KHQ's WEATHER AUTHORITY TEAM: What's in store for this winter? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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KHQ's WEATHER AUTHORITY TEAM: What's in store for this winter?

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

KHQ, The Weather Authority - Who can forget the winter of 2008-2009?  Packing a punch and bringing in a record breaking 97 inches of snowfall.  Then, just a year later 2009-2010, hardly any snow, in fact just 14" the entire winter! And, you remember last year, another dry winter with just 17 and a half inches of snow leaving mountain resorts scrambling to hold on to their season and bringing us a fierce fire season.  

So, what's in store for this year?  It's the waters in the Eastern Pacific near the equator that drive our weather patterns.  Colder than average temperatures in the equatorial eastern Pacific call for a "La Nina" and warmer than average temps call for an "El Nino".  The winter season of 2015-2016 is calling for El Nino and a strong one at that, with forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration saying this year’s El Niño is set to be among the strongest on record.  For the Pacific NW that means above average temperatures and below average precipitation. 

Last year many of our mountains saw the lowest snow pack on record, setting us up for a wicked fire season this past Summer.  And while El Nino winters can vary, they typically favor below average snow pack with storms generally tracking south into California.  We have already seen some snow in the mountains and that's good news. It's all about timing and temperatures and we'll look for the bulk of our weather systems to arrive early in the season, hoping for the snow to pile up in the mountains and temperatures to stay cold enough to allow it to stick around. 

After a dismal season last year one group is really hoping for good mountain snow this year, our local ski resorts!  Right now, Look Out Pass and Schweitzer are both hoping to open up on December 5th.  And, Mt. Spokane has got their fingers crossed for a Thanksgiving Day opening.

So, what are your "Weather Authority" teams predictions for Spokane's snowfall this year....

        Keep it tuned to KHQ to see who comes closest!  It's our commitment to keep you ahead of the storm throughout the winter months. We've also put together a winter weather special, providing you with great information on how to keep you and your family safe and warm this winter.  Please join us for "WINTERPROOFING" tonight on our sister station SWX at 7:30 pm. If you can't catch the winter weather special tonight, it will also air on November 9th at 8:30 pm and November 12th at 9:00 pm.  

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