Saturday March 11th, 2017
Ted Schlaepfer CCM —- Mammoth Mountain WeatherGuy
Dry weather is expected to continue for about the next 10 days before storm chances return around March 21-23rd. That will be followed by another chance around the 26-27th. Dry weather may then return for the rest of the month. Longer range climate models say dry weather over early April could turn more stormy by the second week.
Next update Tuesday 3/14
Snowfall forecast are for the Sesame snow course (Main Lodge)
**Snowfall forecast confidence ranges from very low (1) to very high (5)
Sun 3/12 = 0”
Mon 3/13 = 0”
Tue 3/14 = 0”
Wed 3/15 = 0”
Thu 3/16 = 0”
Fri 3/17 = 0”
Sat 3/18 = 0”
Sun – Tue 3/19 – 21 = 0 – 3”
March Snowfall = 10.5”
March Forecast = 35 – 50”
Seasonal Snowfall = 520.5”
Seasonal Forecast = 575 – 600”
Detailed 5-day Snowfall Forecast:
Sun 3/12 through Wed 3/15 — No snowfall expected all days.
A high pressure ridge will re-strengthen over Mammoth over the next couple of days and peak on Monday (image below) for continued fair weather and also warmer temperatures under sunny skies. The storm track remain well north of CA as the blocking ridge is too far westward toward Siberia to push the storm track southward from the Pac NW.
Freezing levels will rise to the top of the mountain tomorrow and peak Monday for spring conditions for all but the most northeast facing slopes up top (e.g. Noids). Should be nice conditions on the hill with light winds and softer snow up top.
The ridge will weaken and slide a bit eastward around Wednesday or Thursday next week as a trough of low pressure moves into the PacNW (image below) with a front clipping NorCal. That will lower temps and also increase the west wind over those two days along with some clouds, but no snowfall.
The high pressure will rebuild Friday next week and hold over the following weekend for more fair and dry weather plus warmer temps again for spring conditions. Changes in the weather pattern may then take hold over the following week which will probably end the normal winter dry spell.
The ECM model (image below) in addition to the GFS and Canadian move a weak upper level trough in a split flow into CA from the Pacific. The GFS is the strongest with the low, but still only has a couple inches with the ECM and Canadian showing just a dusting. But it could be the first of a few upper lows to move into the Sierra over the next week.
The GFS operational model (image below) along with the ECM and GEFS ensembles support a deeper upper trough moving through CA around the 22nd or 23rd. This will be the next chance for powder conditions to return to Mammoth. Doesn’t look like a big storm at this point, but it is still way too far out for any confidence in the details.
The longer range ensembles are saying dry weather could return for a couple of days with the next storm chance around the 26-27th. The GEFS ensemble mean (image below) shows a trough of low pressure in CA under a split westerly flow with about equal parts of energy in the northern and southern split. Could mean a cut-off too as we are heading into that season with spring officially underway by then. Nonetheless, it could mean snowfall if the cards work out.
Let’s hope so as the CFS climate model is showing below normal precipitation (image below) returning for the last part of March and into early April. The ECM climate model is showing normal precipitation last part of the month, but does dry it out in early April. Both those models show storminess increasing second week of April and through mid-month. So I’d say that powder days are not over yet. WG