Don’t Count La Nina Out Just Yet

snowpack mapSnowpack may be looking just dandy here in the Southwest for a La Nina winter, but Klaus Wolter’s latest experimental forecast suggests it would be unwise for us to get all cocky about our decisions to buy those full-season ski passes:

My experimental forecast guidance for the late winter season (January-March 2008) continues to show a pervasive tendency for dry conditions over the full domain. Half of Colorado, and most of Arizona and New Mexico appear most likely to experience a dry season, raising the specter of renewed drought in currently drought-free regions. For northern Colorado, this pessimistic outlook is actually more severe than the more neutral or even wet La Niña impacts that are more typical for such winters. A first glimpse at the moisture prospects for spring is surprisingly optimistic for New Mexico and southwest Colorado, but should not be taken at face value, due to lack of verifiable skill this far out, and due to typically lingering La Niña dryness.