Archive for December, 2013

Strong Inversions setting up over the Eastern Sierra as Warm Air Aloft moves in……Mono Lake Ice Fog leading to Pogonip Conditions for Lee Vinning and Mono City….Next weather will be about December 19th…….

Yes folks…it that time of the year…..In December after an Arctic outbreak you often get strong temperature inversions…..This leads to poor air quality as wood smoke begins to collect on a daily bases.   Temperature inversions also help to create the beautiful Pogonip often found in deep valleys like Long valley and or around Mono Lake.  However….Sometimes this condition will last for weeks in December and January. When it does, it can cause the infamous “Mono Lake Head Bangers Syndrome”. This condition can effect anyone living in Mono City or Lee Vinning. The only cure is to listen to a double Album of AC/DC or Metallica. If that doesn’t work, you must seek higher ground. The Syndrome is diagnosed by an excessive amount of irritability, between husbands and wife’s after days of no sun.

On a serious note…..

Its all about the inversion….Daytime highs will climb each day except Friday as a dry front moves through. No guarantee the front will be strong enough to mix us out.   Nighttime lows for the valleys will be in the single digits, teens and sub zeros…. At elevations at and above 8,000ft Night time lows will be in the teen and 20s then rising to the 30s Wednesday. Daytime highs will be in the upper 30s and 40s and possibly low 50s


Here are the freezing levels at 4:00PM Each Day this week.

Tuesday;         9800ft

Wednesday    9400ft

Thursday;     10,200ft

Friday;          10,200ft

Saturday      12,900ft

Sunday        13,300ft


Storm Track to stay well to the north the next 7 days.  However, both global models show the next system to effect our area will be between the 18th and the 20th. It is another system associated with an amplifying upper high into the Alaska pulling down very frigid air over the far west.  As always, the big question will be (“Will it have an over water trajectory?)  Since the exact track is critical….The jury will be out on this one until next weekend at the earliest.


The Dweeber…………………………:-)


Sierra Storm dropped 10 to 14 inches of Powder on Mammoth Mtn….Snow Showers will Continue Today…..It will be Milder by Mid Week……..

Sunday AM Update:

Cold……Cold…… Yesterday’s high temp briefly peaked at 15 degrees. However most of the day ranged between 10 to 14 degrees. Winds in town were clocked 25 to 30mph with gusts to 52 MPH. Hence wind chill’s ranges from -5 to -15 all day!

Early Sunday morning temps were colder then a snakes vest button with -0 to the -35. Anchorite, NV near Hawthorn, NV had an unofficial low of -35 this morning, Bridgeport -14, Cold springs up north of Stead NV on the California side -22, -19 at Tuolumne Meadows and the list goes on and on. Mammoth Lakes had an official -8 this morning in town while the Mammoth AP had -8. Crestview -13 and Bodie -26F.    Expect another cold night tonight.


This upcoming week the upper elevations will recover temperature wise as the freezing level goes up to 10,500 feet by Wednesday afternoon. Temperature inversions along with a decline in air quality will result. Those residents with out EPA approved wood burning devises should pay attention to local advisories on wood burning Tuesday and Wednesday of the upcoming week.

A change in the pattern to a dry one seems evident in the medium and long range charts, as heights rise over the eastern pacific in response to the break down of the block in the G of Ak   (-epo) and the redevelopment of the (-wpo) the block that will set up for a while in the vicinity of the dateline then westward.   Again this will cause height rises and along with that,  the return of the upper jet to the pacific northwest and BC.

Milder days and Dry weather looking likely in the weeks to come.



Dr Howard and the Dweebs…………………..:-)




Quick recap this AM…..Much of the snow in town has blown and drifted.  Some areas have 5 inches while others 2.5 feet in drifts.  Winds clocked to 60 miles per hour buffeted the local neighborhood’s of Mammoth Lakes at 5:00am. Winds are still in the 30 to 40 MPH class in town while upper elevations….winds over 100 MPH. The upper jet max is in the vicinity and will keep the winds going all day. They should gradually diminish later today and tonight some.  There is one more little feature coming down in the upper flow early Sunday Am but no one is talking about it and will probably be benign.  So for now…snow showers will be in the forecast today and possibly tonight as well.  A cold blustery pattern for the time being….Highs in the teens and lows -0s.

Looking down the Road….   The current pattern breaks down between Sunday and Wednesday as the -EPO falls apart and give way to transition.  The upper ridge in the Gulf of AK deamplifys and that air mass pushes into California for some warmth by mid-week. Beyond that, there are some ensembles members showing some energy coming through next Friday and again the middle of the following week.  But nothing define..  The trend however… looking drier and milder as we go through the end of the month.

Lots of temperature inversions and air quality issues as a stretched out east-west positive upper height anomaly sets up over the Eastern Pacific.

From what the Dweebs see, the pattern over the pacific becomes very chaotic and it is doubtful that any forecaster has any great deal of confidence beyond the 5 to 7 day period with the short waves dampening through what is becoming a long wave ridge position over the eastern pacific.  One thing is for sure, the Dweebs do not see any major wet storms in the next 6 to 10 day period. Possibly some small ones…

For what its worth…..CFS has the latter half of the month dry. So it is not all that encouraging as well.


This winter is going to be a different animal. Weird, uncommon teleconnections are developing hemispherically that are unstable. There is so much going on globally weather-wise with record cold in parts of the NH and a lots of powerhouse storms over Eurasia and record early snows piling up in the Rockies….

