What a Season!  Mammoth Mt is reporting 311 inches of fallen snow for the ski season of 2010/2011! The annual average is 343, so were less then 3 feet away from a normal ski seasons worth of snowfall and its only January 3rd!

The Past Storm:

First half the forecast was on the money…the 2nd half a bust!

Systems that are not forecasted to traverse across the Sierra are the ones that are most difficult to forecast snow fall wise along the Eastern slopes of the Sierra.  Mammoth Mt did pick up between 1 and 2 feet with the town 6 inches + between the 1st & 2nd.  The snowfall was primarily warm advection  snowfall by which relatively warmer air over riding a colder air mass was then lifted to create snowfall. The big active band of heavy precip did not make it over the crest yesterday!

The pattern over the next 5 days is highlighted by the redevelopment of the Greenland Block…(-NAO)


1.  An upper low off the Southern Ca Coast becoming cut off from the westerlies as an upper high builds over the top of it into California.

2.  An easterly flow will be the dominate pattern here in the Mammoth area beginning later tomorrow Tuesday insuring fair but cold weather until about Thursday/Friday when  HT 500 heights come up into the 570s and we loose our chilly easterly flow. We then may get up into the low 40s by Friday.  The off shore upper cut off gets ejected eastward Saturday and will become a major player in the weather across the south-southeastern CONUS. (ice storm?)

3.  Model skill seems to be decent into the weekend when some sort of inside slider drops into the Great Basin Sunday. As a result, no doubt there will be cooling Sunday into the early part of the following week. Possibly some snow showers as well.


4. Big questions arrives for the following week with how the big Greenland Block which becomes more of an north central Canadian block will effect the upstream high latitude pattern.  The long range models are all over the place with the evolution of the Alaskan Block and how the Greenland/Canadian Block relates to it. This mornings 12z GFS week two maps are so out to lunch its pitiful. The ECMWF still suggest the possibility of  a wet lower latitude active pattern which would effect California sometime between the 10th and the 15th. This is certainly pushed back several days from from the models earlier forecasts…However,  it is still there and a possibility.

More Later……………………….:-)

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.