Archive for January, 2014

Upper Ridge to Remain Entrenched Over the West Coast for the Next Week…..A Small Upper Short Wave will bring some Cooling and Breeze Next Thursday/Friday……Comments about the Pattern…….

9:30am Wednesday:

GFS flips wet again with mini AR for Central Ca. during week 2.

Don’t buy into anything until it gets well into Week 1


Wednesday AM 7:30AM

Following up on Last night’s post below…..It is becoming more clear that the upper ridge currently in the PNA region will retrograde to about 130W to 140W. This puts us back into a cooler pattern with NW flow aloft where by weather systems will mostly drop there precipitation in the Pacific NW, similar to the month of December and early January. Sensibly…….It will turn cooler and breezier. However, thus far the “Change” in the pattern for the end of the month of January is still a dry one into the first week of February.  Sorry about this but the Dweebs are all about telling it as we see it…..

At 8:30am today……Just has a peak at the Coupled Forecast Systems (CFS v2) weeks 3 and 4.  That begins the 5th of February….  It is encouraging from a climate or inter-seasonal perspective. However, until the Dweebs see the changes in the week 1 period, it is just more hope for change.



11:15PM Tuesday:

The GFS continues its back peddling from any significant storminess in the California weather pattern.  It will be interesting to follow the ECMWF ensembles. Although its ensembles still show the upper jet sagging south, I have noticed that there is a trend the past two days in the deterministic runs of a drier scenario for short waves entering the state. If this trend continues, then the ensembles will also follow.

Although no one is talking about it and I have mentioned it several times….The MJO has been almost non-existent this winter in modulating the westerlies in a positive manner for California.  At the moment the forecast for the MJO is to remain moderate to strong in phases 6 and 7.

This means that tropical forcing is stuck in the Far Western Pacific.  This in itself favors the forecast pattern of continued ridging in the Northeast Pacific over the next two weeks which is typically dry for California. SEE:

Also See the MJO Phase space> It is clearly in Phase 6:

Now here is NCEP forecast for the MJO:


With the MJO supporting the NE pacific upper ridge it will be difficult to get undercutting without a strong subtropical jet more associated with an EL Nino year.  I am becoming more concerned that the pattern change in the making will not be all that supportive to anything resembling wet for the next 1 to 2 weeks or as long as the MJO remains in phases 6 and 7.  This is not to say that we can not get a small storm or two in here, but a major one does not look likely in my opinion.

Again, I will be watching the ECMWF ensembles which have thus far been the most supportive in the up coming pattern change for some beneficial systems. Later next week will be critical for us to see follow through for the changes well advertised in week 2…to move up to week 1.


Saturday 1:55PM

Don’t buy into the new 12z GFS….Its another head fake. Stick with the ECMWF…

IE; Buy the System coming through the ridge……not carving a new trof out along the west coast.


I think that most folks are experiencing a weather type today, unremembered in their lifetime. The only year that is similar here in Mammoth is the winter of 1977 with 3.6 inches up on the pass.  As the days click by, more records will fall for dryness….  On a bright note,  this is probably a worst case scenario for businesses in our area due to the lack of snow. So if you’re a Mammoth Lakes business owner, this is the year you will want to plan for in a drought year. Take note of the numbers and plan your future accordingly.  Knowing what your bottom line is, is always helpful for future planning. Last year was also a dry year, but we received most of our snow early in December and the skiing was Fab for the holidays.

Todays business climate is far better this year compared to the Winter of 1977, when Mammoth Mt did not have snow making. Economics are much better today than that January and February.

