Last season, ski locations in Utah and California had record snowfall and endless powder days due to La Niña.
El Niño is a weather phenomenon caused by diminishing Pacific Ocean tradewinds with warm water pressing into the western Americas, according to the National Ocean Service.
OnTheSnow reports that meteorologist Chris Tomer predicts a drier winter for much of the West in his long-term prediction. It might be a huge winter for Lake Tahoe, Mammoth, and Colorado resorts.
Long-term snow predictions, particularly during La Niña and El Niño years, may not always predict actual snowfall. For instance, La Niña predicted a warmer and dryer ski season in California last year.
Western resorts was affected by the previous severe El Niño event eight years before. Snowfall was above-average in California, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest, but below average in Utah and the Northern Rockies.
Collentine advises skiers and snowboarders to prioritize time above total winter depth, even if the 2015-2016 ski season is compared to an El Niño episode.