Powder Forecast –Friday March 22nd, 2019
Ted Schlaepfer CCM —- Mammoth Mountain WeatherGuy
Snow develops overnight and continues through the morning hours before tapering off during the afternoon and ending Saturday evening. Dry weather is then expected Sunday and Monday with snow likely Tuesday and next Wednesday with snow showers into Thursday. Dry weather returns end of next week and following weekend with snow possible again over the following week. Overall, a low-end powder day is expected tomorrow and Sunday up top/backside with powder conditions expected by the middle part of next week again.
Next update Tuesday 3/26
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 3/23 = 1 – 2” (H20 = 0.10” – 0.20”)**4
Sun 3/24 = 3 – 4” (H20 = 0.30” – 0.40”)**4
Mon 3/25 = 0”
Tue 3/26 = 0 – 2”
Wed 3/27 = 4 –8”
Thu 3/28 = 10 – 12”
Fri 3/29 = 3 – 6”
Sat – Mon 3/30– 4/1 = 0”
March Snowfall = 53”
March Forecast = 70 – 85”
Detailed 4-day Snowfall Forecast:
Sat 3/23 —Light to moderate snowfall during the morning tapers off during the afternoon and ends evening. Accumulations 4 – 6” from the storm. Gusty winds increase during the morning before decreasing late PM.
Sun 3/24 and Mon 3/25 —Dry both days except for a chance for snow Monday night or early Tuesday. Accumulations 0 – 2” by Tuesday AM possible. Light winds Sunday followed by strong gusty southwest winds Monday.
Tue 3/26 —Snow likely by the afternoon and night. Accumulations 4 –8” possible by Wednesday AM. Strong gusty winds likely.
Afternoon infrared satellite image (below) shows a complicated frontal system moving into CA with clouds and precipitation. The low-pressure center currently situated off the Central CA coast is the one that will move through Mammoth Saturday for a period of snowfall.
Snow should develop by late tonight and continue through tomorrow morning before tapering off during the afternoon and ending tomorrow evening. Lasted ECM and Canadian model QPF (image below) are showing around 0.40 -0.50” liquid from the relatively weak system resulting in about 4-6” of snowfall.
Winds will be gusty through mid-afternoon and probably will be 50-55 mph at times top of Ch 22. That is right on the threshold for some lift holds. It will be a close call to whether mid-mountain lifts are kept on weather hold.
The storm exits Saturday night and dry weather is then expected through most of Monday. The top should open Sunday and winds will be light through the morning hours. Winds should increase Sunday night and through Monday.
The winds are going to increase Monday because the models move an upper level low into NorCal during the day (image below) with the front expected to weaken when it reaches Mammoth Monday night.
Snowfall though will likely increase by Tuesday afternoon as a strong upper level low pressure system is forecast to move through CA and Mammoth Wednesday (image below) with moderate to heavy snowfall.
The models are suggesting 2” plus inches of liquid is possible from the storm (image below) and maybe up to two feet of snowfall at Main Tuesday through Thursday. Overall, the event for the middle part of next week has strong ensemble support and at least moderate snowfall enough for powder conditions look likely. I think we will get some heavy snow along with strong winds Wednesday.
Longer range guidance says high pressure will return by the end of next week and hold into the following weekend (image below) for a return of fair and dry weather. Being March, temperatures could warm up to seasonable levels by Saturday with spring conditions possible Eagle area, but continued winter up top.
The fantasy range ensemble mean favors storms to return over the following week (image below) with the pattern possibly staying active into the next weekend (image below) as the trough of low pressure may stay anchored along the CA coast. So it looks like April will start out strong with possibly more powder days.
And the entire month of April may end up good as well. Both the weekly CFS model and the monthly version (image below) are favoring above average precipitation in the central Sierra and Mammoth area. Average snowfall in April is around 40” and that could be easily exceeded if the pattern stays active during this spring El Nino. WG