Mammoth Mountain continues to make snow on many of the trails, and for the most part, skiing has been good considering. The improved technology of today’s snow making systems,  that can literally make snow with the ambient temperature above freezing is a big reason.  You may say that is impossible to make snow when it is above freezing but it is the truth.  It has more to do with the amount of moisture in the air than temperature. As an example, you can still make snow when the temperature is in the mid 30s as long as the air mass is dry enough. The key induce is something called the wet bulb temperature. It has to do with the amount of moisture in the air (RH) VS the ambient temperature and air pressure.  The key temperature for the guys up on the hill is a reading of (28F- wet) or colder.  They can make snow when it is 28f wet even when the Ambient temp is in the mid 30s. Again….The pressurized spray comes out of those guns, combines with the dry air and can make snow, when temps are above freezing.  So the physics behind snow making is improving, leading to good snow coverage over night. If you have not tried some of the fresh corduroy in the morning on the runs of Mammoth Mountain this year then you are doing yourself a disservice.

Mammoth Lakes still has plenty of Winter and Spring to go, to make a sizable dent in the water year between now and April 1st. Although the odds “against this winter” coming back to anything resembling a normal winter is increasing. More than likely, it will begin to snow again during the month of February as even during the Winter of 77, it began to snow in mid February.  Guaranteed? Of course not…..but when your in the bottom 5 percentile for precipitation of January… can only keep rolling and hitting craps so many times in a row.

Once again, there are discussions abound all over the Net about what is causing the drought. I will tell you in my opinion, that there is no single silver bullet.  You could gather up every index out there, relating to Air Sea coupling, AAM, combined with Mountain Torque, the direction of the Strato Winds and even the Solar puzzle…..there are probably still variables out there that have not yet been discovered.

We do know that certain indexes like ENSO can play a dominant role when they are strong enough in this particular region.   However, in this region, when ENSO is neutral, other variables combined will rise up and become more of an influence. No doubt this year will become a research project for climate scientists with something called the scientist method that will take time. However, be careful of believing the quick knee jerk reaction reasoning’s.  By nature, we all want quick answers. Accordingly I am always concerned about being right for all the wrong reasons.  So I’ll take my own pill as a hobbyist knowingly that it is a placebo and thus worthless without the proof of the method of science.

Weather to remain warmer then normal and precipitation free through next Tuesday with just some high clouds Saturday Ngt and Sunday…..Change in the pattern coming up by 1st week of February…..

Friday PM Update:


Flip Flopping Models a good sign that a change in the pattern is still in the works by end of January.  Both Ensemble Control’s of the 12z ECMWF and GFS Still indicated a change in the pattern the end of the month.  Both have a System coming through the State….

So hang in there and try not to flip-flop emotionally with the models as well


Dr Howard and the Dweebs…………………:-)



Friday AM:

New ECMWF model continues the trend of a significant storm before the end of the month. The American models have it as well but apparently the American models are not yet as bullish.  The timing is a moving target. Now possibly around the  28th of January.

What’s positive about the change is that it would be a strong system out of the west which would be moisture leaden.  In that the Dweebs are talking about 2 weeks away, it is not in the basket for sure,  but there are signs that are positive.  The ECMWF control model is showing about 18 to 24 inches of snow for the sierra.  But again this is very preliminary and subject to change either way. The model ensembles are building a case for support.


More Later……


12:00 Noon Update:


Just a quick note to let our fellow Dweebs know that a weak short wave will make an attempt to more through Southern CA about the 23rd.   It will be weakening, both as it moves to the coast and on shore.  With relevance to our area, I do expect much. anywhere from nothing to a few inches. This is the way it looks based upon both 12Z Thursday runs.

It should be noted that the mean ridge position has not changed.  It is just that the bulk of the upper heights pull to the far north over AK for a weakness or weak split branch of the Westerlies to move to the south of us.  This track mainly favorites the Tehachapi’s and Southern CA Mts.  Although both EC and GFS has it on this mornings 12Z run,  this is not a wet pattern and only appears to be a singularity in the sense that it is one short wave.

More Later……


The Dweeber………………………….:-)



While California precipitation records fall by the wayside…..Mammoth Mountain continues to make snow and freshen up the runs that need it most. Fresh corduroy was generated on Chairs, 3, 4, 5 and 2 the last two nights where it was needed most.  Contrary to some rumors, Mammoth Mt still has plenty water to make more snow when needed.

