10-20-2020 – 11 AM – Good day and thanks for stopping by, time to start doing your snow dances.
Checking on current conditions, today’s window cast shows much improved levels of smoke. The dense smoke we had from Lone Pine to June Lake is gone. However, if they have anymore backfires it will get thick again.
Up at the top of Mammoth Mountain, the temperature is 45 with an ESE wind of 5 MPH with gusts to 11 MPH. Down in Mammoth Lakes, it’s 59 with calm winds, in Bishop it’s 73 also with calm winds.
Smoke AQI and Forecast: Checking AQI levels this morning, Mammoth Lakes is at 50 with Bishop at 120. Expect thicker haze and smoke once the winds return to the SW later today. They have more backfiring to due so we might see more dense smoke over the next couple of days.
The Creek Fire continues to burn and is now the largest fire in state history. When will the fire be out and when will the smoke end for good? Not until we get some significant rain and snow into the area. You can see the latest video update on the Creek Fire along with a current map of the fire at this link from Mono County.
The Inyo National Forest continues to be open but with some exceptions. What this means is the Mammoth Lakes Basin is open and so are a few select campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra. You are also able to Mountain Bike, Fish, and Hike. Please understand that all trails in the Inyo Wilderness areas are closed at this time.
Campgrounds open: Mammoth Mtn. RV Park, New Shady Rest (closing 11/1/20), & Crowley (BLM, no water).
Roads open Monitor Pass (Hwy 89), Ebbetts Pass (Hwy 4), Sonora Pass (Hwy108), Bodie Rd. (Hwy 270), Lundy Lake Rd. Hwy 120 E (Benton), Hwy 158., Saddlebag Rd. Tioga Pass (Hwy 120 W) at Yosemite National Park Boundary is open to vehicular traffic w/ day-use reservation or proof of overnight accommodation in the park required.
Fall Colors: Are now peaking above 7500 feet in all areas of the Eastern Sierra. Below that elevation, many trees have started the yellowing process. Check out Bishop Creek Canyon, Rock Creek Canyon, and the June Lake loop for the best colors you can drive to and get photos. I would post some fresh images up, but on all my drive days it’s been too smoky to get any images this year.
Eastern Sierra and Mammoth Weather: Looks like a big cool down from Thursday into next Sunday as two systems drop into the great basin during that time frame. Mammoth Mountain will get the first hard freeze of the season by Sunday with a dusting of snow also possible from the second system. Expect all areas of the Eastern Sierra to get the first freeze of the season by Monday morning at the latest.
We should see clear skies over the next few days with highs in the mid to upper 60s in Mammoth Lakes with low to mid-80s in Bishop. Nighttime lows will be in the 30s to low 40s for Mammoth Lakes with 40s for Bishop into Thursday.
For Snowman’s full weather forecast along with weather images, check out the Mammoth Weather page.
Snowmaking crews are getting ready to flip the switch on snowmaking operations. It looks like the first run of the season could be this coming Sunday / Monday. I will keep you updated on what I hear about them blowing some snow this weekend.
Here is a link to learn more about the Mammoth Mountain Snowmaking System.
Countdown to Opening Day at Mammoth Mountain (weather permitting)
Who Are We?
Steve Taylor – The Mammoth Snowman – Over the last 30+ years, Snowman has spent countless hours studying and learning about Mammoth Mountain Weather and Snow Conditions first hand. He has been skiing around the hill with marked ski poles since March of 1991 so he can measure the fresh snowfall amounts out on the hill.
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 Video & Photo Blog report. (No YouTube back then). Facebook got added to the fold back in 2008 and then the Facebook Group in 2016.
Reports, videos, and photos from the website have been featured on both local TV Stations here in Mammoth, along with AP, Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC News.