Colorado weather: Winter snow and temperature forecast for 2023-24 season
The odds of an above-average snow year are increasing for Colorado with higher-than-normal precipitation and near-normal temperatures, according to a new NOAA forecast.
What's happening: A strong El Niño weather pattern continues to develop in the Pacific Ocean. "There's hope for snow-lovers," Jon Gottschalck of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center said in an October briefing.
Yes, but: El Niño winters are often a split-screen scenario for Colorado, where storms clip either the northern or southern areas. Most of the state often sees average precipitation and temperatures, writes Sam Collentine, a meteorologist at Boulder-based OpenSnow.
- The pattern often shows a split jet stream flow across the country, meaning Colorado may miss some storms.
Zoom in: Colorado's most recent El Niño year came in the 2015-16 winter and led to above-normal snowfall, particularly at the start and end of the seasons, an OpenSnow analysis found.
- That year, Steamboat landed 408 inches (110% of average) and Winter Park finished with 360 inches (103%.)
- Vail stood at 97% of normal and Aspen Highlands at 101%.
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