7-9-2015 – 11 AM – Hello from Mammoth Lakes, California.
Rain, Rain and more rain below 10,000 feet. Above that level many spots are picking up snow.
We saw 2-4 inches of new over at Saddle Bag Lake. Mammoth Mountain also got a dusting last night and then again at the 10 am hour it snowed again and is sticking to the ground. The image below was just before 11 am today.
Down here at the 8175 foot level we got rain from 2am on and as of this post it’s pouring here on Canyon Blvd. With 10 days of off and on rain the entire area is now saturated wet, the dust and pollen are also now gone. It’s a perfect time to come up and check out green Mammoth. The forecast for Today is once again calling for a 100% chance of picking up some heavy rain showers mixed in with hail and snow above 10,500 feet. By Friday rain chances go to 40% and then 20% over the upcoming weekend. Next week looks dry at this time.
If your going to be out hiking the next few days plan on being back to at least the tree lined areas by 12 pm. I would advise carrying rain gear and have a plan to take cover if you encounter a thunder storm.
Temperatures today we expect a highs of 56 and then a 62 on Friday and then 65-70 for the weekend. Next week we warm up into the mid 70s. Night time lows will be in the 50s.
Up in the Mammoth Lakes Basin and at the Mammoth Mountain Ski area look for highs from 44 – 50 today and then the 50s on Friday and 60s over the weekend with lows in the 40s.
Air Quality – We have clear skies with no smoke in the area at this time. No fires are burning that will bring smoke are way. Enjoy the clean air we have at this time, perfect for a bike ride, hike or a nice long run.
Long Long Range – From CPC Synopsis: There is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, and around an 80% chance it will last into early spring 2016. Here is the link to the July 9th Update.
The El Nino is setting up to be the strongest ever recorded in modern times.
Events like these are rare and in all cases in the past have resulted in epic amounts of snow for Mammoth Mountain.
However with this event we have a unknown player, it’s the warm pool of water sitting off the pacific North West Coast, that pool has caused us to have no snow the last two winters.
With that warm pool there, nobody has any idea how it will effect the coming El Nino winter. My advice is be ready for drought or deluge.
We will keep you updated daily here on our Mammoth Lakes & Mammoth Mountain Weather section. Snowman out….
Here is are the last 4 shots of the developing El Nino. Last time I remember it looking like this was June of 1997. The following winter was a big one for Mammoth. Below this image I have dropped in Mammoth Weather Guys last El Nino Update…. Enjoy
Here is the most current forecast for the developing El Nino. Never seen anything like this before. If the chart below is right, I would expect more snow then you would like next winter. From Mammoth Weather Guy – El Nino Update
According to the CPC, “by early May 2015, weak to moderate El Niño conditions were reflected by above-average sea surface temperatures (SST) across the equatorial Pacific, and by the corroborating tropical atmospheric response.” El Nino’s are associated with generally cooler than normal summers as there is usually a persistent baggy trough or cut-off low in the Eastern Pacific and only weak ridging at times.
A moderate strength El Nino is even more bullish about this type of pattern which is also favorable for above normal summer precipitation as low pressure off the coast will result in southerly or easterly flow that can advect subtropical moisture into the Sierra.
However, it might end up being slightly warmer than the analogs suggest as soil moisture are low due to the drought (less evaporative cooling), the late spring snow pack is already mostly gone, and long term trends have been warmer lately. But don’t expect a scorcher either.
The longer term trends for the current El Nino are favorable for further strengthening. Almost all of the computer models show some degree of warmer over the upcoming summer (which is rare, most El Nino’s strengthen in fall and peak around Christmas) with the CPC saying it is nearly certain that El Nino conditions will continue into fall and likely into next winter as well. The only real question surrounding the current and continuing event is how much strengthening will occur, if any at all?
The next CPC/IRI model plume will be released on May 21st, but many of the model solutions and ensemble members have already released. For instance, the ECM model was released on May 1st (image below on left) and that models is showing rapid strengthening over the next couple of months with most of the ensembles showing strong El Nino conditions (>1.5 C) in place by July.
The model then suggests further warming into fall with some of the members “over the top” with historically high NINO 3.4 temperature anomalies greater than 3 C and close to 4 C.
However, extreme caution should be taken with this solution as shown by that model’s forecast from last May (image below on right) for summer and fall 2014 being a complete bust and way too strong.
If you remember, El Nino was supposed to be in place by late summer or fall, but instead stalled, and didn’t occur until spring 2015.
My feeling is that with El Nino conditions already in place, it will be easier for sub-surface heat already in place from the down-welling phase of an easterly Kelvin wave to ease to the surface for further warming in the coming months. Current consensus model forecasts have the ENSO 3.4 index in the very strong category by October and around 2.4 C which would be the strongest event on record (image below). I am not buying into +3 C anomaly forecast as that would be historical, but there is certainly a chance that we could warm by 1 C by fall to around 2 C which would be on the border of the very strong category.
That is important because only 3 seasons in the historical record has the 3-month running index reached 2 C, 1972-73, 82-83, and 97-98. All of those seasons had at least 125% of normal precipitation with 82-83 and 97-98 being two of the wettest seasons on record. Right now, based on the model past performance,
I wouldn’t be surprised if warming only gets into the 1.5C range and lower than the ECM forecast. Then all bets are off and drought relief may not happen at all next winter, but it won’t take much snowfall to end up better than this past historical worst snow season. Cheers, WG.
Snowman started blogging this information back in 1990 on the old Mammoth BBS system, then the RSN Forums and then on to MammothSnowman.com in 2004 with his Video & Photo Blog reports. (No You Tube back then)
Snowman has had his reports, videos and photos featured on both local TV Stations here in Mammoth, along with Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC News. _______________________________________________________________
I started skiing at age 5, first discovered Mammoth Mountain in 1979 as a youth, and have been a regular visitor since.
Putting together the Powder Outlook has been a lot of fun over the last 7 snow seasons.