Archive for August, 2014

Old Upper Trof continues to weaken with the remains shearing out to the east today………Looks like a bit of a break Friday, then the chance of thunder returns Saturday and Sunday…..

Friday AM Update:


From Incident Information System

French Fire is now 90% contained!  Woo Whoo!

Majority of the heat continues to be in the north half of the incident, the southern portion of the fire consists mostly of isolated heat sources. There are still some areas where ground fire and isolated torching is occurring. Overall the entire fire is cooling off with only the large logs burning out. Helicopters were used to improve operations today. Road closures remain in effect in the fire area. Full Containment by next Tuesday.

WX Discussion:

Local Weather is expected to be partly cloudy this afternoon with Thunderstorms forming over the higher elevated heat source of the Sierra, then blowing off to the east during the later afternoon hours. Today does not look as active over the Mammoth area as the last two days.  We are in-between WX systems. Highs today in the mid 70s Light west wind with only very light smoke expected.

Tomorrow Saturday will be increasing effected by an approaching upper low that will spin up as it approaches the central coast. This Mornings 12KM NAM shows a return of southerly flow which will back to the SE by Sunday AM. Monsoon moisture as well as the Dynamic NE quad and upper divergence will return to the Eastern Sierra Saturday for a greater threat of thunder during the afternoon. By Sunday Am, a coupled 80 knot upper jet with the front left quad will take aim over Mono County….For the greatest chance for thunderstorms. The timing is best for Sunday late AM and into the night. So the chance of heavy rain returns to the eastern sierra Sunday PM. By Monday, the upper low kicks NE and a return of a drier SW flow occurs with only isolated showers for the high country and Western Nevada expected.  At the moment the drying includes the Sierra as well as Esmeralda County in western NV, especially Monday into Tuesday. Thereafter, the models diverge. The NWS is forecasting dry weather Wednesday into Thursday….. I personally am not as bullish….However they are the experts…I’m just a Dweeb………..


Dr Howard and the Dweebs………………………;-D



July was a wet month in Mammoth with 1.45 inches of precipitation here at August began with above normal precip as well as Mammoth picked up any ware between .10 and .30 of an inch of rainfall during thunderstorms yesterday afternoon.  That in addition to some light rain last weekend puts the tally up close to 1/2 inch.

Today with a much less dynamic atmosphere, there will be afternoon clouds.  However, chances of thunderstorms have diminished significantly. Tomorrow the official forecast is for scattered thunderstorms due to another small upper low moving onshore over Central CA. However, with that said, the new 12Z guidance (GFS-NAM) guidance seems to have lost that upper center for Friday all together, and instead puts the emphasis on another upper low approaching the Bay Area Sunday. By Tuesday morning it is centered over the Golden Gate. This is further north and not as favorable for afternoon convection over Southern Mono County. This favors the Northern Sierra. What we may end up with is just a moderate zephyr and partly cloudy skies along with a few isolated showers mainly east of highway 395. By Tuesday afternoon the upper vort center on the GFS has the VT center over the west side of Tahoe over the Northern Sierra and then sheers the remaining energy to the northeast away from us.

Odds are, we will have a dry SW flow through the next 3 to 5 days and just some afternoon clouds…..Any TSRWS should remain only in the most favorable areas such as east of highway 395 and the Bodie Hills and north. I will update again tomorrow AM, if by chance the models find that elusive Vort Center for Friday!

For you ranchers in the fish lake valley/Oasis area, it looks like the break you have been waiting for has arrived to cut your Alfalfa.  Although you may have isolated thunderstorm action, I do not see any extended periods of heavy rain through the middle of next week. I do see the possibility of a SE flow pattern redeveloping the following weekend of the 15th. I will take another look at it all to be sure Friday morning……

The French Fire is now 85% contained and very little smoke is found in the Mammoth area. Barring any flair ups…..we should be out of the woods on this one….

EL Nino: The CPC has lowered the odds for an El Nino to develop this Fall from near 80% to 60% now.

PS…you do not need to have an EL Nino to get a great winter here in Mammoth. It just makes it easier to forecast ahead of time…..


Dr Howard and the Dweebs……………………:-)

Weak remains of upper low nearing Fresno this afternoon with breeze shift expected from the east…..Thunderstorm threat increases today with the combo of sun and weak dynamics…..Drying coming in Friday leading to warm dry weekend……


Short term:

Small vort center is west of Mammoth is AM headed south to LA.   This remains of the summer storm system that brought all the moisture over the weekend is continuing to weaken. However….With sunshine added to the mix today, residual moisture and Southern Mono Counties location in favorable NE quad of upper low/Vt max, there will be a better chance of rain and thunder for Mammoth Lakes today. By Thursday the low will be so far south that the dynamic’s part of the equation will be gone. Fridays weather will be effected by the storm in the  Gulf of AK kicking out through the pacific NW bringing drier air to our region. The Weekend will be warmer with highs in the mid 70s. Expect the typical summer buildups with a few isolates showers some where over the county.


