Another dry week ahead is expected for California while week two models still beat with the promise of some snowfall during the 1st week of February…..

Sunday AM:

Storm for later next week still looks good….a foot plus up on the hill…..GFS has it starting earlier like Thursday….ECMWF is wetter with about 1.5 inches of water EQ.

Stay tuned…will update daily…………..


The Dweeber…………………….:-)


Saturday PM

That’s it!  I have heard this silver bullet story again today….The media is quoting some climatologist saying that the warm water pool in the Gulf of AK is causing the drought.  If I hear this one more time I am going to be ill!

I do not believe in the -PDO and Warm water pool Gulf of AK drought connection and neither should you! It is another knee jerk, silver bullet answer for a system or structure that is wagging the dog from much further away then a few thousand miles.

If Air Sea coupling was really working in the Eastern Pacific, we would not continue to have the kind of weather that we have In January. It would Cold and drier than normal not warm and drier than normal.

1. Warm Water   SEE:

This warm water pool near 150W and 42 north is usually there! It is usually found between 160W and 150W. If it was really coupling, the upper high would be just to the east of it and a long wave trof would be over the far west. IE (30 degrees east of the anomaly) The -PDO which in this neck of the woods equates to a colder N/S west coast current, has weakened recently. Colder SSTA supports trofing not ridging aloft.  So in effect, if that was driving the pattern, it would be cold over the far west and showery!  Is it cold and showery? California has been setting high temperature records for the past two weeks!

Air sea coupling is important, However,

1. Did this guy realize that the MJO in phase 6 often teleconnects to ridging in the NE pacific? How about the fact that this is a La Nada year with little if any support to southern stream enhancement!  That the QBO in its positive phase is much more convincing for west coast dryness in La Nada years then the -PDO/Warm Gulf of AK connection.

Take a deep breath!!!!!!!

The most exciting news out there is that significant Kelvin Wave action is taking place that may have greater benefits toward the development of a significant El Nino for Next Fall/Winter……

Check this out and then check you pulse!

Now that’s what I’m talking about!







Saturday AM

A storm is still on track beginning early Friday AM next week. This looks like the potential to be a moderate precip producer. This means that it could dump a foot between Friday Am and Saturday AM on Mammoth Mtn   Although this is a wag at this time….. I will update; weighing in each day now on the progress of the pattern change into next week.  As far as the pattern goes, it will be in transition (retrogression day+8 thru day+11) …….eventually turning much colder week 2.  (Post super bowel)


Fair and dry with high cloudiness on and off the next few days….  Highs in the 40s today then 50s next week up until Wednesday. Winds will increase Thursday and Thursday night with a Chance of snow developing by Friday.  This will be a cold storm, so expect snow and not rain.


At this time I do not see a major change to a wet pattern for California.


Dr Howard and the Dweebs………………..:-)




Friday PM:  5:45PM

The pattern changes are beginning to get into the later part of the week one period and it still appears that we’ll get some light snowfall next weekend. Like between the 31st and the 3rd.  Is this finally the end of the drought pattern?  I say no…..Just a break for the time being…  However, this break may allow some important snow to fall later next week.

Looking at the MJO it is strongly in phase 6 with no sign of moving. To me that locks in the north East Pacific Ridge with down stream effects of more arctic shots…however, as time goes on these shots will drop into the US further and further west as retrogression of the eastern pacific ridge takes place.  I am not sure how far west the ridge retrogrades but it may get west enough for some pretty cold weather out west later week two.

From the CPC::

Persistent convection near the Eastern Maritime Continent and parts of the West Pacific could have important impacts on the extratropics from the North Pacific downstream into North America. In recent observations, an extension of the East Asian jet stream has been observed, consistent with convective forcing from the West Pacific over the past week to ten days. Therefore, the forecast pattern of tropical convection favors continued ridging in the Northeast Pacific over the next few weeks.


So far the southern stream is still very weak over the eastern pacific. This is probably due to La Nada. A strong southern stream would break loose the westerlies into CA if we had a moderate El Nino. So this is unlikely to happen.



Friday AM Update:

The weak upper low that back doored us yesterday is now off shore and moving north while some high level subtropical moisture was pulled up in its wake. They are just high clouds for the most part and will not produce precipitation.  The clouds should thin out during the day as the upper circulation off-shore, pulls north.

