El Niño Prediction: Above-average temperatures, but snowfall will be light this year.
"It's not looking too good for the Midwest," says Gratz. "Unless the arctic oscillation manages to push some cold air down from Northern Canada, expect a mild December and slow start to the ski season." El Niño usually means poor snow years in the upper plains and Great Lakes, but by late January through February a few systems will no doubt move in. Overall, though, expect below-average snow and above-average temperatures across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan. There's always the possibility of lake-effect snow at resorts near the Great Lakes, which should lighten the mood this El Niño year.
Prime Resorts: Alpine Valley, Big Powderhorn, Mount Bohemia