El Niño Is Not Over Yet

January 25, 2016 | By: Monica Christofferson

The all-mighty El Niño has made its presence known in New Mexico this winter and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

Brett Nichols, Marketing Manager at Ski Apache near Ruidoso agrees, “It’s great to see people so excited about the conditions and it just helps the overall feel, moral at the resort. Catch a smile at Ski Apache! With all the new snow smiles are contagious here.”

The colder and wetter weather that the National Weather Service forecasted back in November brought one powder producing storm after another, contributing to some of the best base levels in years at ski areas across the state.

Ski Apache has received “about double [base depth] from what we were at last year. Over 126 inches so far. We get fresh snowfall that the powder is refreshed very frequently over past seasons,“ Nichols said.

Ski Apache’s season got a kick-start in December when a historic storm dumped 41 inches of powder. The same storm brought 30 inches of snow to Sandia Ski Area in Albuquerque enabling the mountain to open and has remained opened since.  If Sandia Ski Area is having a great season, you can bet ski resorts in the northern half of the state have copious amounts of snow as well.

The good news is it’s not over. The snow should keep coming in the core winter months, according to the NOAA.  “January through March 2016 to trend wetter than usual over much of the southern tier of the nation, from California into the Desert Southwest to the southern and central Plains, as well as the Gulf Coast and Southeast coast, including Florida.”

This image from the Climate Prediction Center shows most of New Mexico in a zone of where temperatures to be a negative anomaly, or colder than average.

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Even Meterologist Chris Tomer at onethesnow.com predicts “better odds of a wet, stormy winter in southern California and the desert Southwest.” This image shows New Mexico right in the path of above normal snow and rain.

We can’t guarantee that there won’t be dry spells, even El Niño is prone to them, but we definitely like the odds for more powder days this winter. Take advantage of the great conditions in our beautiful state. If you’ve never skied here, this is the year to explore our beautiful mountains.

Start planning your Spring Break vacations now. The snow will surely be here.

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