Dec 1, 2011 | Marmot, Winter 2011

The Return of La Nina

Could this be the year of sequels at Mount Washington Alpine Resort? is reporting that winter will be cold across Western Canada – quite possibly one of the top three coldest in 20 years. And we have a second La Nina year in a row to thank for it.

La Nina is a phenomenon that occurs when sea surface temperatures across the equatorial central and eastern Pacific are below normal. The phenomenon often produces extreme cold outbreaks across Western Canada during the winter due to the influence it has on the jet stream.

“Strong La Ninas can lead to wet winters along the West Coast, but I am predicting a moderate La Nina this winter,” AccuWeather expert Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.

A La Nina last winter produced record-breaking snow dumps at Mount Washington in 2010-11, and Director of Public Relations Brent Curtain, for one, is looking forward to Round Two.

“We welcome a strong snow season,” Curtain said before the white stuff began to fall in late October. “We’re a little bit scared because last year we blew our snow removal budget out of the water.”

By the end of December 2010 the Resort had seen as much snow as it usually sees in five months.

Over the Christmas holiday staff saw two metres of snow fall in 36 hours, and in the course of two weeks nearly five metres fell.

“If there’s one place that knows how to deal with a lot of snow, it’s Mount Washington,” Curtain said.

More from this Issue