Mid Winter Blues continue for the Eastern Sierra

Friday the 2nd….

Well folks it Mid-winter!  February 2nd just happens to be the day that’s in between The Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.  I will say that Mammoth Mt has done a phenomenal job keeping the fun in the sport by moving snow around, making it where needed, and overall, creating the best skiing and boarding experience in California today!

Weather-wise, it is pretty amazing how quickly the State of CA went from Drought to Deluge last Spring,  and now back to drought officially in areas of Southern CA. However, many reservoirs are still fuller now then they were over the past 3 to 5 years and that is due to good water management and of course last years amazing winter! As we all know now, no one has the ability to forecast a winter of the like’s of last year or this year.  Even the most pessimistic forecasts gave us only 67% of normal this Winter. We are nowhere near that today. Statistically, according to Jan Null Meteorologist and CCM for Golden Gate Weather,  there has never been a winter or rainy season that has come back to normal levels from a deficit like this for the Central Sierra.  Will this be the year that breaks that statistic? SEE:  http://ggweather.posthaven.com


The Climatic Prediction Center’s last update says that our current La Nina signal “ENSO” will become neutral this Summer.  However, NCEP’s Climate Forecast System is currently indicating that La Nina will last through the Summer and into the Fall.  We’ll see what happens after the Spring barrier that often makes that difficult to forecast.  Remember that last Spring, NCEP was expecting a major El Nino! We ended up with a weak La Nina. Later this year I will be focusing on the QBO teleconnection. It will become positive at some point and that is a good situation if everything else stays pretty much the same.  With the expected ENSO neutral conditions and a positive phase QBO, we might we go from Drought to Deluge again in 2019 with “ARs”.



OK the Eclipse is over, this is the first day of February and tomorrow is Groundhogs Day!

Let talk about Groundhogs day.  The saying goes that if Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney PA sees his shadow at about 7:20AM EST there will be 6 more weeks of Winter. I say Hogwash!  Why? Although there may be some relevance to the weather in the east, the weather pattern in the west is usually the opposite!  Why?  It’s all about the wavelength. A deep trough in the east extending from say Hudson Bay, Canada sets up a ridge over the far west.  Its the pattern we have been struggling with for the past two months.   Here is another way to look at it.  If you see/hear of a forecast of a very cold winter in the east, odds are good that you can expect a winter of below normal precip in CA and warmer than normal temperatures.

Checking the latest model runs tonight, the only change I see is some sign of some slight retrogression in the upper ridge early next week that may bring both breeze and some cooling but no precip. This is followed by another slightly stronger inside slider that may bring additional cooling the following Friday. The MJO charts (RMM) show the MJO moving into phase 7 which will strengthen the ridge further and bring more warming this weekend and dump arctic air over the Great Lakes.  Next weeks cooling is questionable as the ensembles members are much closer to the coast with the upper ridge or over the state next week. Not a good situation.   If you want to see what the RMM phase space looks like;

See:  http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/CLIVAR/ecmm.shtml

In addition, a high pressure system over Alaska will develop and help direct Arctic air southward into the East via Canada.  This is called the negative phase of the EPO. (Eastern pacific Oscillation) SEE: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/forecasts/reforecast2/teleconn/epo.html

And finally, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) is also in its negative phase.  (High Pressure over the Arctic)  this forces more meridional flow and supports the Ridge/Trof pattern west to east even to a greater degree.  This is truly the Perfect Storm so to speak for dryness for the State of CA

See the AO teleconnection forecast:   http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao.shtml

This all adds up to a very dry outlook. In order for things to change, the MJO would need to either weaken substantially or progress to the Dateline then Hawaii and remain strong. The models are not showing that yet and odds are they wont because of the weak to moderate La Nina Base state.   I still believe that as we going into the last week of February, more positive changes will occur as well as into March as the seasonal change takes place. These proposed changes are a result of the Sun climbing higher in the sky.