Once the 100-day-till-ski-season countdown begins, it’s inevitable that the snowfall speculation quickly follows. And after a winter of record-breakingly low snowfall, the excitement is running high on a wave of optimism — all of those powderhounds who didn’t quite get their fix are ready for a season full of redemption.

It all starts at the beginning of September when the Farmers’ Almanac and the Old Farmer’s Almanac (two rival publications) release their winter weather predictions.

Both almanacs rely on top-secret formulas created hundreds (yes, hundreds) of years ago by their respective founders David Young and Robert B. Thomas. Modern meteorologists are skeptical about predictions past 10 days, so take what you read with a grain of salt.

What's the Snow Forecast for Aspen Snowmass in 2018-19
What's the Snow Forecast for Aspen Snowmass in 2018-19

For the winter of 2019, the almanacs show slightly different forecasts, but both hold promise.

The Farmers’ Almanac implies that Colorado should see “teeth-chattering cold, and plentiful snow.” While the Old Farmer’s Almanac has a slightly different take, and Aspen specifically seems to be on the border of “mild, snowy” and “cold, wet.”

Either way, we’ll take it! Wax those skis…

And then there’s the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center who, in August, released it’s official prediction stating that there’s a 70% chance of an El Niño winter.

El Niño and La Niña describe opposite phases of the ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) cycle — fluctuations in temperature between the ocean and the atmosphere. According to the National Ocean Service, El Niño and La Niña events happen every two to seven years, with El Niño occuring more than La Niña.
Joel Gratz at Open Snow recently went into greater detail on the impact of El Niño and what it means for winter 2018/2019, but essentially the stronger the El Niño, the greater the chance for a snowy winter.

This winter there is a 70% chance of a weak to moderate El Niño, which either means below-average precipitation (weak El Niño) or average to above-average precipitation (moderate El Niño).

But, really, only time will tell.

In the meantime, buy those season passes, work on your training regimen, make sure those ski boots fit and watch the seasons change.

Fingers crossed for snow! We’re counting down the days.

Published September 2018

About the Author

Celine Wright IAS
Celine Wright IAS

Celine Wright is a Colorado native whose writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times and Colorado Springs Gazette, among other titles. During the day she can be found marketing brands in the outdoor industry at Carbondale-based Backbone Media and after hours (dependent on season) she can be found biking, skiing, and hiking in the Aspen area.

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