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Winter 2014. Hope or trepidation ? (or both)

Discussion in 'Alpine & Southern' started by snowduck, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. snowduck

    snowduck One of Us

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    Do we have any long term predictions at hand from the BOM or any other agencies/afficionadoes/researchers as to how winter in the OZ alps should pan out ?

    Rainfall, temps, snow. Below / above average, etc

    15 weeks and counting ...
     
  2. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hopefully better than the northern seasons have been!
     
  3. Claude Cat

    Claude Cat On my bike Moderator Ski Pass: Platinum

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    I wouldn't be guessing at the moment. SOI is +ve, I hope it doesn't go too much higher.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    First week of Feb is no time to pronounce a Northern season. Feb/Mar is prime time, we just have high expectations of January because that's when a lot of us are restricted to going.

    But Niseko has been amazing, some huge dumps in Europe of late, Colorado has been really solid, Jackson is just about to get dumped on.
     
  5. Timmossy

    Timmossy One of Us

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    Grrrrrr leaving for Jackson in 15 days time.........maybe another dump then hopefully!
     
  6. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    True dat. I guess it's just been a rough winter up to this point for folks in Austria, Canada, Tahoe, etc, plus we got a bit of r**n last this week in Hakuba, where the season is a smidge below the norm.

    You're right though in that it's now turned to corner for some, and hopefully will for the rest in the weeks to come!
     
  7. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think Austria, or at least parts of it are back on track. However I saw some pics on Instagram from a mate who was coaching there in the lead up to Sochi - they were having races on a ribbon of snowmaking with green grass as far as the eye can see.

    Tahoe is essentially starting from scratch, there is some weather coming but hope it's not too little too late.

    I don't generally pay attention to Canada, and a week of rain in Hakuba isn't out of the ordinary.
     
  8. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    119 Days 14 Hours 20 min, but who's counting ?
     
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  9. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL, I was in Hakuba 12 months ago last week, and we got r**n and 10C temps
     
  10. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I loved Hakuba, and got very lucky when I was there, but I wouldn't go back for less than a 3 week stretch, with the expectation that one of those weeks will be a write-off. But the balance of time has the potential to make you absolutely forget the downdays.
     
  11. rocketboy

    rocketboy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The "two year cycle" should make for a reasonable chance of a good enough season this year. As long as it starts early and there's a good cover in late June early July I'll be happy. But as Donza has said in the past it all hangs on a few good dumps and minimal rain.
     
  12. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    What is this "two year cycle" of which you speak?

    Hang on a sec while I get the round filing cabinet...
     
  13. rocketboy

    rocketboy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Gerg says the four year cycle is BS - but there's a very weak 2 year cycle. Hence we should be in a for a weak boost this year. Yer clutching at straws - but it's Australia so every little bit of hope helps surely....
     
  14. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    FTFY
     
  15. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    4 year cycle is rock solid.
    22 years of recent history suggest so.
    Based on coincidence but fact.
    92, 96, 2000,04, 08, 12.
    So, will be some good days I reckon and a decent early season overall, not the epicness of the above with a gradual descent into El Nino so an early season ending and warm dry latter half of August, September and
    18 months of El Nino shiiteness with 2015 hopefully not comparable to 2006,
    Then back to the Summer Olympics year of goodness in 2016.
     
  16. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    As an aside, Western USA coastal season 2014/15 could be epic with El Nino
     
  17. rocketboy

    rocketboy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    From what I've read all the El Nino forecasts remain very speculative - with little data showing an El Nino is on the way.

    Basically, the chances of El Nino or Neutral remains 50/50 at August and beyond.

    I quote: http://iri.columbia.edu/our-experti...february-quick-look/?enso_tab=enso-cpc_update

    "Nearly all model forecasts indicate the persistence of ENSO-neutral (Niño-3.4 index between -0.5°C and 0.5°C) through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014, but afterwards, an increasing number of models suggest the possible onset of El Niño. Strong surface westerly winds in the western Pacific and the slight eastward shift of above-average temperatures in the subsurface western Pacific potentially portend warming in the coming months. However, the spring is also historically associated with lower forecast skill, so the chance of El Niño developing after the spring is not much different from ENSO-neutral. The consensus forecast is for ENSO-neutral to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014 (see CPC/IRI consensus forecast)."

