What will the snow be like this ski season? When it comes to the long-range weather forecast for winter 2018/2019, we are currently on "El Niño Watch." The World Meteorological Organisation says there is a 70% chance of El Niño developing for the 18/19 ski season.

According to the WMO, climate change is influencing the traditional dynamics of weather events.

Matt McGrath, environmental correspondent at the BBC, describes the El Niño/Southern Oscillation as a natural event that involves fluctuating ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific, which influence the weather all over the world. 

Does El Niño make it easier to make a long-range weather forecast? And what does the occurence of these water flows in the Pacific mean for the Alpine region?

While the effects of an El Niño are never the same twice, it does make it easier to predict weather patterns. An El Niño will have a huge effect on weather and temperatures throughout the Northern Hemisphere. And as for a long-range weather forecast for Europe, an El Niño will almost certainly bring colder temperatures and more snowfall than normal.

McGrath says: "The last El Niño occurred in 2015-16 and impacted weather patterns around the world. Researchers say they are not expecting this new one to be as intense . . . The 2015-16 El Niño was one of the strongest ever recorded, and had an impact on global temperatures, which saw 2016 enter the record books as the warmest year."

For a more indepth explanation of the El Niño effect, watch this video from the Met Office: