Archive for August, 2015

Another rainless week ahead with above normal temperatures through Thursday…Then Breezy and not a warm into the following weekend……Some interesting changes coming up the end of the month….


Its official! 

The Nino 3.4 region is now +2.C  !! 

We Officially have a Very Strong El Nino for the past week


Walker Fire Update #5 8-19-2015 8 AM

Incident: Walker Fire Wildfire

Lee Vining, CA: Burning approximately two miles southwest of Lee Vining the Walker Fire remains at 3,715 acres. This is a human-caused fire that is still under investigation.

Crews continue to improve containment lines and begin mop up in certain areas of the fire. Mop up efforts also continue on the 65-acre spot fire.

Tioga Pass (Highway120) is open without an escort. However, there will be no stopping along the eastern six miles of the road. This will be strictly enforced. The fire remains active to the south of the road and this is essential for firefighter and public safety.

The fire is burning in mixed conifer, mahogany, and brush. Critical sage grouse habitat is also threatened. Visitors and residents should expect to see smoke from the June Lake and Lee Vining areas and along Highway 395.

Closures and Evacuations:

  • Walker Lake “Fishing Camp” has been evacuated.
  • A CodeRed Emergency Alert notice has been issued for Lee Vining and everything north of Double Eagle in June Lake (including Silver Lake and Grant Lake areas) for potential evacuations.
  • Campgrounds in the Lower Lee Vining Canyon have been evacuated and are closed, including Lower Lee Vining, Moraine, Boulder, Aspen Grove, and Big Bend Campgrounds.
  • Law Enforcement will be escorting campers into the Lower Lee Vining Canyon campgrounds to collect any gear left behind during evacuations. Escorts will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. today. Affected campers will be allowed in with escort only. Campers are asked to meet Law Enforcement on Hwy 120 at Vista Point Drive. If an officer is not there, please wait patiently at the three cones.
  • The Walker Lake Road (1N17), the Parker Lake Rd. (1S25), the Upper Horse Meadows Rd. (1N16), and the Gibbs Road (1N18) are closed for fire operations and public safety. All of these roads are accessed via the northern end of the June Lake Loop. All spur roads off of these roads are also closed. The trail to Mono Pass (trailhead is at Walker Lake) is closed.

Approximately 484 firefighters are on scene as well as numerous aircraft, dozers, and engines. Resources from Mono County, local fire departments, Cal Fire, neighboring forests, BLM Bishop Field Office, and the Mono County Sheriff’s Office are assigned. For more information on the Walker Fire you can go to the following sites: Inciweb:


Saturdays Weather:

High temps are on the upswing after yesterdays upper trof ejection through the Eastern NW.  The continental upper high expansion westward will bring some of the warmest temps so far this Summer.  The pattern shift with the continental upper high moving west usually brings thunderstorms to the high country. However, this time it is centered too far to the south and thus a WSW upper flow continues.  In that heights are higher, temps will be too.  This pattern is likely to continue through Friday….some cooling is expected over the weekend, but temps to continue above normal.

Looking beyond Friday, amplification will developing over the pacific with retrogression as well.  A series of short waves will bring welcome relief to the parched pacific northwest The Dweebs even see some snow in the outlook for the Canadian Rockies during week 2.  It’s time as Fall usually sets into Canada by mid to late August. However, for Mammoth another surge westward of continental high pressure may bump up temps again that following week.

The Late August/September surprise is still in the cards as retrogression of the long wave pattern may continue, offering more trofing developing further west. This looks possible the end of the month and into 1st week of September. Additionally, if the timing is right the eastern pacific trof may pick up a wandering hurricane as well.  This will be the focus the end of the month into the first week of September.

PS: The ski season of the 97/98 El Nino began in early/mid October.   Lift’s opened by Mid October…….. A Redux is a possible….

El Nino News:

3rd strong down welling phase of Kelvin Wave since last March is currently reinforcing the Nino Basin.

