Here Come the Storms; Eastside Braces for More Snow

Wendilyn Grasseschi
Times Reporter

Another series of winter storms are taking aim at the Eastern Sierra.
By the end of next week, another several feet of snow – and perhaps more – should be piled on top of Mammoth Mountain’s existing 356 inches of snow.
According to Howard Sheckter, Mammoth’s forecaster, the first in the series arrived this morning, Feb. 3 with at least two more storms lined up like pearls on a necklace.
“We should see one to two feet on Mammoth Mountain between Friday and Saturday morning and about a foot in town,” he said.
“Sunday daytime looks quiet again, but by Sunday night, storm number two arrives, with another one to two feet on the Mountain and between 12 inches and 18 inches in Mammoth, he said.
Then comes the big one – although Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra will not take the brunt of it.
“There is another atmospheric river approaching Northern California and it is very concerning,” he said. “It’s going to bring rain in town beginning Tuesday (fe. 7). The storm could last into Thursday and while the bullseye is north of us with Tahoe and the west side of the Sierra the hardest hit, this storm is something to watch.”
He said models show that between today’s storm and the end of next week, as much as 20 inches of rain could fall on Northern California, with the Central Sierra where Mammoth lies getting considerably less, because Mammoth lies near the southern edge of the atmospheric river plume of moisture.
But Mammoth's Westside neighbors could be in for a world of hurt.
“There could be some serious flooding in the Westside foothills and the valleys,” he said. “They are getting very alarmed about this storm.”
By Thursday, the atmospheric river should begin to exit the area.
That might not be the end, either.
“The models have been progressive,” he said, meaning that the long term weather models show a certain pattern that leans toward more precipitation through the coming weeks, not less.
At this time, a break of some kind is in the models after the atmospheric river moves out but beginning around Feb. 16 to Feb. 17, it’s possible the long range weather patterns are setting up once again to bring big, wet storms into California, similar to what occurred in November through January.