El Niño Prediction: Hit and miss, but the hits could be epic.
"Right now, NOAA is predicting 30 to 40 percent less snow for the Pacific Northwest," Gratz says. "I don't think it will be that bad, but the blob of warm water offshore of Canada and Washington isn't helping." Neither is the southerly jet stream favored by typical large El Niño winters. In Alaska, the temperatures need to be cold for resorts like Alyeska (whose bases are at sea level) to get snow. While there is always the potential that the jet stream could shift and bring in some big storms to Washington and British Colombia, it will still be a "hit and miss" winter this year for the Northwest.
Prime Resorts: Whistler/Blackcomb, Fernie, Kicking Horse