holds true remains to be seen.
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