    Further down that page http://iri.columbia.edu/our-experti...february-quick-look/?enso_tab=enso-cpc_update - the statistical projects for overlapping three months are given for the rest of 2014.

    As much as the US would like an El Nino to form this year and break the west coast drought - we really don't know if it will happen as yet.

    But yes an early season would be good when the days are short and the winter temps are coldest.

    Will be interesting to see if the Perisher charity weekend could actually happen on Saturday May 31 - would be a marketing coup if minty actually did delivery the goods. Last year in mid May there was a foot of natural snow on Front Valley - two weeks later it was all washed away.
     
  18. benchives

    benchives Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    All signs point to a bumper season
     
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  19. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    Only question is /which/ season.

    ;)
     
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  20. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Jackson 300" and counting so far this season.........
     
  21. Outlooker

    Outlooker Addicted

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    Hoping for a polar vortex! Hard to pick 4 days out ket alone 4 months before the season. At least we are starting to get some moisture in NSW.
     
  22. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm calling better than last season. Better could be just a 1cm better snowpack though.
     
  23. rocketboy

    rocketboy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Water is getting quite chilly off the NSW south coast. Feels like the coldest it's been in years. We did regular Mt P in the morning to the Surf in the afternoon runs in 2013. But the way it's going at the moment winter surf classes at Kiama High will be so much fun to watch from the warmth of my car this winter. Better stock up on Steamers Donza :)
     
  24. Rush

    Rush Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    All the major El Nino forecast models (except POAMA) are predicting a coming El Nino.

    But ENSO is almost impossible to predict during a southern hemisphere autumn. We'll know by the end of May/start of June which way the thermocline is heading.

    Mind you correlation with El Nino and snowdepth is tenuous at best. El Nino affects precipitation in Queensland/central NSW more than Victoria and the Snowies.

    I think we are due for a repeat of 2006 at some point. Either this year or next. Then another good year in 2016.
     
  25. rocketboy

    rocketboy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Most forecasts show an equal split between a continuing "La Nada" state as the current neutral conditions have been dubbed by some, and El Nino. 47/47 seems to be the general percentage breakdown - rising to 45/49 in the ASO months. With most of the forecasts suggesting only a short weak El Nino if one does emerge. But the weather porn reporters have grabbed hold on the El Nino forecast with gusto from what I have been seeing on the TV and reading in the newspaper.
     
  26. Chester

    Chester One of Us

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    Never a truer word spoken ... and coincidentally (or not) the European season is now well and truly on track. Temperatures are still warmer than normal but snow depth is certainly where it should be.
     
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  27. Hermon

    Hermon One of Us

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    This past summer has been similar to 1980/81 in many ways (long spell of hot stagnant weather in Jan - Early Feb). 2004 was also similar. So from a historical analogy 2014 could be pretty good.

    Jamstec reckons warmer than average surface air temps (esp. for NSW) and average precipitation for SE Australia. A weak El Nino to boot, but completely confused w.r.t IOD.

    IRI Columbia University is fairly similar to Jamstec, although its forecast period only goes as far as May-June-July atm.

    What do I reckon (semi-educated guess)? Strong zonal cold fronts (i.e. gale force Westerly winds) and stormy fronts will kick in by May giving some good early snowfalls into June. ECLs will be rare due to a cold Southern Tasman Sea. An onset of El Nino/+ve IOD or otherwise will determine the latter half of the season.
     
  28. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    Please do not invoke 1981 without extremely good cause.
     
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  29. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Paging Mr Moore......
     
  30. The Plowking

    The Plowking Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    ...for exact dates of course
     
  31. Rush

    Rush Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Look at this link

    As you can see, by July most models are predicting El Nino.
    Personally I'll wait until the end of Autumn before making a definitive forecast.
     
  32. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    So what's the upshot for us? Do I book every weekend from July to October, or wait till the next NH season?

    ;)
     
  33. Claude Cat

    Claude Cat On my bike Moderator Ski Pass: Platinum

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    There will be snow.
     
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  34. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    Oh, cool. I didn't realise.

    ;)
     
  35. Claude Cat

    Claude Cat On my bike Moderator Ski Pass: Platinum

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    Bold statement, I know.
    :thumbs:
     
  36. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    Dude, this close to the season and you still can't give us a solid reliable answer is just not acceptable.

    :rasberry:
     
  37. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok.....

