Scary NOAA Charts & Graphs!"/>
El Nino? La Nina? Make up your damn mind already! (Sorry, our blog software doesn't do diacritical marks.) September and now October have proven to be remarkably mild and dry; and there's hardly been a trace of precip that would fall as snow in the mountains. Local weather guru Cliff Mass says we're tipping toward El Nino, but it's still in snow-neutral mode, so there's no predicting if we'll be skiing by Thanksgiving.
Per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, let's recall that "El Nino represents the warm phase of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle," and that La Nina "refers to the periodic cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific that occurs every 3 to 5 years or so." Are we clear? If not, consider the following (also courtesy of NOAA's awesome Web site):