The upper pattern from the eastern pacific into the Great Basin shows a strong +PNA with a modestly negative AO and a fairly neutral NAO which is surprising for the amount of meridianal Flow expected east of the Rockies the coming two weeks.  The MJO is moderate in Phase 6 which is helping to support the existing pattern. The MJO will eventually shift into phase 7 then weaken rapidly which does not support under cutting of the westerlies.  With that said, there will be retrogression at the end of the month in the long wave features as forecasted by all global models. So there is going to be a pattern change as well.

Even though interseasonal models are suggesting that weeks 3 and 4 are wet as we begin February, there is no confidence this far out based upon persistence.  More time will be needed with more forecast model runs in week’s one and two for confidence to what the new pattern will look like.  The Dweebs have always said that we could go from one dry pattern to another. Or, we may have a significant change to wet long enough to get some serious water.

From the Dweebs perspective, as long as the MJO remains in phases 6 and 7, it is unlikely that a break through of the westerlies will occur. Yesterdays ECMWF 12Z run was pretty exciting, as it showed a vengeful amount of energy under-cutting the upper ridge that retrogrades west. However, there was no follow through with the EC 00z Wednesday Run.

So we are at a wait and see point of view…..Again it looks like a significant change will occur in the pattern but whether it will be a wet one is unknown at this time.

In the meantime, 500mb heights will remain high over the far west generating both high temperature records and 100+ year old precipitation records for many areas of the state.  Some of these records go back to the 19th century.


Temperatures in the Bishop area will be in the low to mid 70s the next few days which are record, to near record highs. The current mid winter warm spell will peak Thursday and Friday here in Eastern Ca.


Forecast:  Mammoth Lakes…..Dry through Tuesday. High temps Mid to upper 50s through Saturday. Lows the next 3 to 5 days at 8000,  27 to 32. Light breezes from the North.

Outlook:   Saturday night and Sunday’s skies are expected to have high cloudiness with slightly cooler temperatures.  Next chance of a weather system that will bring more extensive cloudiness, cooling and the slight chance of showers is about mid-week next week. (Around the 23rd)

Next Update Friday……


Dr Howard and the Dweebs……………………….:-)

Windy Weather on the Way…Cooler with Some Snow Showers Saturday/Night…Cooler Sunday then Warmer Next Week….

Tuesday 3:00PM



Just saw the most vengeful break through of the Westerlies into the southern half of the State the end of the month in the ECMWF control   Would be awesome if it came true……I doubt it but stay tuned over the next couple of days to see if she sticks…….  There most definitely will be a change in the pattern going into the new month…


The Dweeber


Monday Noon Update 1-13-14:

I am beginning to see some “retrogression” in the long wave pattern over the eastern pacific and western CONUS in all global models about the end of week two.. The GFS has been too aggressive with it over the last few days and today is much more tame.  What is encouraging is that all the global models have it to some degree including the ECMWF model,  toward the end of the week two period. Although it is much too incipient to get excited about, it is possible that we may be beginning to see some changes that will have implications for February.  I’ll take another look at it Wednesday…..

As the upper high builds in…gusty north winds will buffet the ridges and down through the Owens Valley.

Expect height rises and strong temp inversions with warming aloft through Tuesday thru Thursday.  Needless to say it will be another dry week.

Highs will climb into the 50s by mid-week and lows at night at resort levels in the 20s. The valleys will be cold….single digits and teens…

Dr Howard and the Dweebs…………………….:-)


Saturday Morning Update:

Again, last nights GFS and even this mornings GFS 12Z run is trying very hard to under cut the upper ridge with the westerlies. The big question I have is how is it going to do that? I looked at the MJO and it is very weak and should not have any effect in modulating the westerlies to the point of extending that Asian Jet to the west coast. I checked the ENSO indexes for the regions 4 and 3.2 and they are pretty neutral.  So there appears to be no unusual tropical convection in those areas coming off anomalously warm tropical waters. There is Kelvin wave activity, more associated with the Westerly Phase of the QBO that will eventually lead to El Nino Conditions next Fall.  Additionally, we continue to have anomalous warm water in the Southern Gulf of AK supporting higher than normal heights aloft in that region. The core is located at 43N-148W.  But again….How is it that the GFS is spinning up the Asian Jet and seemingly extending it strong enough to the east to break down the West coast ridge……Something in the model is trying to do that.