Highs today will be in the mid 40s with lows at night in the single digits, teens and twenties depending upon your elevation. The coldest temps will be in the valleys like Bridgeport. Warmer days with clear sky’s will return Saturday and the trend of warming continuing through the middle of next week. Expect daytime highs about 60 by Wednesday and again Thursday.

It is what happens after Thursday, what is on the minds of most, as we finish the end of the month and begin the next. The longer range models are all about building the upper high to some extent NW toward Alaska with both retrogression and a weakening of the heights in the mean along the west coast. This leads to the possibility of a westerly break through of energy for the central west coast between the 31st and the 2nd. ( IE Super Bowl Weekend)

The Dweebs should have a better handle on it by next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Of Note…At this time there is no forecast confidence of how much precipitation we will get at this time…..


Stay Tuned………………………………………….>>>>


The Dweeber……….:-)


While near record high temperatures occurred in the Owens Valley this week and short-term models spend their time determining how much warming or cooling is expected each and every day going forward, a pattern of transition is expected the end of the month into the first week of February. The Dweebs have been reluctant to stick their necks out and say that the change will bring snowfall. However, I think that it is not unreasonable to believe that before the end of that 1st week of February, that at least some snowfall will bless our area with light to possibly moderate amounts.


Expect high cloudiness today due to a small weather system back dooring the sierra as it moves east to west off shore. The system will head up the coast toward Canada Friday.  Some light snow showers or flurries may occur tonight.   It will be about 10 degrees cooler today and slightly warmer tomorrow.  Expect strong inversions to return by the end of the weekend. Some gusty winds will likely continue over the upper elevations the next few days.

In case you have not noticed…the days are getting longer and the sun is in return to equinox.  For this winter, this is not a bad thought as I have hopes that the current pattern that is entrenched,  will get broken up by an increasing amount of differential heating as the North American continent slowly begins to warm in February.  Breaking the legs of drought structure is a concept that is simple in thought. However, every month has its own climatology and is effected differently by the variables of Air/Sea/Solar/tropical convection/snow cover and the upper level wind systems that come together for a single days weather.

Sensible Weather:

The weekend will be a fair one,  with highs in the upper 40s for the most part ,then low to mid 50s by mid-week.  Nights will be in the upper teens tonight…then moderate back into the 20s this weekend.

By next week toward the Super Bowl weekend we should have much better visibility from a weather perspective on how this new pattern will affect California Weather. Will it dumps for days?….or will we just get wind and light snow……Stay tuned….

Although the next Sunday is Super Sunday…..out in the west The Ground Hog will take center stage…after all, is he not the greatest prognosticator?


Dr Howard and the Dweebs……………………….:-)

Upper Ridge to Remain Entrenched Over the West Coast for the Next Week…..A Small Upper Short Wave will bring some Cooling and Breeze Next Thursday/Friday……Comments about the Pattern…….

9:30am Wednesday:

GFS flips wet again with mini AR for Central Ca. during week 2.

Don’t buy into anything until it gets well into Week 1


Wednesday AM 7:30AM

Following up on Last night’s post below…..It is becoming more clear that the upper ridge currently in the PNA region will retrograde to about 130W to 140W. This puts us back into a cooler pattern with NW flow aloft where by weather systems will mostly drop there precipitation in the Pacific NW, similar to the month of December and early January. Sensibly…….It will turn cooler and breezier. However, thus far the “Change” in the pattern for the end of the month of January is still a dry one into the first week of February.  Sorry about this but the Dweebs are all about telling it as we see it…..

At 8:30am today……Just has a peak at the Coupled Forecast Systems (CFS v2) weeks 3 and 4.  That begins the 5th of February….  It is encouraging from a climate or inter-seasonal perspective. However, until the Dweebs see the changes in the week 1 period, it is just more hope for change.



11:15PM Tuesday:

The GFS continues its back peddling from any significant storminess in the California weather pattern.  It will be interesting to follow the ECMWF ensembles. Although its ensembles still show the upper jet sagging south, I have noticed that there is a trend the past two days in the deterministic runs of a drier scenario for short waves entering the state. If this trend continues, then the ensembles will also follow.

