More snow or less snow this winter?

Russ Steele

I was researching a question my son-in-law asked about snow fall in La Niña years, if we have one heavy snow year, can we expect more of the same the next year.  I could not find any strong evidence for that case, but I did note something in the data. There was more snow on average during the last cool phase PDO, (1949-1977) than the following warm phase PDO (1977-2003). Here is what I found when I looked two weather stations at Lake Spaulding (7020 ft) and Strawberry Valley (5160 ft).

The difference is about 31 inches in both locations between the cool phase PDO and the warm phase PDO, with more during the cool phase. We are now entering a cool phase PDO. The unanswered question is, are we going to have more snow in the Sierra during the current cool phase PDO?


Author: Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

One thought on “More snow or less snow this winter?”

  1. I have a friend who lives in southern Colorado about 2 hrs from Santa Fe, NM. In an email he sent yesterday, 6 Oct, he noted how he had just gotten back from a trip over the San Juan mountains where he followed a snow plow as long as he could to get home. It was the third snow event this fall. The first and second were the 17th and 18th of September, about 1 month earlier than normal.

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