Archive for January, 2017

Working on a January Record for Mammoth Lakes Snowfall….




Monday AM:

Nice break in the weather for the first 2 days of the week. Time to create snow storage for the next storm cycle that will begin this Wednesday. The next series of storms will be much colder and should for the most part be all snow for the Town of Mammoth except for the very beginning Wednesday afternoon. The freezing level drops quickly late in the day Wednesday. Best estimate for snowfall for the Town of Mammoth will be 3 to 6 inches by Thursday morning so this will be a smaller system snowfall wise, with up to a foot on Mammoth Mt. The following storm will be colder and could bring 5 to 10 inches by between Friday AM and Saturday AM with up to 18 inches on Mammoth Mt. by Saturday AM. Saturday looks Showery in the morning with improving weather in the afternoon into Saturday night. The last in the series of storms will move in Sunday afternoon. The Sunday thru early Tuesday AM storm is a bigger storm that will be slower in moving. However, its main thrust might be Southern CA where some 4 inch amounts of rain may fall in their local foothills. This is expected to be between Sunday PM and Tuesday. For Mammoth, I expect a foot or two in town and possibly as much as 3+ feet on Mammoth Mt. So totals from the next storm cycle looks to be between 5 and 6+ feet on Mammoth Mt between this Wednesday and the following Tuesday. Thereafter, I expect a long break….possibly until the next storm cycle begins sometime during the 1st week of February…





Lots of out-of-town folks and Locals alike are wondering why so much precipitation in a non El Nino year?  The records show that the biggest precipitation and flooding events in California occur during weak La Nina’s such as this one. Although most seasonal forecaster’s stayed away from this winters forecast, especially after being burned on last years El Nino precipitation bust! There were a few including the Dweebs that did indicate on more than one occasion, in this blog,  that we would have several Atmospheric River events this winter.  I will do the research and post the dates in this blog later.

Here are my posts that mention or discuss the possibilities of recurring “AR” (Atmospheric River) events for the upcoming winter.


  1. September 26 to the 28th
  2. October 4th
  3. November 28th
  4. December 13th

All of these discuss the possibilities of Atmospheric Rivers redeveloping during the winter due to Blocking over, either Alaska or the Bering Sea.

II.  My forecast indicates that there will be weak impulse that drops south tomorrow Sunday and will be out of the area by Monday MLK Jr Day.  It is likely to bring some flurries or light snow showers, but nothing really measurable. The next series of storms hits Wednesday evening with a weakening “AR”. There will be at least one, possibly two systems following it.

Between Wednesday night and the following Tuesday, we should break the 20 inches that is upholding the January record up on Mammoth Mt. There is likely to be several more feet of snowfall but nothing like what we just went through….  One more thing….”At this time” it appears that there will be some nice but cold weather next weekend. IE Break between storms…(Subject to change)


I will have more detail in my “Weather Letter” released earlier this time Sunday…. With a follow-up Monday AM.


Dr Howard and the Dweebs………………….:-)









Last gasp of wet pattern dumps 2 feet on the Town of Mammoth….A few more inches expected this evening than a nice 5 day break….Active pattern continues out over the pacific with a new storm or two looming mid week……MJO Raising its ugly head for the potential for another Alaska blocking pattern B-4 months end….

Saturday AM;

Here is the link for a updated lift status on Mammoth Mountain:


Friday the 13th, 4:10PM;.

There is 22.5 feet on top!   According to Cliff Mann, The top is only 20 inches away from a January record. I told Cliff that we will break that record next Wednesday and Thursday with an expected 3 to 4 feet of freshies by Friday the 20th.


PS. You can now leave your rock skis at home……………….:-)


We’re all weary from the biggest early January on-slot of storms in decades. The models did a fabulous job, at distance, in warning the weatherman that AR’s were coming, and they did.  Now that they have passed, the Dweebs can safely say that Mammoth Pass exceeded 20 inches of water for that particular storm cycle.  Mammoth Mountain has over a 20 foot base on the top of the mountain….More snow than any other ski resort in the country at the moment.

The new pattern developing this weekend is the positive phase of the Eastern Pacific Oscillation. (EPO)  highlighted by a very cold low pressure system over Alaska and higher pressure along the west coast. I do not feel as comfortable in longer range forecasting now because of this pattern. It tends to be more unstable and possibly fickle and thus not nearly as accurate. For the record, the forecast is for another AR event for the Central Sierra a week out. Yes the models are consistent, but without the blocking over AK anymore, the westerlies just do not seem to be as amplified as they were the past five to seven days.  Although the North Pacific charts at the 500MB level, Forecast models;  GFS and ECMWF are both consistent in bringing in another Atmospheric River to the west coast via the Philippines later Wednesday into Thursday AM. Confidence in the pattern at this distance in time is not as high as it will be within 72 hours out. FYI, The pattern does bring in a colder storm in the back of the AR.



Expect some upslope snow showers Friday…then a nice break in the weather that develops with partly cloudy days and nights Saturday, Sunday and Monday. High temps in town will be in the 30s with lows in the single digits and teens. For you folks getting up here this weekend, you will find the mountain and the TOML, looking a lot different from the last time you were here because of all the snow!

Longer Range:

All global models are forecasting a strong MJO to develop later next week in phase 1 of the RIMM.   The MJO is the Madden Julian Oscillation and is highlighted by tropical forcing. It is like a cattle prod to the Atmosphere.  In the Winter when the MJO is strong and in the right phases, it can modulate the westerlies and extend the east Asian jet to the west cost. Before it does, often times, the classic signature of the Gulf of AK block develops.  Look for the block to redevelop again during the last week of January. Heaven help us if it does!….

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

Precipitation tallies continue to add up….Very Wet Atmopheric River now an event of the past….However….Moderate AR still in the picture through Wednesday AM…..Lots more snow coming!!

As of 8:45 am Monday, Mammoth Pass has picked up 7.96 inches of water since AR # 2 started Saturday. Add that to AR #1 of 8.44 and you get about 16.5 inches of water. That a lot and there is possibly another 6 more inches to come by Thursday Night!.  Fridays storm is not in the future anymore, so the extreme amounts of 25 to 30 inch’s are unlikely now.  However, 20 to 25 inches is still in the picture by Thursday night of this week. Considering that about 43 inches of water is average,  we are well over 1/2 of our winters worth precipitation when you add October, November and December! We are possibly closing in on a full Winter’s worth quickly!!

WX Discussion:

Latest Satellite water vapor motion shows an intense upper low west of Washington and Oregon coast.  This upper wave according to the models will be replaced by the larger scale cyclone itself, as it moves eastward. The timing of this feature is to move it through Mammoth Lakes Tuesday night with an intense vertical motion field. Thus the main IOP, (Intensive operational period) will be Tuesday night into Early Wednesday morning where snowfall rates may be in the 2 to 4 inch per hour range for a time….  The Town of Mammoth at the 8000 foot level is likely to experience 3 feet to as high as 5 feet of snowfall between Monday AM and Thursday afternoon. Again the heaviest snowfall rates are likely Tuesday night…..

Outlook: We are still expecting a partly cloudy but fair weekend with high in the 20s. Lows in the single digits. Skiing will be on cold packed powder with deep powder as well.  Mammoth Mountain is likely to have received totals over the upper mountain in excess of 18 feet….