Mammoth Mountain Snowman Report – 8 PM on 1-15-2019

1-15-2018 – 8 PM Hey everyone we have some light snow falling in town tonight, conditions are not that bad as all road have been plowed but are frozen and white. We will see a few more inches of snow tonight in town and up on the hill. 

Expect R2 road conditions by Wednesday night into Thursday. That means you need chains unless you have a 4 x 4 with snow tires. 

Our advice is to forget traveling to Mammoth late Wednesday into Thursday. Roads are going to be a mess from the top of the Sherwin grade all the way to the state line.

If you decide to travel, please chain up when the signs say to, do not wait until your sliding all over the road. Last year we had a person get killed putting chains on in the wrong spot of 395. The chain up areas are set up for you’re safety use them and live. 

Snow levels are now forecasted to drop down to Crowley Lake later today with several inches possible on 395. So be ready to SLOW down and chain up. 

As of this time, the NWS has issued a winter storm advisory for the next 24 hours. A Winter Storm Watch is now posted for Wednesday night into Thursday when the second and much stronger system comes into the Mammoth Area.

Overall expect 4-6 feet over Mammoth Mountain with 2-3 feet possible in the town of Mammoth Lakes by Friday morning. There should be a nice layer of powder at the end of the cycle for some great freshies. 

I will have an update early on Wednesday AM by 7 AM – Steve Taylor – The Snowman 

PS Snow Conditions are great and will be even better by Friday, this is an exciting time to get up here and Ski and Ride! 

Ski Renter Mammoth DiscountPowder Forecast –Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Ted Schlaepfer CCM  —- Mammoth Mountain WeatherGuy

Forecast Summary:

   Moderate to heavy snow overnight tapers off to light snow showers during the day Wednesday before increasing again late PM/evening.

Heavy snow and/or blizzard conditions expected overnight Wednesday and through Thursday early morning before tapering in intensity during the day and ending Thursday night resulting in multiple feet of snow.

Dry weather returns Friday and Saturday followed by another chance for snowfall Sunday night and early Monday.  Dry weather has then favored the rest of January and possibly into early February.

Overall, powder conditions and storm riding continue into Friday followed by another chance for powder on the MLK Holiday, then no more powder days likely until February.

Next detailed weather update Friday 1/18

Snowfall forecasts are valid at the Sesame snow course (Main Lodge) for the prior 24 hours as reported in the 6-7 AM morning snow report.

Sesame Snow Course

**Snowfall forecast confidence ranges from very low (1) to very high (5)

Wed 1/16 = 12 – 15” (H20 = 1.25” – 1.50”)**3
Thu 1/17 = 22 – 28” (H20 = 2.50” – 3.00”)**4
Fri 1/18 = 20 – 24” (H20 = 2.25” – 2.50”)**4

Sat 1/19 = 0”
Sun 1/20 = 0”
Mon 1/21 = 3 – 6”
Tue 1/22 = 0”
Wed – Fri 1/23 – 25 = 0”

January Snowfall = 47”
January Forecast = 100 –  120”

Detailed 4-day Snowfall Forecast:

Wed 1/16 — Snowfall tapers off during the morning and into the afternoon before increasing again late PM/evening.  Heavy snow/blizzard conditions expected overnight.   Accumulations 22 – 28” by Thursday AM.  Around 3 feet up top.

Thu 1/17 — Heavy snow/blizzard conditions expected during the morning hours with continued snow through the afternoon and evening, ending overnight. Accumulations 20 – 24” by Friday AM.  Almost another 3 feet up top.

Fri/Sat 1/18 and 19 —No snowfall expected both days.

Forecast Discussion:
Short Term:

   The latest satellite image (below) shows a complicated arena of low-pressure systems situated in the eastern Pacific.  A low-pressure system currently moving onto the Central Coast will move inland tonight and moderate to heavy snowfall will last into the early morning hours Wednesday.

Looks like a solid foot should fall at Main as both the ECM and GFS have over an inch liquid forecast overnight.  Snow levels should be around 5500 feet.

   The ECM model (image below) moves the low-pressure system and trough eastward into Nevada early Wednesday and Mammoth will be in between systems during the morning and through midday.  Snowfall should taper in intensity, but winds will likely be increasing and very gusty.

   The main event then moves into Mammoth Wednesday late afternoon and into Thursday.  The models (ECM below) move a very strong upper-level trough into CA early Thursday with a strong front moving southward as well.

The placement of the upper low is a bit farther northward than in the last forecast and the southern branch of the jet stream (purple arrow) northward as well.

  That means Mammoth will be in the perfect position to receive a combination of strong jet dynamics combined with a deep moisture plume.  Models are saying the upper level low will contain a moderate strength Atmospheric River that will move into the Mammoth Area early Thursday (image below).

