Thursday Update:

8000ft Temps today will be cooler with highs in the low 40s…..some moderation in temps expected through the weekend with clouds increasing Saturday NGT from the cut off low kicking through So-Cal. The kicker system is modified arctic in nature. This system will bring snow to the pacific northwest Sunday. Its track is a quasi northwest slider for the high country and will be a windy system at that. At the moment, it looks pretty dry but cannot rule out some snow showers this far south….Sunday/Night.  This system is the 1st part of the pattern change that will hopefully bring snow to the high country of the Central Sierra by the end of next week. It will be rather windy Sunday/Night, especially over the upper elevations. Monday will be quite chilly with highs in the low to mid 30s in town. As the upper High builds into the Bering Sea and becomes cut off….the supporting upper ridge progresses toward the west coast for a return to milder weather from Wednesday the 18th, through as late as possibly the 20th.  Thereafter, we will just have to wait a bit longer and see how it all unfolds. Next update Monday/Tuesday or sooner if it warrants.

From Wednesday:

It’s a beautiful Wednesday in the high country. Temperatures were in the low to mid 20s at the village this morning. Yesterdays high was 51. No significant winds either. There is a small short wave that is moving through the Great Basin this morning. It is associated with a plunge of Arctic air through Montana, much of which will slide to the east of the divide. However, some will spill west through the eastern portions of the Great Basin. It is associated for the most part with a surface high of 1040MB. The NE surface gradient will give the sierra crest some gusty winds today into Thursday and bring between 5 and 8 degree of cooling today. Temps will slowly moderate upwards through the weekend. Again…I expect today to be a cooler day with highs in the lower 40s. Additionally, The Dweebs have noticed an inverted surface trof along the south coast tomorrow and so a mild Santana is probably in order for So-Cal later tomorrow into Friday.  Warmer days for you folks (Thursday and Friday). Southern Ca probably has the bragging rights of the entire CONUS for December and January to this point for the best weather.


A cut off low has formed at the west end of a weather front that sheered off to the east over Northern Ca yesterday. The short wave split, leaving an upper cut off over the Central Ca coast to drift southward. That small feature will get the boot into So-Cal Sunday spreading some high clouds into our area over the weekend and possibly a few showers for So-Cal.


Long Range Outlook:

The upper pattern over the North Pacific according to the extended models are becoming more in line with each other….and may I add finally!

Even the Climate runs this AM have turned wet for the Northern and Central Sierra starting in the middle of the 3rd week of January and continuing through the 1st week of February. The models were notably cooler in temps the first week of February so heights are expected to come down for the Ground Hog.

In that we are getting closer to the change, confidence is swinging to a wet pattern for the Northern Sierra and a less wet pattern for the Central Sierra. The immediate pattern change will be associated with a coast to coast zonal flow pattern with the Front Left Exit region of the upper jet focused upon Northern Ca., where as the Rear Rt entry region will effect the Central and Southern Sierra. Hence the pattern will be milder for the Central and Southern sierra with higher snow levels. Noting at the beginning of the pattern, the 180hr gfs has -5c at 700mb with thicknesses at 1000mb-500mb at 558DM. Hence the snow level may begin lower initially until the air mass moistens a bit later down the Rd. Will update more on snow levels later. Well see how the 700MB temps performs within this pattern and the Dweebs will highlight that later this week and into the next. In the Winter, forecasters use a combination of 700mb temps and 1000-500mb thickness as well as the Oakland sounding in a Zonal Flow to determine snow levels for Mammoth Lakes.

The Dweebs are expecting this pattern to bring several feet of heavy wet base building snow between the 18th and the end of the month and into early February, based upon this mornings guidance.

Be sure to get up over Tioga Pass this week and snap some photos. Most likely, you will never be able to do that again in your lifetime, in the middle of January.

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.