5:30PM Wednesday


We are still looking at a 2 to 3 foot snow storm for the crest and 12″ + town storm total by Sunday night.



2:50PM Wednesday:

El Nino:

“EL Nino Loco”…

Yes the crazy boy child…..One that is driving many crazy! You’ve seen it first right here!

I am starting to see comments from some forecasters looking for reasons why this “very strong El Nino” now one of the strongest 3  has been so unusual in its nature. Joe Bastardi a meteorologist with Weatherbell, back in November noted that the mid pacific is too warm and the far eastern tropical pacific is too cool,  “off the Central American coast”. He did not seem to care as much about that fact the NINO 3.4 region was so warm….warmer than the 97/98 event. His comments were relating to the distribution of the warmth and not so much the record SSTAs over the 3.4 region. He also noted the more extreme subsurface warmth in the 98 event further east as compared to the current event. For those that follow El Ninos, The Modoki type El Nino is one where the warmth is more focused over the central pacific.

As I look at todays Climate Forecast System, the updates have been pretty consistent the past week in focusing the majority of precipitation over Central and especially Northern CA, northward the next few weeks. As we transition to and through February, the current response to a full blown El Nino of record proportions in some cases is quite unusual. We still have a good two months and possibly three. However the typical El Nino response to west coast of the CONUS, meaning simply wetter south and drier as you go north is nowhere to be found.  The CFS is still showing the typical pattern of wetter to the north and drier as you go south through week 3 or well into February. It is only until you get to March that it flips… The good news is that Northern CA reservoirs, although they have a long way to go,  are gradually filling and that looks to keep occurring for quite a while according the CFS.

It is interesting to compare the structure of this El Nino to other strong events and try to make comparisons to others and possibly their analog’s.  One thing that I have learned in this science, is that the simplest explanation is rarely the right one…..


The Dweeber………………..:-)



Quick Update 10:35 AM

Just saw the Euro… Its moving the system pretty quickly through over the weekend. So amounts based upon this model is going to be less then last nights guidance.   Just a WAG now would say 2 to 3 feet over the crest. But will update later today…

Wednesday AM: 8:00AM

The Dweebs are finally seeing more agreement in the models with the new Wed 12Z Runs…. Not surprisingly, the American models have come around to being quite similar to the ECMWF (EUROPIAN). Why is it that the European’s have forecast superiority over the American Models? Statistically, I have read that they do.  Maybe it is because several country’s pool their funds together so that they have more money to spend on the research.  We are always playing catch-up in the world of Weather Modeling as far as the guidance goes.  Our NWS forecasters are some of the best any ware, but the accuracy of the guidance is very important! Remember, the quality of the guidance (Modeling) and the accuracy of weather forecasting are two separate issues.  It is kind of like the garbage in- garbage out syndrome.

So as of Wednesday Am there will be no surface bombing off the coast of SFO or toward Reno Sunday….However, there may still be a surface low develop over Southern NV and that may keep some upslope going early next week along the eastern slopes and possibly a little snow on the Owens Valley floor early Monday AM.

However, this is not what most folks want to know. You want to know if it is going to snow and how much!

The Models are trending toward a little faster solution, as without much of a wave on the front, it will be less likely to stall.  Stalling is what we want for a big dump of snowfall. The Dweebs still believe that we’ll see 3 feet over the crest by Sunday night or Monday AM.  But if by chance the front slows by just another 3 to 4 hours, that could translate closer to 4 feet by Monday AM. The QPF from WPC is about 3.00 inches. Although Fridays portion of the storm is very wet with high snow levels, the later portion Sunday could provide for some fairly high Snow to Water Ratios. In the Town of Mammoth, there will be a period of either light rain or rain snow mix Friday as the freezing level will be about 10K. That is expected to drop to 9K by about midnight. The snow level can range from the Freezing level during extremely moist condition during major AR events to 1500 feet below the freezing level and then you can drop it another 500 feet at night. So if under normal light AR conditions, we could expect the snow level to be around 7500 feet by Midnight Friday. This of course is just an educated guess taking into consideration of all the above and of course the timing of the cold air. This is excluding any micro physical processes that can really screw things up when estimating snow levels day or night.


Dr Howard and the Dweebs……………………..:-)


From Tuesday AM:

Snowmegeddon?  If this mornings Run of the GFS pans out…yes!  But the European does not agree….  What is the meaning of Snowmegeddon?  It has certainly become quite the Colloquial term. However,  one that is used back east more than in the west.  The Mid Atlantic states just had one of the biggest Nor’ Easter’s in their history with up to 3 feet in some areas. So is a storm in the Sierra,  Snowmegeddon if we get 3 feet? For those that get my Platinum Powder Alerts, feel free to respond by email if you wish, to give your Opine…..


The Weekend storm is looking very exciting, especially if you look at the GFS Global Forecast Model surface charts. The Model since yesterday as been creating a wave on the front and Bombing out the surface pressure west of the Bay Area Saturday Morning into the Afternoon.   The surface low bombs to about 992MB which is impressive as it tracks from the Bay Area NE to Susanville Late Saturday. We can get a lot of snow under that scenario. Possibly more than 3 feet. Again the Euro in not in agreement and so will need to watch things tonight and tomorrow. By this time Wednesday hopefully an answer will come either way…..

PS.  A Bomb or Super Bomb is an actual meteorological term that is associated with an area of rapidly falling surface pressure. The rate of that fall creates the classification of either a Bomb or Super Bomb.  Bombs/Super Bombs are more common off the Coast of Japan or near the Aleutian islands. Both are associated with rapid Cyclogenesis….


The Dweeber……………….:-)