Cant wait until we get our turn!


More later>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Dr Howard and the Dweebs……………………:-)





Yuletide Season Approaches…..Still No -NAO or -AO in Sight…..-WPO and -EPO to Rule West Coast Weather into the New Year and possibly beyond…..

Friday Update:  Mammoth temps   Highs 20s today and teens Saturday…..low 20s Sunday

Lows below Zero Sunday AM again…..

Warmer Next Week:

Not much change but to slow the current system down 6 to 8 hours. QPF is slightly less than the previous storm but we’ll get more snow because it will be colder during the snowfall. Snow to water ratios are expected to be 20:1 over the Southern Mono County Sierra. Thus…….4 to 8 inches is expected in town with 8 to 12 inches between 9K and 11K.  Although some light snow may begin later this evening…..Most intense period of precip will be 5:00am to 11:00am Saturday with showery WX during the afternoon into the early evening hours.  Sunday AM will be very cold again with early Sunday AM temps below -0F.    Temperatures at resort levels will moderate slightly by Monday AM with single digits..however, the high elevation valleys like Bodie will go -20 to -25.  Like Thursday Am there is a surface gradient for the NNE flow over Mono Lake Sunday afternoon into Monday AM. So another Lake Effect snowfall is not out of the question for Mono City and Lee Vining. As the high pressure portion of the AK block progresses east into CA, There will be moderating temperatures Tuesday into Thursday with highs in Mammoth returning to the 40s and lows in the teens.   The Freezing level is expected to temporarily rise to 9300 feet by Wednesday Night. Expect a brief reduction in air quality the middle of next week due to temperature inversions.

There after….the next weather system for late Thursday and Friday the 13th is being handled differently by the two most popular global models. The ECMWF has it as a coastal slider with less moisture then the GFS which actually brings in the western flank low from the current Omega Block which is most likely wetter. Either way the system will be fighting the trend….

Outlook: (Subject to change)

The trend according to the Ensembles is the transition from the current -EPO to its western cousin the -WPO.  Once the -WPO sets up in the Bering Sea it is indicated to retrograde westward even further out over the Western Pacific. That will increase heights over the mid lattes of the eastern pacific. Without any cold deep trof in the Gulf of AK or BC to suppress the westerlies south week 3, the Anti Cyclonic tracked Rossby Wave Train will most likely remain too far to the north to bring us precip during weeks 3 and 4. This would be a return to milder weather for the high country. However, there are some ensemble members showing the possibility of the pattern reverting back to the -EPO which puts us back into the deep freeze and cold storms down the coast much like we have been having, toward the end of the year.


More later…………………….Dr Howard and the Dweebs



Looking at the latest teleconnections the next 6 to 10 days it is quite possible that the Positive numbers in the QBO and low solar are putting the KABASH on negative phases of the NAO and AO. The Dweebs like that as those teleconnections do not usually favor stormy weather on the central west coast.  Easterner weather junkies love the negative of the NAO and AO as those telelconnection’s often create a blocking pattern that buries the cold in the east while the west is often times ridged up with the +PNA.

With the strato winds of the QBO blowing stronger west to east last month as compared to the month before, it is unlikely that long-term blocking will come anytime soon to the Greenland area this year. This is good news I think in a neutral ENSO year for the central west coast. Exception….the GEM has a block in the Greenland area but is the Maverick compared to the other models.

It appears to this WX Dweeb….that over the western hemisphere, the negative phases of the WPO and EPO are taking turns in their reign over the Pacific. As of late…..the GFS has shown that amplification has come to the -WPOs Eastern Cousin, the -EPO and an adjustment wave is slowly becoming more and more evident in the pattern, west of the BC coast. “It maybe” as the upper jet out over the pacific gets stronger climatically…..a stronger southern branch under these blocks will become confluent with the strengthening arctic jet later this month…..radically changing Mammoth’s landscape……

Snowfall Estimates Update:

Update on the QPF from the 00z Thursday ECMWF for the Friday/Saturday system (.70) for the crest.   CRFC has .46 for Yosemite and .40 for Huntington Lake. The New 12Z Thursday GFS has .50

So it appears that this snowmaker will be similar in amounts to the last system that dropped 7 to 10 inches on Mammoth Mountain.

Looking down the road… is it quite evident that the highly amped upper ridge responsible for the Arctic Air will break down rapidly early next week and collapse in response to the Morph of the -EPO back to the -WPO. This will allow milder pacific air to invade the far west by mid week. Sometimes you can get isentropic lift type snowfall if there is a moisture channel, however this is not in the cards at this time.

The epo/wpo teleconnections are very similar in that they are blocking patterns highlighted by positive height anomalies over the northern latitudes and negative height anomalies to their south over the mid latitudes. The only difference in the teleconnection is location. The WPO is in the central and western pacific and the EPO is situated in around the Gulf of AK.  When under the influence of the -WPO, the main upper height anomaly can be too far west for major storminess for the central coast with ridging instead. With the -EPO as are experiencing, the upper height anomaly is too far east.  What we may get is a sort of hybrid of in-between…and if the southern branch of the westerlies is strong enough…..It may merge with the polar branch and become confluent. This can lend to a wet pattern for the central west coast with possible “AR” implication’s….

At any rate, there is lots of Winter Left and this candle is just getting lit…..



Dr Howard and the Dweebs……………………….:-)