Fernie in line for a snowy winter

FAR’s Robin Siggers says ocean current data is looking good for above average precipitation

Winter is coming, and it could be a good one if the long-range forecasts are anything to go by.

While the 2021 Farmers Almanac predicted a long, cold and snowy winter for this part of Canada with temperatures expected to be “much colder than normal winter temperatures” according to the long-running publication, Fernie Alpine Resort’s Robin Siggers said he much preferred what the oceanographic data was saying versus reading what was basically a weather horoscope.

Siggers, who is the Mountain Operations Manager at FAR said that the data was looking good (for now).

“This year there is about a 60 per cent change of a La Nina and that does bode well for our region in that the jet-stream would be focused in our area, and we would be subject to some good precipitation events.”

He explained that La Nina is a favorable oceanographic pattern that is cooler than a normal ocean current, affecting weather patterns and bringing more precipitation.

He said that along with the 60 per cent chance of a La Nina, there was a good chance for a neutral pattern – so a pretty typical winter. “But there’s pretty much a zero chance of an El Nino which is not something we like to see generally, so it’s looking good for us.”

Other good data was the lack of the ‘blob’ over the Northern Pacific Ocean – a patch of warmer-than-normal surface water that in the past has denied Fernie a good winter. “I’m glad to hear that’s not around right now.”

So the data is looking promising, but no dice on predicting what the coming season could be like beyond numbers and past events. Siggers said that any predictions on precipitation beyond seven days was “complete fabrication”, but the long-range weather patterns were promising enough for the folks at FAR to be enthusiastic for a good season.

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