    I predict that it will be.....
     
  38. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    Thanks Sandy, I knew you'd come through.

    Oh, hang on...

    :D
     
  39. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

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    It will be warm and dry. Hope the snowmakers can capitalise on what comes through and clear skies overnight.
     
  40. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    Honest. Anything better is a bonus.

    ;)
     
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  41. rocketboy

    rocketboy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    That link shows the average through to July well inside the upper bounds of neutral.

    For the western Pacific, POAMA shows neutral throughout winter for NINO 4. Yes a tad warmer than over the past few months. And the SOI index fell right on cue there with the Carveman chop.

    At this point forecasts of an El Nino remain completely speculative with at most a mild El Nino by the end of winter. And you yourself acknowledge that El Nino has little impact on snowfalls in southern Australia.

    So really, no one has any idea what this winter will be like just as it is each year. Other than it will probably snow a bit and rain a bit as it pretty much always does.

    With the way Perisher is now set up, as long as they get cold nights, and not much rain (which kinda go together in winter) - they can pretty much build a snow resort out of Guthega Dam and let what natural stuff they do get fall onto a great man made base and have most of the resort operating by the early July. If it wasn't for the rain events every second week, 2013 would have been as good as 2012.

    Yes it completely sucks booking in advance, but the reality is the big bump from the discount season passes is over, and the accommodation shortage that was an issue in 2012 is past. Given how much it costs to ski in Australia - there is little point in saving a few dollars by buying tickets in advance - given how much you can lose if you get a crap week. IMHO anyone who has flexible work arrangements has little to lose by leaving it to the last minute and booking when a good front is coming through and there's white stuff on the cams.

    With the July holidays falling in the darkest weeks of the year, and hence the coldest period, as long as there is a few decent falls in late June, the snow quality is at it's premium and you can ski/board all day on firm snow. By late August there might be 1.5 metres being recorded at SCreek. But by most afternoons it's slushie time and either boring to ski on or outright dangerous. A situation that only increases as the days get longer and the blow dryer gets ready to roar in from the north west.

    It's Australian, and there have always been crap seasons, just look at 1954 - the very first year Snowy Hydro started record keeping for snow depths.

    As it is, we have the mysterious four year and the two year cycle on our side this year, so either take that as a good omen or a bad omen depending on whether you like your glass half full or half empty.
     
  42. Claude Cat

    Claude Cat On my bike Moderator Ski Pass: Platinum

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    How about "IMO there will be snow".
    Happy now?
     
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  43. Dos

    Dos One of Us

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    I am. Also waiting for the outcome of something else which will affect my whereabout this coming winter. On the one hand I want to stay at Thredbo (and resorts around) as that was where I was born to snow and all friends of mind who are into snow are in Sydney. One the other hand, if things go as planned, Mt Buller will become my snow base and I'll call Mansfield home.
     
  44. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    Not at all a certainty. And probably a decent bit of terrain still not fully open. Short answer, it's always a gamble.
     
  45. brink

    brink Hard Yards

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    "Yes it completely sucks booking in advance, but the reality is the big bump from the discount season passes is over, and the accommodation shortage that was an issue in 2012 is past. Given how much it costs to ski in Australia - there is little point in saving a few dollars by buying tickets in advance - given how much you can lose if you get a crap week. IMHO anyone who has flexible work arrangements has little to lose by leaving it to the last minute and booking when a good front is coming through and there's white stuff on the cams."

    But yet I have done it again - booked Hotham with daughters to suit their holidays w/c July 14th. Watching Sochi didn't help. This same week last year in Jindy was a total effing disaster. Now I watch the weather forums like a love sick cow for the next 5 months.
     
  46. rocketboy

    rocketboy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Doesn't Hotham have a snow guarantee - where you can rebook if the slopes are bare. Obviously not a perfect guarantee - but some coverage if the snow gets liquidated or never happens in the first place.
     
  47. SAL

    SAL Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Our old mate Bruce Peterson has done his yearly maximum snow depth prediction for Spencer's Creek (based on "linear trend and some cyclic factors") and he's guesstimating 201.2 cm. See his reasoning here:

    http://www.tafir.com.au/snowdepth.shtml
     
  48. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod

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    Gotta love meaningless statistics.
     
  49. rocketboy

    rocketboy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  50. Rush

    Rush Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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