Planning a ski holiday this year?
You have great timing! Winter 2021/2022 in Whistler is predicted to be a La Niña year.
La Niña typically brings conditions that are wetter and cooler than average to the Pacific Northwest and northern Plains, especially during the winter.
What does this mean for outdoor enthusiasts? Snow, snow, and more snow!
Historically La Niña winters have had been record-breaking for snowfall in Whistler. Back in the winter of 1973/74 Whistler saw the most snowfall ever recorded, a snowbase of 504cm!
What causes La Niña?
La Niña is an oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon that sweeps off of the pacific ocean. La Niña (Spanish for “the girl”) is the colder counterpart of El Niño (Spanish for “the child, masculine”) as part of the ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) weather cycle. A long time ago, these opposite systems were called El Niño and El Viejo, meaning “the old man”. But has since been commonly referred to as La Niña and El Niño.
During a La Niña period, the temperature of the water across the eastern equatorial part of the Pacific Ocean will be lower than normal by 3-5 °C. As a result wind and weather sweeping in from the ocean is colder and wetter. An appearance of La Niña persists for at least five months at a time. It has extensive effects on the weather across the globe, especially in the areas along the pacific mountains (like our coastal range).
We can expect more tropical storms in the south and more champagne powder in the north this winter! Happy skiing!