January 4th update:

The strato warming event in process is certainly effecting the NH polar regions with the forecasted movement of both PVs. The Dweebs are watching changes that are supported by the GFS ensemble means this morning as well as the ECMWF…

The movement of the large upper low/polar vortex over Alaska back to Eastern Siberia allows for a significant ridge to develop over the Bering sea and Alaska in the 11-15 day period. This ridge builds into Alaska and far Western Canada and also ensures that the vortex over Eastern Siberia can not progress into Alaska. This is a significant change in the pattern to last December. Additionally, the trend in the phase of the AO and NAO is downward toward neutral by mid month.  That as compared to the super positive readings of December and November. More later…..

JAN 2nd:

It’s the 2nd day of January and Tioga Pass is still open. That in itself is a record breaker going back to 1933. High temps were in the mid 80s in the San Gabriel Valley in So-Cal New Years Day. Mammoth Lakes had highs in the low 50s….40s on Mammoth Mtn.

A good point to be made is that Mammoth Mt has got some of the best skiing on Man Made snow of anywhere in California and probably the west. The pacific NW has a higher base, however, the storms have been either rain or snow producers. To the point…..Mammoth Mt has 17 lifts operating and over 45+ runs open. They will remain in full operation. Skiing is always better in the morning because of the fresh corduroy so get up on the hill early!

The forecast is for little change in the pattern this week. Highs through Thursday will continue in the 40s on Mammoth Mt and low 50s in town. Over night lows in the 20s.


Upper ridge over the intermountain west will flatten today as a system moves through the pacific NW. This will have the effect of kicking up winds over Mammoth Mt today, 25 to 35 with stronger gusts possible over the ridges.  The mean ridge position over the far west Re-Amps again Tuesday night and sets up another weak off shore flow pattern for Southern Ca…..and so more 80s possible mid week for Southern Ca. Mono County will experience a bit stronger inversions by mid week. Expect little change in temperatures at 8000 ft through Thursday.

By Thursday, the upper ridge begins to flatten again and redevelop a bit further west. This will have the effect of setting up a brief NW flow aloft pattern and bring cooler air back into the Sierra. Although this is still a dry pattern, A good shot of cooling is expected to lower high temps down into the 40s by Friday and nighttime lows into the teens. The colder and a drier air-mass will create better conditions for snow making just prior to the weekend. Then by the 8th, anticyclonic flow aloft will move into Northern California strengthening inversions with warming temps at 8K ft back into the 50s by weeks end.

Now….the longer range…..

With much anticipation in the week 2 period of a pattern change, the models are at best chaotic in there resolution.  The GFS is all over the place in where they redevelop the upper eastern pacific ridge to…..and what they do with with the remains of the current ridge. So yes….there is a pattern change going to happen. However at this time it is not clear how it will set up.

MJO is diving into the circle of death once again. The AO is trending negative which is good, and so the dam of cold air currently over the pole will get the chance to move south in the next couple of weeks. The climate models have not been updated since the 31st, assuming because of the holidays. The Dweebs believe that we will know a lot more by the end of this week.  Keep good thoughts but stay away from the 1000 inch Jinx!


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.