Although no one is talking about it and I have mentioned it several times….The MJO has been almost non-existent this winter in modulating the westerlies in a positive manner for California.  At the moment the forecast for the MJO is to remain moderate to strong in phases 6 and 7.

This means that tropical forcing is stuck in the Far Western Pacific.  This in itself favors the forecast pattern of continued ridging in the Northeast Pacific over the next two weeks which is typically dry for California. SEE:

Also See the MJO Phase space> It is clearly in Phase 6:

Now here is NCEP forecast for the MJO:


With the MJO supporting the NE pacific upper ridge it will be difficult to get undercutting without a strong subtropical jet more associated with an EL Nino year.  I am becoming more concerned that the pattern change in the making will not be all that supportive to anything resembling wet for the next 1 to 2 weeks or as long as the MJO remains in phases 6 and 7.  This is not to say that we can not get a small storm or two in here, but a major one does not look likely in my opinion.

Again, I will be watching the ECMWF ensembles which have thus far been the most supportive in the up coming pattern change for some beneficial systems. Later next week will be critical for us to see follow through for the changes well advertised in week 2…to move up to week 1.


Saturday 1:55PM

Don’t buy into the new 12z GFS….Its another head fake. Stick with the ECMWF…

IE; Buy the System coming through the ridge……not carving a new trof out along the west coast.


I think that most folks are experiencing a weather type today, unremembered in their lifetime. The only year that is similar here in Mammoth is the winter of 1977 with 3.6 inches up on the pass.  As the days click by, more records will fall for dryness….  On a bright note,  this is probably a worst case scenario for businesses in our area due to the lack of snow. So if you’re a Mammoth Lakes business owner, this is the year you will want to plan for in a drought year. Take note of the numbers and plan your future accordingly.  Knowing what your bottom line is, is always helpful for future planning. Last year was also a dry year, but we received most of our snow early in December and the skiing was Fab for the holidays.

Todays business climate is far better this year compared to the Winter of 1977, when Mammoth Mt did not have snow making. Economics are much better today than that January and February.

Mammoth Mountain continues to make snow on many of the trails, and for the most part, skiing has been good considering. The improved technology of today’s snow making systems,  that can literally make snow with the ambient temperature above freezing is a big reason.  You may say that is impossible to make snow when it is above freezing but it is the truth.  It has more to do with the amount of moisture in the air than temperature. As an example, you can still make snow when the temperature is in the mid 30s as long as the air mass is dry enough. The key induce is something called the wet bulb temperature. It has to do with the amount of moisture in the air (RH) VS the ambient temperature and air pressure.  The key temperature for the guys up on the hill is a reading of (28F- wet) or colder.  They can make snow when it is 28f wet even when the Ambient temp is in the mid 30s. Again….The pressurized spray comes out of those guns, combines with the dry air and can make snow, when temps are above freezing.  So the physics behind snow making is improving, leading to good snow coverage over night. If you have not tried some of the fresh corduroy in the morning on the runs of Mammoth Mountain this year then you are doing yourself a disservice.

Mammoth Lakes still has plenty of Winter and Spring to go, to make a sizable dent in the water year between now and April 1st. Although the odds “against this winter” coming back to anything resembling a normal winter is increasing. More than likely, it will begin to snow again during the month of February as even during the Winter of 77, it began to snow in mid February.  Guaranteed? Of course not…..but when your in the bottom 5 percentile for precipitation of January… can only keep rolling and hitting craps so many times in a row.

Once again, there are discussions abound all over the Net about what is causing the drought. I will tell you in my opinion, that there is no single silver bullet.  You could gather up every index out there, relating to Air Sea coupling, AAM, combined with Mountain Torque, the direction of the Strato Winds and even the Solar puzzle…..there are probably still variables out there that have not yet been discovered.

We do know that certain indexes like ENSO can play a dominant role when they are strong enough in this particular region.   However, in this region, when ENSO is neutral, other variables combined will rise up and become more of an influence. No doubt this year will become a research project for climate scientists with something called the scientist method that will take time. However, be careful of believing the quick knee jerk reaction reasoning’s.  By nature, we all want quick answers. Accordingly I am always concerned about being right for all the wrong reasons.  So I’ll take my own pill as a hobbyist knowingly that it is a placebo and thus worthless without the proof of the method of science.

