I hope this one gets off into the net!  This is the second time I am posting today. The first after compiling some interesting information, got hit with another power outage and lost everything.

Some Stats…..

According to DWP *16 inches of Water from this storm up on Mammoth Pass. (un-verified)

There is 26 inches total for the winter.

(Comment)   Whats really interesting is that the 5 Day QPF from HPC called for 14.9 inches pretty much Bulls-eye over Mammoth!

Bob Solima says that we are now normal for mid February…precip wise.

The Mammoth Ranger station Totalled 13.21 inches of water and 9 feet and one inch of snow since the 15th counting today. And speaking with ranger Dan, the snowfall on the 20th was flowing over the can and so there was probably more  than that!  So you can quote 9 feet with ease!

As of 3:40 pm Wednesday….Mammoth Mountain was reporting 11 to 16 foot base and 10 to 18 inches of new!  Snow showers are still occurring…..

My take on the storm:

Once again there are many that are coming up for the reasons why we are having so much snow in a normally dry ENSO state.

Beating the odds……La Nina sometimes are wet!  However…..odds are they are usually dry for Southern Ca. 


1. Contrary to some news broadcasts, this is not an El Nino storm or an El Nino anything! 

2. This was not a pineapple connection, concoctions or the pineapple express.

3. Not all tropical connections are Pineapple Connections.

4. Was this the tropical connection that the Dweebs forecasted for this winter early in the Fall?  No…This tropical connection does not count.

What does it matter? If you a weather junkie, hobbyist or weather purest….you know that tropical connections can occur, from different patterns.

II. The classic Pineapple express or connection is one that usually, but not always occurs during an either weak La Nina, or weak El Nino ENSO years. It is the MJO that forces the amplification, whereby the inter-seasonalsystem moves toward the dateline, forcing enhanced rain fall to move toward Hawaii.  The pattern begins with:

1. Retrogression and amplification of the Long wave high near 130 to 140west. The Upper high builds north into the northern Latts while the polar jet moves over the sharp upper high then diverges to the right and deepens southwest off the BC coast.  At the same time, a split in the jet occurs with the southern branch undercutting the high. The upper flow combines confluently and clobbers central and northern Ca. Additionally….many Pineapple connections bring mostly rain to the Sierra at 8000 feet.  The Classic Pineapple connection was the 1986 February 16th thru 19 storm! Incidentally, most Pineapple connections do not effect Southern Ca!

III. This pattern and tropical connection was forced both by the strong blocking high (over the Dateline, Not AK!) and by an upper anti cyclone over Greenland that retrograded to central Canada. Cross polar flow deepened the Gulf Of AK vortex and depressed the vortex further south. The southern branch of the upper flow from the tropical system south of the block (REX BLOCK) at dateline, into the west coast is now history!

The Dweebs take:

1. The warm water pool that spent all Summer (remember the summer that never was in LA) was located north of Hawaii. The net result were above normal heights north of the Hawaiian Islands, and perpetual troughingalong the west coast coupled with negative SSTA’s along the west coast. (Negative phase PDO) Cold SC Summer.

2. In September something changed!  the Warm water pool shifted west….west of the dateline.  Persistent blocking set up near the dateline for a long time. Sure there was the October singulary when a TS, negatively phased with the westerlies and blew the doors off the Block. The block again reformed.  Lets face it . Blocking is the big signature of La Nina! there has been strong blocking over the NW Atlantic as well.  When you get strong blocking, the westerlies are forced well south (north) of their normal positions. 

3. The northern hemispheric pattern is changing again. The westerlies are progressing east and the block is breaking down over the next  6 to 10 days. The Eastern pacific high will redevelop at 140west.  Possible strong insider short wave just before the New Year!

Weather forecast

Partly cloudy Thursday and Friday with a slight chance of snow late Christmas Day.

Just saw the new HPC QPF for the weekend, 1/2 inch QPF through Monday. Strong but negative tilt short wave hitting California. No orographics in play so small storm with 5 to 10 inches Max at this time.  Sunday is the best day for snow but again…no big deal!……

It looks like its going to get cold the last few days of the year and into the next.  Some snowfall possible…..light to moderate amounts. Low end WSW?   the good news is that we have the best snow on earth and from what I hear…the most as well!

One final Comment…. (Editorial)

The Trees in Mammoth are “still loaded” at the top with a lot of very heavy wet/now frozen solid snow. We were lucky in Mammoth in that the strong winds that developed Sunday occurred for a very short time. Still, when they hit the top loaded pine trees, they toppled many and the results were downed power lines and neighborhoods without power for several days. For many, it was dark and cold! 

Currently, the Pine Trees are still loaded with Snow. If we were to get a strong NW slider into Mammoth at this time, high winds and many more toppled trees would occur that would make Sunday’s late afternoon power outage seem like a slight inconvenience in comparison.

The point is…Edison needs to Bury their High Voltage Power lines in strategic areas, at their cost.  It is not just an inconvenience to us residents, but an expense that is not covered by our local insurance companies, unless it is in the several $1,000s (deductible) for Food Spoilage/other accommodation costs.

Please call Edison and ask them to bury there high voltage power lines in the Town of Mammoth!

Dr Howard and the Dweebs…………………….:-) 

Reference Glossary of Weather Terms
Disclaimer: I have been a hobbyist meteorologist for over 30 years here in the Mammoth area and I do this for my personal enjoyment. The National Weather Service saves lives every day . . . I do not. When making important planning decisions please use information provided by the National Weather Service as they are the most knowledgeable and accurate information source available today.