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Two storms are taking aim at the Eastern Sierra during the coming week, putting an end to unseasonably warm and dry March and dumping as much as a few feet on the Sierra crest by the time April rolls in next Tuesday.
The storms will begin their approach tomorrow night, Tuesday, March 25, with a slow moving storm that will last until Thursday morning, leaving the Mammoth area with about 12-18 inches of snow at the highest elevations, according to the National Weather Service.
That storm is expected to be the primer for a wetter storm that will likely make its way to the Sierra sometime Sunday before it exits next Tuesday, April 1.
Although the â€śmodels are still strugglingâ€ť with where this second storm will hit the West Coast the hardest, NWS meteorologist Tony Fuentes said the Sierra is likely to get a strong shot of moisture.
â€śThere is quite a bit of moisture associated with this one,â€ť he said Monday afternoon. â€śItâ€™s associated with a tropical plume that reaches all the way to Hawaii, so yes, you could call it a 'Pineapple Express.'
"If it comes in near you, the best case scenario is a couple of feet of snow.â€ť
That "best case scenario" is a tantalizing thought for an area left parched and dry by three drought winters, but Fuentes interjected a note of caution, saying forecasting storms in the spring is unusually difficult, due to the fact that spring is a â€śtransition season.â€ť
â€śWe can really only pin down the amount of snowfall about one to two days out,â€ť he said.
Mammothâ€™s amateur weather forecaster, Howard Sheckter, echoed his words.
â€śItâ€™s too soon to tell,â€ť he said.
But then he added, â€śI wouldnâ€™t be surprised to see a couple of feet by Tuesday.â€ť