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Mammoth Mountain Ski Area received 16 inches of powder since Wednesday, giving the ski area about 126 inches (or about 10.5 feet) of snow since the season began on Oct. 1. The base depth of the mountain is now at 68 inches, or about 5.5 feet. The measurements were taken by the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area Ski Patrol at Main Lodge, at about 9,000 feet of elevation.
The totals for Wednesdayâs storm were something of a surprise; most forecasts had put the total snowfall for the area lower than what actually occurred.
For contrast, last December's total was just two inches, close to a record low (1976-77 was zero). The December before that, the total amount of snow received all month was 196 inches, an all-time high for the month, since record keeping began in 1970.
Looking ahead, both the National Weather Service and Mammothâs amateur weather forecaster, Howard Sheckter, predict an unsettled weekend and early next week, with a series of smaller storms moving into the area.
âA fairly active weather pattern will remain in place through the weekend,â according to Thursday morningâs NWS forecast discussion for this area. âThe progressive storm pattern will allow numerous opportunities for systems to drop out of the Gulf of Alaska and impact the Western U.S. Although confidence is moderate for systems to impact the west, the details of each wave are difficult to determine as model continuity from run-to-run and model-to-model is poor.â
The report states that two models show different chances of precipitation for the Sierra over the next few days and it is still to soon to determine which model will prevail.
Sheckter is also keeping an eye on a long-range pattern that he says mightâemphasis on the word âmightââbring a significant storm around the Christmas holiday.
âThe Dweebs see yet another storm âŠ slamming the Central Sierra Wednesday night into Thursday, after which the pattern goes into transition to give us possibly a few days break before a new weather type develops,â he posted on his website Thursday morning.
âAlthough the Dweebs see some kind of system for Christmas Eve/DayâŠ it appears that there will be one more multi-day storm that will be the âGrand Finale,â beginning the 26th and ending that following Friday. Again, this is not for planning purposes... just for fun!â