El Niño does not guarantee us anything.
I know I’ve said that repeatedly (not just today), but there’s so much hype and misinformation out there, that it needs repeating. Massive hype articles have been posted all over interwebs lately. Here are just a few examples from national news outlets that were published today alone:
Ironically, the same people who are causing all the hype are the same ones who are trying the hardest to temper it. Check out today’s ENSO blog from the CPC.
As stated in my previous posts, I believe a strong El Niño may just barely tip the odds in our favor for an above average year. Even so, if you assume that in a normal year you have a 50% chance of being above the median snowfall, and a 50% chance of being below, then a strong El Niño year such as this may increase your odds to maybe 55/45. Just not much correlation there (Figure 1, below). In Southern Utah, those odds may move to 65/35, perhaps even 70/30, as they have a much stronger correlation between El Niño and above average precipitation during the winter months (Figure 2).
I’m not trying to be the jerk who killed the stoke, but if I don’t manage expectations now, I’m going to have to deal with everybody complaining about what a bust El Niño was again next summer. Is it possible for us to have very good winter thanks to El Niño? Yes. Is it possible for us to be below average again? Yes. Anything is still possible.