Winter 2015-2016 was pretty amazing, both from a meteorological as from a personal point of view. Let me show you some interesting statistics from a winter that was epic on one hand, but that can be forgotten quickly on the other. It was a winter in which timing and flexibility were the magic words, but it also was a winter where pretty much every season was represented. Some people had the deepest days of their lives, others had to deal with artificial snow.
Haslinger Sepp was quite wrong with his prediction of the winter of all time. But it wasn't only Mr. Haslinger who was wrong, there were other predictions that weren't that accurate. The US weather institute was in that respect a lot closer to the truth with their prediction that it would be warm and somewhat wet winter in Europe. wePowder doesn't have the supercomputers they have at NOAA and, unfortunately, our office has no garden filled with flora and fauna with a predictive value. We have to work with old-fashioned craftswork and data analysis of the past. That is why we are careful with seasonal forecasts and why we focus on data that's really well-known, but can be useful for us powder chasers. First we researched the influence of El Niño on our winters, where we mainly concentrated on the quantity of fresh snow. And guess what? It could literally go both ways. Then we took it a little further and we found some less known research. We've already mentioned the study of the KNMI in the autumn of 2015. In this study a relationship is established between a (strong) El Niño and a wet spring. It was for this reason that we referred to the Easter period bringing more frequent and deeper powder compared to the Christmas period. Because although we challenge ourselves with seasonal predictions there are some certainties in our winters. The combination of Easter and powder is such a certainty. It's a match nine out of ten times. The vast majority has already stored their gear, but King Winter is still around. It can be spring time in the valleys, but you can expect deep powder on the peaks on a regular basis. But let me show you some statistics from last winter.
Okay, nice statistics, but how good (or bad) was winter 15/16? If you take a closer look at my articles, you'll notice a trend:
Can somebody tell me where skiing and snowboarding begins and summer ends?
Winter arrived on the 3rd of January. It didn't come in with a bang. There was just too much instability in the jet stream. Hot and cold air alternated, so you really had to be flexible to ride some deep powder. We gave you ten tips how to plan your powder trip. The temperature clearly was in a yo-yo phase and these tips helped you to hit the jackpot.
Our patience was put to the test, but all in all it was a good winter. At least if you were willing to do your best. Every so often the nature confronts us with ourselves. Are you willing to go far for your passion? Or do you prefer to blame everyone but yourself that you didn't ride freshies in winter 15/16? It's your choice. It's time to start looking forward to winter 16/17! The keyword will be a La Niña and chances are that it will be significantly colder worldwide. We'll see what happend. We're going into summer mode and we'll be back by the end of August! Let's enjoy summer with some surfing, hiking, biking or whatever makes you happy!
Stay stoked, Morris!