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El Niño – What This Means For Colorado’s Winter

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Perhaps you’ve heard people talking about this El Niño weather phenomenon. If so, this post is for you. Or perhaps you still think El Niño is only referring to a young Spanish boy. If so, this post is definitely for you because you have a lot to learn, my friend.

Before we get into the nitty gritty details of the situation at hand, let’s take a look at what exactly is an El Niño. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an El Niño happens when the temperature of water in the Pacific Ocean is unusually warm. Such abnormality causes unusual weather for us mainlanders.

As you may have guessed, there is an El Niño ramping up in the Pacific as we speak. And it’s not just any run-of-the-mill El Niño. Nope, this guy is big enough to have earned the title of a “Super El Niño” and is even bigger than the most recent one in 1997.

How does this affect us? Basically, we’re in for quite the precipitation this winter. Mountain towns are expected to receive 100-120 percent of their annual snowfall (high five if you’re a skier). The Front Range region is looking at a few heavy snowstorms as well that will likely hit earlier than the normal snowfall. However, weather forecasters admit that the El Niño’s behavior is difficult to predict, so we can’t be completely sure of anything.

The most important thing to do right now is to take the necessary steps to prepare for a rough winter so the El Niño doesn’t catch you flat-footed. If you haven’t already, get your sprinkler system blown out, cover all clay pots and find a cozy shelter for anything lying around the yard that is not equipped for winter.

Other than that, all we can do is wait. Best of luck!


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