Powder Forecast –Friday March 18th, 2022
Ted Schlaepfer CCM —- Mammoth Mountain WeatherGuy
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.
**Snowfall forecast confidence ranges from very low (1) to very high (5)
Sat 3/19 = 0”
Sun 3/20 = 2 – 4” (H20 = 0.25” – 0.45”)
Mon 3/21 = 0”
Tue 3/22 = 0”
Wed 3/23 = 0”
Thu 3/24 = 0”
Fri 3/25 = 0”
Sat – Mon 3/26 – 3/28 = 3 – 10”
March Snowfall = 4”
March Forecast = 20 – 35”
Detailed 4-day Snowfall Forecast:
Sat 3/19 – Snow, mostly light, develops late morning and continues through Saturday evening before ending overnight. Accumulations 2 – 4”” by Sunday morning, 4”+ up top
Sun 3/20 through Tue 3/22 – No snowfall expected all days.
Short Term (Days 1 – 4):
The infrared satellite image (below) today shows high pressure over the state edging eastward in response to a weather system now approaching the coast. That weather system will move into the Sierra tomorrow during the day with snowfall expected to start in Mammoth late morning and increase through the afternoon. Snow should decrease late evening before ending tomorrow night.
Models are now only showing light amounts of liquid in the quarter to half inch range with the GFS showing the most (image below) and the ECM (two images below) showing the least at around a quarter inch.
Overall, it looks like a solid few inches at Main and probably enough for low-end powder conditions with areas up top possibly seeing up to 6”. Winds should increase through the morning hours and into midday before decreasing during the afternoon, although they won’t be super strong per Mammoth standards, but I bet the top will not open tomorrow before the snowfall starts.
Sunday will be a bluebird day with breezy to gusty northeasterly winds increasing during the day. High pressure will then build through early next week for fair and warmer weather with spring conditions possible across the entire mountain by Tuesday.
Long Range (Days 5+):
The longer-range guidance has one more chance for a “big” storm (>1” liquid) before the January through March snowfall season ends. If it doesn’t happen, then the January through March 2022 period will have observed the least snowfall on record and also likely be the driest too.
High pressure is forecast by the models (image below) to hold through mid-week (image below) for continued fair and seasonably warmer weather/spring conditions.
The guidance then favors a trough of low pressure to move into the state by the following weekend with the GFS model (image below) showing a fairly strong storm while the ECM model (two images below) not as robust.
It is still a long ways out, but the GFS ensemble mean (image below) is showing a decent long-wave trough along West Coast with the jet extending into CA. If it ends up far enough southward, then a good storm is possible. So far this season in 2022, it has not worked out for us, we can only hope it happens this time.
Longer range guidance per the GFS ensemble mean (image below) favors ridging to return toward the end of the month and then to continue into early April. Climate models are not showing dry conditions through early April, so hopefully storm/powder chances will return. WG