writeup on what an El Niño snow year actually means.  Key takeaway from last year’s piece: El Niño means significantly more moisture in the air for the Andes, along with milder temperatures, La Niña indicates the opposite; cooler temps, less chance of precipitation.

temp map

While we didn’t see the record breaking numbers last year we all were hoping for, we are looking on the brightside for this season, and things seem to be headed in a good direction, especially as of this week.

Our friends over at Snowbrains recently published a piece on what various weather services were predicting for the upcoming season in South America.  After the declaration of the El Niño weather effect to continue for 2015, AccuWeather forecasting manager Jason Nicholls stated the following:

“The mountain snow is expected to increase during July and August, allowing for a much-improved ski season for the resorts central Chile [and Argentina].  Since the start of the year, only 5.6 mm (0.22 of an inch) of rain have fallen in Santiago, a mere 7 percent of the normal.  During the strong El Niño of 1997, Santiago received 142 percent of normal precipitation during the months of June, July and August and even though the most significant rains will be delayed, similar rainfall totals are possible this year.”

el nino map

That 7% snowfall figure has taken it’s toll on the Andes, forcing the Subaru Freeride Series to cancel their Chile stop scheduled for the end of July.  That is up until this week…

Cerro Catedral’s snow report today is showing 40 cm (~16″) of snow in the last 24 hours, and yesterday that 24 hour number read 30 cm (~12″).  That’s 70 cm in the last 48 hours, plus the big snow they received early in the week that allowed Catedral to open on Tuesday.  Over on the other side of the border, Chile is seeing equally massive snowfall, hitting the areas that us El Niño believers like to see.  Now I don’t want to jinx anything, but the El Niño year we’ve been waiting for might just be upon us.

cerro snow report

With more snow in the forecast, the time is now to book your spot for SASS Argentina!  Sessions 1 and 2 are completely sold out, and there is limited space in Sessions 3, 4, and 5.  For more information, fill out an Inquiry Form and we’ll get in touch with you, or head over to the SASS Argentina page to do some homework of your own.  With moisture in the air, all we need are cool temperatures to ensure a banger season.  Today’s snow report even has Catedral’s base temperature below freezing which is unheard of.  Promising signs this week, and fingers crossed for the upcoming months…