Will this year’s hurricane season mean a snowy winter?
Historical data supports a theory that an active hurricane season precedes a colder following winter. That could be encouraging news for winter sports enthusiasts in 2018 following the storms we experienced in 2017. However, it is just a theory and the volume of data doesn’t allow any conclusive predictions. Your best bet is to combine these two techniques in order to give us all the best chance of an Alpine powder-fest in 2018…
a) Educate yourself and spread the word to feed the collective consciousness. “If we think it, it will be.” – A Wise Guy, once.
b) Snow dance to Ullr like Fred Astaire after half a dozen Jagerbombs.
6 Reasons why more hurricanes could mean more snow
1. Hurricanes upwell colder ocean water towards the surface, nullifying some of the effect of the Gulf Stream which brings the usual temperate (warm and wet) weather patterns towards Northern Europe.
2. Increased storm frequency in the mid-Atlantic brings more cold water towards the East which compounds the effects of the cooler water.
3. The effect of prevalent hurricane activity in the Autumn accelerates the onset of winter and allows the cold to take effect sooner.
4. Cold fronts in northern Europe, Scandinavia and the Siberian Arctic are able to penetrate further south earlier in the winter season and more frequently due to hurricane activity shifting the gulf stream south.
5. Hurricanes transport masses of warm air into the higher Atlantic latitudes causing blocks in the ‘normal’ gulf stream weather pattern which keeps Europe mild for longer in the early part of Winter.
6. Magic and stuff.
Even with all the science, this does not necessarily mean more snow. Siberian air from the North (you know those horrible biting cold winds that freeze your nostril hairs?) is much drier due to traveling over predominantly land rather than ocean as the Gulf Stream does. And the clouds travelling south lose most of their moisture before reaching the Alps due to relief precipitation (dust off your old Geography textbooks…).
As we know, one of the main factors of a bit of a pants Alps winter in 16/17 was the fact that it rained a lot. The base snow that had built up early in the season thawed more frequently and conditions suffered as a result. Apart from in the high Alpine where it always snows, most resorts had to work pretty hard with their snow cannons and stiff upper lips in order to promote conditions for skiing and snowboarding.
So what we need is the perfect storm of this ‘hurricane effect’ cold winter, coupled with regular high pressure weather patterns whipping in from the Atlantic which bring the precipitation. It’s not too much to ask is it? Just to be on the safe side, please see a) and b) above.