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Snowy forecast for this winter? Ullr Fest might help, El Nino might really help.

El Niño has a good chance of bringing a lot of snow to Colorado this year
El Niño has a good chance of bringing a lot of snow to Colorado this year 02:25

From the excited (and sometimes intoxicated) cheers from the Ullr Fest attendees in Breckenridge, you'll hear a lot of the same thing; "Bring on the snow." But what kind of snow year can we expect this season? 

Let's get this out of the way before we talk long range forecasts. Anything outside of 10 days is more based on yearly trends than any current data according to our First Alert Meteorologists here at CBS News Colorado, so the short answer is... we don't know for sure. But what we do know is that the trends for a good snow year are on the way, and it could be awesome (if snow is your thing).

CBS News Colorado Meteorologist Alex Lehnert explained to your reporter in the mountains Spencer Wilson while we've been in La Niña pattern the last few years (polar air is pushed from the north down, bringing dryer weather) we've entered an El Niño year. 

With that comes warmer, wetter air pushed up from the south, and IF the jet streamlines upright, that could bring that moisture to Colorado (and theoretically snow along with it!)

Lehnert said we're already seeing the effects of El Niño.


"Just in the last couple of days, it's been uncharacteristically warm by December standards," Lehnert said. "But it's more nuanced than that."

More moisture doesn't always equate into more snow, and the moisture might not even make it to parts of Colorado. Lehnert points to the northern mountain ranges as spots that might get skipped if El Niño dumps some fat wet snow on us, where as the southern mountain ranges could get hammered. 

It just depends on having the right ingredients at the right time with the right temperature, with the right winds. 

"It all comes down to what is the weather doing that day," Lehnert said. "How is the pattern shaping up in that moment for the snow to fall? Sure, all the ingredients might be there, but Mother Nature might throw a curveball."

Still there's hopeful looks on the horizon, Summit County ski resorts like A-Basin and even ones nearby like Loveland are already on track to pass average snowfall records for this season. 

Snow pack might have been lacking, sitting somewhere around 61% of normal for the mountains, but our last round of snow bumped that figure up to 85% with more snow on the way. 

All that's left to do is put on your horned helmet, grab a friend or two, and toast to the Norse god of snow and skiing, Ullr. Maybe it will do some good. 

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