   It also means that there will also be stronger warm air advection out ahead of the strong front Wednesday night.   Snow levels should slowly rise and peak Thursday morning just before frontal passage.   GFS has 700-mb temps or 10K temps around -2 C early Thursday that translates to a snow level around 8000 feet.  Dynamic cooling with the upper low though should keep levels slightly lower and around 7600-7800 feet.

   All the models are showing big amounts of liquid with the passage of these low-pressure systems.  The Canadian is the wettest at around 9 inches (image below) with the GFS showing about 8” now (two images below).

Latest ECM backed off a bit and has just over 6”.  Current forecast favors an ECM/GFS blend for almost 7” liquid.  I am worried the system will move through too fast for really large amounts.

  Nonetheless, snowfall amounts should be a solid four to five feet of Sierra cement at Main and six to seven feet up top by Friday morning.  The heaviest period of snowfall and winds will be overnight Wednesday and into Thursday dawn when blizzard conditions are expected.  There is a good chance that the mountain might not open Thursday or have very limited operations.

   Snowfall ends Thursday night and dry weather returns Friday along with lighter winds.  High pressure will then build into Mammoth (image below) through Saturday for fair and dry weather along with seasonable temperatures. The dry weather will likely last through Sunday midday before the next chance for snowfall arrives Sunday night.

Long Range:  

 The longer range guidance is mixed about how much short wave energy will be able to bust through the ridge and into CA with the approaching trough Sunday and into Monday.  The latest ECM (image below) is a bit more robust and digs the short wave southward along the Sierra Sunday night and into early Monday for about six inches of snow.

   The GFS model is not as bullish about the southward movement and keeps all the moderate amounts of snow north of Mammoth with just a couple inches for the hill.  The Canadian is closer to the GFS, but not quite as far north.   Most of the GFS ensembles (image below) are much farther north and east than the ECM solution while the majority of the ECM spaghetti ensembles follow the operational solution.  The current forecast follows the ECM mean with about 0.50” liquid and 3-6” snow.

   A high amplitude ridge will then build into Mammoth rest of the week, peaking around Thursday next week (image below).  Since the ridge will build off the coast and not directly over CA, Mammoth will be under weak northerly flow resulting in seasonable temperatures and light/breezy northeast winds.  Good conditions for the blue-bird lovers.

  The longer range GFS ensemble says this pattern will basically last rest of January (images below) with the ridge/pattern starting to break down around the end of the month.  I would not be surprised if an inside slider type storm moves through Mammoth last week of the month for colder temperatures and wind, but probably only light snowfall if it happens.

   The climate models have shifted a bit from their prior dry forecast for early February with the CFS (image below) and ECM both indicating a chance for undercutting pattern again.  It is still long ways out with most of the guidance/odds favoring dry weather.  There is nothing wrong with rooting for the underdog.     WG

The Dragons Back Area is looking fresh and deep! Taken 1-11-2019


**I wanted to give you all a review of the new K2 gear I have been skiing. I got a call last spring from the Local Rep Jeff and he asked if I would be interested in skiing on all new K2 gear.

Of course, I jumped at the chance and got started with the New Recon 130 Ski Boots from Day one. I added some fresh footbeds from that I had Keven at Footloose fit and it’s been off to ski every other day since we got started.

The new Recons are light about half the weight of my old boots and they fit like a nice perfect glove. They feel just as comfortable as my normal shoes I wear around town.

Next Up Jeff showed up at Christmas with some brand new experimental skis. I went with the 177 CM at 99 under feet.                 

I have now taken these ski’s all over the hill the last 3 weeks. From groomers, to wind buff steeps to steep cut up powder crud I have been flying all over the hill feeling like I am in my mid 30’s again.

Thanks to the crews I have been hooking up with, it’s been a blast skiing and riding with all of you.  

Who Are Area

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.

Snowman started blogging this information back in 1990 on the old Mammoth BBS system, then the RSN Forums and then on to in 2004 with his Video & Photo Blog reports. (No YouTube back then)

Snowman has had his reports, videos, and photos featured on both local TV Stations here in Mammoth, along with AP, Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC News. Learn more about the Snowman and our team here at at this link.


Ted Schlaepfer – CCM – The Mammoth Weather Guy

We met The Weather Guy about 12 years ago on the Mammoth Mountain Forum.  He checked out and offered to do a Powder Forecast.

Those forecasts are now responsible for many people getting multiple powder days on Mammoth Mountain over the years.  People email us saying they plan their days off around The Mammoth Weather Guy Powder Forecasts.

Ted’s Bio:   Always fascinated with the weather, skiing was just a natural extension of my love for snow and rain.  I started skiing at age 5,  first discovered Mammoth in 1979 as a youth, and have been a regular visitor since the late ’80s.

Here is the link to The WeatherGuys Page with all his great insights on the weather, update Tuesday and Friday at 5 PM during the ski season. 

Click Here to Learn More About the People Who Make a Reality.

Mammoth Mountain Snowman

Mammoth Mountain Weather and Snow Report

Steve Taylor

The Snowman loves Mammoth Mountain
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