Ski season in the Northern Hemisphere is coming up, but most experts aren't willing to make firm predictions on how much snow will be available and where, in part due to the weather system called El Niño.
Most experts believe that significant parts of the U.S. will see more ski area snow than in most years, but the forecast isn't unanimous, and the forecast for Europe is even more uncertain. The best that many experts will hazard is that there will be a lot more or a lot less.
Ski areas in Utah are already seeing heavy snowfall; on the other hand, Australia's last open ski resort, Perisher, closed two months early after a Southern Hemisphere winter that had higher than usual temperatures.
El Niño (translated from Spanish to “the boy”) is a climate pattern that develops from the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean close to the Americas. It happens randomly every two to seven years and typically lasts nine to 12 months, usually peaking in the winter months. It's usually followed by La Niña, the opposite phenomenon.