Death Valley crushing its all-time record for the coolest August 3 high temperature. Death Valley was 15 degrees cooler than the record high Minimum. The high temperature at Death Valley of 89 degrees Sunday, was 33 degrees cooler than normal for August 3 and 15 degrees cooler than the previous record minimum high temperature of 104 degrees. The Cool temps were a product of an exceptionally moist atmosphere and persistently cloudy skies for a few days.


Outlook and long-range:

The latest medium models are showing the return of the amplified Trough/Ridge pattern by the first of next week. As although the current Gulf of AK low ejects out through the pacific NW Friday, a new one takes its place. This will have the effect of pumping up another strong upper west coast ridge early next week leading to more above normal temps for our area. Additionally the upper GO/AK trof that will be kicking out early this weekend, will leave a small cut off low off the central coast of CA early next week. This cutoff is bound to set up some upper divergence over the sierra and with the warmer temps there is likely to be some thunderstorms. The big question is where? Will it be the northern sierra or central sierra. My bet is that it will be further north.  Eventually the cut off gets sheered NE through Northern CA by Wednesday.  Beyond Wednesday, strong heating will once again occur over the far west with hot temps returning, due to the height rises associated with the west coast ridge and four corners subtropical high. This is the period going into the weekend of the 16th. The ECMWF is more bullish with the return of monsoon moisture.  However it is what happened after that weekend that is of interest.

Both global models retrograde the amplifying upper ridge much further west which will have profound effects over the far west if the models are correct……


I will leave the tease in for now……….


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


Upper Low near Central Sierra Crest this Morning will Orbit counter clockwise into Western NV first, then over Northern Ca, then down the West Coast….More Showers and Thunderstorms expected this week….

Tuesday PM:

Latest Guidance now shows a return of the southeast flow next Monday. This is about 4 to 5 days earlier than the models showed yesterday. We’ll have to call this the Summer of Monsoon because we are racking up some big numbers now for the number of days of rain over Mono County as well as SE flow. We still have all of August and the new guidance keeps south to southeast flow in our picture on and off through the 3rd week of August.

Another point that no one is chatting about is that SSTA’s over the Sea of Cortez as well as along the Baja coast up to Pt conception are running greater than +4C and +4C to +6C in the Sea of Cortez where temperatures are above 90F degrees. I am sure that this extra warmth has something to do with the amount of moisture coming into CA and NV.  Be ready for a late Summer Tropical storm to come up the west coast or Sea of Cortez effecting the deserts and even possibly LA.

Today the old Cutoff is meandering around the northern part of the state near Sac, with a lot of rain over Northern CA. I hope that it brings relief to the fire fighters up there as they could use it…

The track of the upper low/Vort Center will be south to near Fresno by Wednesday evening. So expect the TSRW’s to pick up again over Mono County tomorrow afternoon if the models verify, with both the timing and the track.  By Thursday the weak Vort center will be back where it started, over southern CA.  However, it will be so weak not much in the way of convection is expected over their local Mts..

Speaking of So/Cal Mts….A near 500-Year Rain Event occurred near the Mt. Baldy area See:

Dr Howard and the Dweebs…………………….;-)


Mostly cloudy w/Light rain this Am then a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon…especially if we get some Sun today…..Areas over more Eastern CA and just to our north may have heavy rain. If we get an hour or two of Sun today, Mammoth could get heavy rain as well. It all depends upon the amount of sunshine….

Precipitable water amounts of between and inch and close to two inches are found throughout much of California. This has creating humid conditions where it is warm or hot and damp weather where it is cool… The upper disturbance that carried this air mass into CA has weakened. However, it is located over/near the sierra crest/Tulare county on a line west of bishop. In that there are no real steering mechanisms with which to move this upper center. The center will most likely have a mind of its own, orbiting counter-clockwise between Western NV and as far west as the CA coast throughout much of this week. Eventually a weak upper trof will pick this low up and carry the remains of this system out of here by next Thursday or Friday.  Although PWAT will gradually be on the decrease, there will be more daytime heating to compensate for the lessening of moisture as the week progresses.  According to the latest NAM model….Weak forcing from the far west cyclonic circulation will return this Wednesday, bringing a bit of an increase of TSRWs before heading south down the coast.

If the models are correct, an upper high begins to build over our area Sunday for dry and warmer weather with above normal temps Saturday into Sunday….  This will be followed by even warmer weather early next week as the four corners high rebuilds…then retrogrades toward AZ…..All this while a southeast flow returns to Eastern CA for more thunder as we get Monsoon IV…….Wednesday or Thursday next week….


Presently, the smoke from the French Fire has been suppressed westward for the time being…..Mammoth is clear and cool….   The fire is 30% contained…

Smoke may make a return Tuesday depending if the Upper Low shifts far enough north then SW for westerly or southwesterly flow at 700MB and 500MB to develop. That is forecasted to occur beginning Tuesday……


Dr Howard and the Dweebs……………………:-)