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La Nina/ El Nino?


We get questions all the time if La Nina is good or bad for Silverton. The nice thing about Silverton Mountain is that we normally sit right in the middle of the forecast zone split. This means on an El Nino year we are many times forecast for equal or better chances of above average precip, and typically the same goes for La Nina.

This is one of the reasons why we tend to receive quality snowfall. We can get just as much snow from a storm coming from the Northwest as we can from the Southwest. In fact one of the all time 24hr snow records at the mountain came on a Northwest storm.

In addition to being on the exact split of the northwest/southwest zone, we also lay on the split of the northern San Juan/southern San Juan Mountain forecast zone split. Once again this is in our favor as on La Nina years the Town of Silverton and Durango could be drier but Silverton Mountain just 6 miles to the north may be at average or even above average snowpack. There have been La Nina and El Nino years at Silverton Mountain with over 500” of snow thanks to our microclimate. This microclimate is enhanced by the Uncompahgre Gorge which pumps in extremely localized storms to Silverton Mountain and a few other local areas while neighboring peaks just a mile away may get skunked. Very similar to the Cottonwood Canyon effect…


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