Todays daily contribution to the SOI (southern oscillation index) calculation is -31.74 which is quite strong. Thus westerly wind bursts continue along the Equatorial Central Pacific.

The current mid August strength of El Nino is comparable to 1997 at this time.

Warm Blob in the Gulf of Alaska is showing signs of cooling.

1. The Blob of Warmth was a contributor to the dry winter of 2015. It assisted in delivering cold to the mid west and east. The Dweebs said contributor not the reason. Other teleconnecting issues like a positive AMO earlier this year blocked up the Western Atlantic and helped contain the cold  over the east.   With the warm Gulf of AK Blob cooling, and the AMO trending negative (less west Atlantic blocking) and possibly the +PDO weakening in the Fall…The stage should be set for the wet!


I.  More thoughts and considerations…..

With all this talk and chatter in the news and else ware about El Nino, this is probably the most important and covered El Nino in the media of all time.


a. Social Media

b. California’s severe drought and its effects upon an increased population relative to existing water supplies

c. An event of this magnitude is associated with the informational resources via the internet, in both a scientific way and in a way for the general public to understand.


II  Other thought’s

Q.  What does this particular El Nino Mean as a value in long range climate prediction on the scale of the next  12 months?

A.  This particular El Nino (Type 1) has got a signal that makes it easier at a longer distance of time to predict future weather events for Southern California. Hence, the stronger the El Nino, the stronger the signal. The stronger the signal the higher the likelihood of a wetter than normal winter for Southern California and possibly points northward as well.

Q. Do you need to have “this” strong (Type one) of an El Nino signal for a Wet California Winter?

A. No….. As a case in point, according to the records of DWP, since the late 1940s, the Winter of 1968/1969 was the wettest winter at Mammoth Pass. Coincidently, that winter was just barely a Moderate El Nino. So you can get very wet Winters in the Southern Sierra without such a strong signal. The main point is that the stronger signal is only beneficial for increasing the odds in the game for prediction for a wet winter,  not the wettest winter on record.

1. In Mammoth Lakes, the winter of *1983, (type I El Nino) was a wetter winter than the all time strongest recorded El Nino of 1997/98 event for water content up on Mammoth Pass *(90) inches.    So another point is….In the event that this turns out to be a stronger event than 1997/98, does not necessarily mean a wetter winter than the winter of 1969 or 1983, just because the signal is stronger.




Dr Howard and the Dweebs………………….:-)

Upper West Coast Trof will keep skies clear Monday through Wednesday for excellent Meteor Shower Viewing….Expect breezy weather at times with a very dry air mass………Next warm up develops as Upper Trof lifts NE through Northern CA Thursday and Continental high expands west next weekend….

The Dweebs expect a dry week ahead….at least through next Friday as a negative height anomaly anchored off the west coast keeps a dry SW flow going……  Daytime high Temperatures (low to mid 70s) will average a few degrees below normal and nighttime lows in some areas will dip into the 30s over night. Seasonal to above normal temps will develop going into next weekend with the possibility of some increase in mid level moisture by weeks end…    Only other issue to mention is that as the upper trof kicks in about Thursday…..a moderate zephyr will most likely develop Thursday into that evening….

It looks like a rainless week ahead beginning with Monday….


Don’t forget to view the Perseids meteor shower late each night, Monday through Wednesday with the peak between Wednesday Night and Thursday AM………….


Next update Thursday or Friday………………………………


PS  Working on next El Nino Update for late August for my Platinum Powder members….


Dr Howard and the Dweebs……………………:-)

High Clouds Flowing Northeastward from TS east of Hawaii has shifted south this morning….That band will lift north back into Mono County later today…….Showers likely late Thursday Night into Friday followed by Fair weekend…….Perseid Meteors are on the way….El Nino Comments!!!!

It been a very unusually wet Summer here in the eastern central sierra. Isopleths suggest that precipitation is running about 250% of normal for Mammoth June through July.  The current pattern continues to favor more mid latitude trofing over the far eastern pacific causing temps to remain a bit cooler then normal for this time of the year.  This Friday, high temps will be between at 10 to 15 degrees below normal.