With that said, I once again looked at the ECMWF’s ensembles through day 15 and the control. ..  The upper ridge over the west coast is static and modulates meridianally, but moves little west or east. However the Ensemble Control, has a strong short wave coming into the Ridge on the 19th (a week from this Sunday) The Control splits it into a deep cut off then moves it south down the California coast.  Now we can get some snowfall from a system like that but you looking at something like a trace to 6 inches depending upon where it is in relation to the coast.  The following short wave  in the ECMWF’s control model is part of a retrogressing upper ridge which would end up as a strong inside slider. This is also considered a dry pattern bringing usually light amounts of snowfall along with much colder weather. Remember that the EC’s true ensembles argues against retrogression at this time. So although we have the possibility of some unsettled weather ahead of us week two, the thought of an extension of the Asian Jet, strong enough to totally break down the west coast ridge creating a major pattern change to a long wave Trof is very unlikely at this time.  As mentioned yesterday, I am sticking with the ECMWF until it changes……IE no change to California’s dry pattern over the next two weeks other than the possibility of some light precipitation.  Stay Tuned……and pray for a change…..


Saturday Sunday weather….


Windy and cloudy today and tonight…breezy Sunday. Slight chance of some very light snow tonight with a dusting to an inch. Expect west winds Saturday 20 to 40 with gusts possible to 60MPH through 10PM tonight. There is a high wind warning for Mono County at the moment. High temps today will be cooler in the upper 40s and lows over night after the FROPA in the teens and twenties.  Sunday will be PC in the AM then clearing in the PM. It will be a cooler day as well highs near 40 on Sunday. Lows Sunday night in the teens…..  Fair dry and warmer Monday through Wednesday. Next chance of a system is Sunday the 19th.


Dr Howard and the Dweebs………………………………:-)




Nothing has changed in the week one period. Expect an unsettled weekend with cooler temperatures Sunday.  There is a slight chance of snow showers during the PM hours Saturday. Winds will be the big issue with gusts in town 40 to 50 mph with a few to 60mph in some of the windier areas.

I checked the DWP site and comparing the Mammoth Pass Water content to January of 1977, we are dead even at this point according to the chart provided that is accessible on my favorite links. However, remember, an actual manual measurement has not been performed yet.

Next week will be Ridge City. This time the upper ridge builds over California with even higher heights than this week. …This sends the PNA index well into the Positive area next week.  This is a big reason why the forecast from the CPC is showing temperature departures from Normal  practically off the chart for the 6 to 10 outlook period over the Great Basin. Nearly the same is forecasted for the 8 to 14 day period.

The week one and week two forecasters are locking into the ECMWF which has been the most consistent in it ensembles. Several of the California METS in their discussions keep bringing up the GFS week two runs which have not had the consistency of the EC. Personally I am sticking with the EC until it changes. I am not buying into the GFS which most METS would agree is not the superior model for Week 2 anyway. I’m not being negative, just objective. We would all like the pattern to change but we can not wish it away. You have to stick with what you have until there is convincing data out there to the contrary. That is what the CPC is doing in their 6 to 10 and 8 to 14 day outlooks….


Additionally, It is very interesting that the MJO has been quieter than I can ever remember, since I have been watching. The MJO often times modulates the westerly’s and forces an extension of the upper Asian jet to the west coast.  This year so far it has not.

While we continue with an unreal drought, Mammoth Mountain still has every lodge open. With many runs open and the best skiing in California. They will be making a lot of snow this weekend, especially Sunday with cooler temperatures.


Dr Howard and the Dweebs……………………………….:-)