Weather to remain warmer then normal and precipitation free through next Tuesday with just some high clouds Saturday Ngt and Sunday…..Change in the pattern coming up by 1st week of February…..

Friday PM Update:


Flip Flopping Models a good sign that a change in the pattern is still in the works by end of January.  Both Ensemble Control’s of the 12z ECMWF and GFS Still indicated a change in the pattern the end of the month.  Both have a System coming through the State….

So hang in there and try not to flip-flop emotionally with the models as well


Dr Howard and the Dweebs…………………:-)



Friday AM:

New ECMWF model continues the trend of a significant storm before the end of the month. The American models have it as well but apparently the American models are not yet as bullish.  The timing is a moving target. Now possibly around the  28th of January.

What’s positive about the change is that it would be a strong system out of the west which would be moisture leaden.  In that the Dweebs are talking about 2 weeks away, it is not in the basket for sure,  but there are signs that are positive.  The ECMWF control model is showing about 18 to 24 inches of snow for the sierra.  But again this is very preliminary and subject to change either way. The model ensembles are building a case for support.


More Later……


12:00 Noon Update:


Just a quick note to let our fellow Dweebs know that a weak short wave will make an attempt to more through Southern CA about the 23rd.   It will be weakening, both as it moves to the coast and on shore.  With relevance to our area, I do expect much. anywhere from nothing to a few inches. This is the way it looks based upon both 12Z Thursday runs.

It should be noted that the mean ridge position has not changed.  It is just that the bulk of the upper heights pull to the far north over AK for a weakness or weak split branch of the Westerlies to move to the south of us.  This track mainly favorites the Tehachapi’s and Southern CA Mts.  Although both EC and GFS has it on this mornings 12Z run,  this is not a wet pattern and only appears to be a singularity in the sense that it is one short wave.

More Later……


The Dweeber………………………….:-)



While California precipitation records fall by the wayside…..Mammoth Mountain continues to make snow and freshen up the runs that need it most. Fresh corduroy was generated on Chairs, 3, 4, 5 and 2 the last two nights where it was needed most.  Contrary to some rumors, Mammoth Mt still has plenty water to make more snow when needed.

The upper pattern from the eastern pacific into the Great Basin shows a strong +PNA with a modestly negative AO and a fairly neutral NAO which is surprising for the amount of meridianal Flow expected east of the Rockies the coming two weeks.  The MJO is moderate in Phase 6 which is helping to support the existing pattern. The MJO will eventually shift into phase 7 then weaken rapidly which does not support under cutting of the westerlies.  With that said, there will be retrogression at the end of the month in the long wave features as forecasted by all global models. So there is going to be a pattern change as well.

Even though interseasonal models are suggesting that weeks 3 and 4 are wet as we begin February, there is no confidence this far out based upon persistence.  More time will be needed with more forecast model runs in week’s one and two for confidence to what the new pattern will look like.  The Dweebs have always said that we could go from one dry pattern to another. Or, we may have a significant change to wet long enough to get some serious water.

From the Dweebs perspective, as long as the MJO remains in phases 6 and 7, it is unlikely that a break through of the westerlies will occur. Yesterdays ECMWF 12Z run was pretty exciting, as it showed a vengeful amount of energy under-cutting the upper ridge that retrogrades west. However, there was no follow through with the EC 00z Wednesday Run.

So we are at a wait and see point of view…..Again it looks like a significant change will occur in the pattern but whether it will be a wet one is unknown at this time.

In the meantime, 500mb heights will remain high over the far west generating both high temperature records and 100+ year old precipitation records for many areas of the state.  Some of these records go back to the 19th century.


Temperatures in the Bishop area will be in the low to mid 70s the next few days which are record, to near record highs. The current mid winter warm spell will peak Thursday and Friday here in Eastern Ca.


Forecast:  Mammoth Lakes…..Dry through Tuesday. High temps Mid to upper 50s through Saturday. Lows the next 3 to 5 days at 8000,  27 to 32. Light breezes from the North.

Outlook:   Saturday night and Sunday’s skies are expected to have high cloudiness with slightly cooler temperatures.  Next chance of a weather system that will bring more extensive cloudiness, cooling and the slight chance of showers is about mid-week next week. (Around the 23rd)

Next Update Friday……


Dr Howard and the Dweebs……………………….:-)