Anomalous upper trofing will prevail off the west coast the next 5 days.  The short wave trof responsible for suppressing the high cloud spin off from TC “G” has passed to the NE, and so that high cloud band will likely lift back into Mono County later today and tonight.  More importantly…..the next short wave out some 1000 mi WSW of Mammoth will approach the Monterey Bay by 12Z Friday AM.  The Wednesday 12Z NAM this morning shows 250mb Upper Divergence increasing over the Eastern Sierra Later Thursday night and on into Friday. Surface CAPE will increase as well Friday. Plenty of 700RH along with surface Dew Points over the region well into the 40s suggest showers and thunderstorms. Precipitation amounts will not be major.

A 500MB Vt max is noted crossing the Sierra late Friday morning as well. Again….Showers and or thunderstorms may develop anytime between Thursday night and especially through Friday AM and PM. 15Z 500/1000 thickness of 570dm suggest that precipitation may be in the form of some light snowfall above 11,500 to 12,000 feet Friday… there may be another dusting or an inch like what we had on the 9th of July.  This is not a major storm…but it will feel fall-like Friday with lots of showers and possible thunder with up to 1/2 inch of QPF.

The weekend outlook is better. It will be clear Saturday and Sunday with high temps returning to the low to mid 70s.  However, Saturday pre dawn lows may be well down into the 30s is some areas.

Next Week:

A tug of war between the west coast long wave trof and a continental upper high will fight it out next week.  Most likely given the time of year, the upper high will win out with temps returning to at least normal or above by Mid Week next week.  However, it is less likely that the Summer Monsoon well return through at least the middle of next week because of SSW flow aloft.  I expect a very significant change in the pattern, between by week 2 into week 3.


Perseid Meteor Shower:

In the Northern Hemisphere, the annual August Perseid meteor shower probably ranks as the all-time favorite meteor shower of the year. This major shower takes place during the lazy, hazy days of summer, when many families are on vacation. And what could be more luxurious than taking a siesta in the heat of the day and watching this summertime classic in the relative coolness of night? No matter where you live worldwide, the 2015 Perseid meteor shower will probably be fine on the mornings of August 11, 12, 13 and 14, with the nod going to August 13. On a dark, moonless night, you can often see 50 or more meteors per hour from northerly latitudes, and from southerly latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps about one-third that many meteors. Fortunately, in 2015, the waning crescent moon comes up shortly before sunrise, so you’re guaranteed of dark skies for this year’s Perseid meteor shower. Thus, on the Perseids’ peak mornings, moonlight will not obscure this year’s Perseid meteors.


El Nino:

Even though the CFS v2 has pulled back a bit from its highs a week or so ago…who cares?   Do really want an El Nino 3.4 event of +3C anyway?  Super Nino Criteria is anything above +2C in the Nino 3.4 region for a few months.   California does not need the kind of Carnage  that an event of +3c for a few month would bring…….  It has endured enough…..So get a grip!

The two Strongest  El Ninos on record were 1982/83 and 1997/98  Neither one reached over 3C in the Nino 3.4 region over a month’s average….  I think 2.7C/2.8C was the highest anomaly for a weeks period.

Contrary to some “Dweeb Wantabes”…. We are still on track up through end of July 2015 close to 1997 in some ways:

Check out Bob Tisdale’s SSTA evolution below by clicking on the link. You only need to look at the Nino 3.4 graph to see how this El Nino is progressing


NOAA ESRL MEI founder Klaus Wolter explains ,While the updated (June-July) MEI has dropped slightly (by 0.09 standard deviations in one month) to +1.97, it is now reaching the 2nd highest ranking, surpassed only by 1997 at this time of year. The MEI has hovered around +2 standard deviations for two months running, highest overall since early 1998.


Dr Howard and the Dweebs……………………..:-)