Could this be a bumper year for snow? We all hope so and the good news is that it’s looking odds on that we are heading for an El Niño weather pattern, and not just that some expert climatologists are saying it’s going to be a “Super El Niño”.

The World Meteorological Organisation announced on July 4 that there is a 90% probability of an El Niño event in the second half of this year.

But what is El Niño? El Niño is a climate phenomenon characterized by the periodic warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. It is one phase of the larger El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern, with the opposite phase being known as La Niña, which involves cooler sea surface temperatures in the same region.

El Niño events typically occur irregularly, every two to seven years, and they have significant impacts on weather patterns and climate worldwide. For us skiers it has us salivating for huge snowfalls across the Alps, one of its characteristics.

After the poor start to the ski season last year this will come as a welcome payback. Lower level resorts that may struggle for early and late season snow will be loving these predictions. That’s great news for us skiers as we can benefit from the less expensive resorts and the new experiences that they bring. Places such as Soll, Schladming, Wengen, Zell am See, Alpendorf, Serre Chevalier, Grindelwald, Les Gets, etc could be enjoying conditions that you would expect only of the high peak ski resorts of Val d’Isere, Lech, Aspen, et al.

So next season could be the year to try a resort that previously you may not have considered thank to El Niño.