Weathermen and climatologists are calling for a “La Nina” weather pattern this winter. La Nina is a product of cooler water temperatures in the adjacent Pacific Ocean. Well, I can tell you firsthand that we are in a La Nina condition. Satellite generated sea surface temperature maps are one thing, but witnessing it is another.
The last 6 or 7 years I have spent time on the Pacific during the late summer and early fall, mostly off southern Baja California. Having just come back, I can tell you the water temperatures are significantly colder. For instance, one of my favorite (and frequented) locations is almost 200 miles off of the coast and down about three-quarters of the Baja peninsula. In late August the water temperature was 77 degrees. In the past few years the early October temps are typically higher than the August temps. Two weeks ago it was 71 degrees, and three days later when we left it was 68 degrees. A little further down and technically in the Tropics, the water temps along the coast were higher, but not quite like the past few years. And one point along the coast about halfway back up Baja we hit water that was 58 degrees. La Nina.
For Mammoth, La Nina can be ambiguous. Climatologists say we’re at the dividing line between what should be wetter conditions to the north and dryer to the south. My recollection is that La Nina winters bring rain to town, snow on the Mountain, and they kill Tahoe because of their lower elevation. That equates to a good base, not a lot of shoveling, not many epic powder events but good wind-blown snow (the wind is howling here in Mammoth.) It sure feels like winter.
Meanwhile, there are sales on the board. Sales prices are down, but there are buyers at these lower price points. They appear to be solid transactions. Now let me sort through this pile of mail, email and messages and see if I can jump in and get back to business.