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Winter is here- FINALLY!

Winter is here!

The El Nino weather pattern gave us a great warm, long summer, and it was always said we would be in for a delayed start to winter, and wasn’t that the truth.

In mid may the South Island had a big snow fall and all was looking good for the season ahead.

Queenstown snow Outside Sports NZ

Fiona and Kea pre season touring.

Queenstown ski fields opened to schedule and we were stoked to have so many bluebird days, unfortunately a couple of warm weeks later the snow was melting away fast. No storms came through which meant Coronet Peak had to close for a week during winter festival and Treble Cone had to delay their opening day, things we not looking great…..

Eventually we got a couple of weeks where the temperatures dropped allowing some great snow making to be done and the re-opening of Coronet Peak, but still no natural snow.

Coronet Opening Outside Sports NZ

Candice opening day at Coronet Peak.

Until now.

Coronet Peak Outside Sports NZ

Recent Snowfall at Coronet Peak

The Remarkables recent snowfall Outside Sports NZ

Recent Snowfall at The Remarkables.

Over the past week the snow has finally been falling and it looks, and feels like winter is finally here!

Remarkables Outside SPorts NZ

Morning Sky over The Remarkables

As of Monday 18th July, Cardrona has a solid base of 45cm at the base building and 65 at the summit, Treble Cone has a base of 85cm at the base building and 120 at the summit, Remarkables has 40cm at the base building and 75cm at the summit, Coronet Peak has 20cm at the base and 60cm at the summit.

And the forecast shows there is more on its way this weekend!

Elke Ski Touring Outside Sports NZ

Elke Ski Touring the Pisa Range

If the long term predication is correct it’s looking like we could be in for a long, late winter so get prepared for some great skiing all season long!

 

Elmo Cotter

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This is going to be the Winter!

This is going to be the Winter!

New Zealand has just won Destination of the Year in China's 2014-2015 "It's my world" online competition, against 3000 other countries.  Not only did New Zealand take the title for "Destination of the Year" it also took; "Most beautiful town" along with multiple awards in the top ten - including the Best Skiing Destination as Queenstown.

Queenstown and the South Island took winning titles in other categories:

#1 - Most Beautiful Town: Queenstown

#1 - Ultimate Experience: Skydiving in Queenstown

Top 5 - Most Beautiful Self-drive Route: South Island

What more can we say? Come and see if the votes are right for yourself, we agree, and with an El Niño forecasted for this winter, New Zealand is proving to be the choice of destination for skiing over Australia for snow conditions.

El nino winter ski season Outside sports NZ

2015 Outlook

The Outlook for this winter forecasted by Mountain watch is a strong El Nino event; “El Niño is accompanied by high air pressure in the western Pacific and low air pressure in the eastern Pacific”. Reference: Wikipedia

For New Zealand an El Nino means that pressure will tend to be higher to the west, and lower to the east, as in the image below:

El nino winter ski season Outside sports NZ

Positive values to the west of NZ denote higher pressures during El Nino winters. Reference: Mountain Watch

What does this mean for us down South?

The pressure pattern shift will produce more cold southerlies therefore producing a regular moderate snow activity this winter. The cooler winds will mean any precipitation will result in snow and less rain, especially good for locations around Queenstown which are exposed to both the south and the southwest.

El nino winter ski season Outside sports NZ

Left hand image shows winter westerly wind anomalies during El Nino. Positive values denote stronger and/or more frequent westerlies. Middle image shows southerly wind anomalies during El Nino. Positive values denote stronger and/or more frequent southerlies. Right hand image shows temperature anomalies during El Nino. Blue means colder. Reference: Mountain Watch

Pick of the year

Overall, New Zealand is looking good for the 2015 Ski Season; “My pick this year, Q’town for the safe money, with a wild card of a big southerly storm......” Reference: New Zealand Seasonal Snow Outlook- The Grasshopper 3rd April 2015.

So this is it, we’ve waited, could this be the winter? Book now and save any disappointment, not that you would be, after all we are the destination of the year!

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