Storm dumps more than 12 feet on Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Mountain added another 12.5 feet between Friday and Monday, making the four-day storm something to remember.

And it's not over yet.

More snow is on the way for the Central Sierra, with another 18" to 24" expected above 7,000 feet by Wednesday evening. Another storm is expected after Thursday and into the Christmas weekend, as well, although forecasters are waiting to refine their forecast for that one.

The end result has been, and will be, a whole lot of snow.

The four-day storm dumped almost feet on top of Mammoth Mountain, helping to make this December one of the wettest on record so far; the fifth wettest since records were kept in 1968, with 134 inches. The wettest December was in 2003-2004 where 154 inches fell in one month, according to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area data. And there's still another 12 days left in the month, when anything could happen.

The storm brings the Mammoth area to 60 percent of normal for the year and 192 percent of normal for this time of year, the data shows.

A Mammoth Mountain web site claims that Mammoth now has more snow than any other place in North America.

Whether that is indeed the case or not, this storm has certainly helped to push Mammoth in the right direction.

"We haven't had a single storm like this in several years, back as far as in 2005," said Scott McGuire, A meteorologist with the Reno National Weather Service.

A Winter Storm Warning is still in effect until 4:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20, according to the National Weather Service.

Power lines, laden with the heavy wet snow, were beginning to come down with some regularity Sunday and Monday, in the communities of Crowley Lake, Swall Meadows and Mammoth. More of the same might be on the way, as there has been very little wind to knock the snow off the power lines and the snow is still falling, Mono County District 2 Supervisor Hap Hazard said Monday afternoon.

McGuire said the flooding that forecasters had worried about was not as likely to be as bad as thought earlier, since the snow levels had dropped to around 7,500, meaning more precipitation is falling as snow. Also, the rain and snow has fallen at a slow and steady rate, which allows rivers and creeks time to adjust to the incoming precipitation.

Some localized flooding, though nothing serious, affected the Tri-Valley area Monday, Hazard said.

Northern Mono County, areas like Bridgeport and Walker and Coleville, have received far more rain than snow, according to several sources in the area, but the Walker River stopped short of flooding, as did the rest of the areas rivers and main creeks.

Snowplow crews were working full-time to keep up with the storm, but some residential areas remained unplowed as of Monday afternoon, Hazard said.

"This is a big storm, and we are doing all that is possible to keep up with it," he said.

No major problems were reported anywhere in the county, although there were many, many small-scale accidents, stuck vehicles and other problems, he said.

" Periods of very heavy snow are likely today and tonight. Additional snow accumulations of 3-6 feet above 7,500 feet, and 1-2 feet down to 6,500 feet are forecast. Overall snowfall totals of 5-10 feet are likely in the Sierra above 7,000 feet." — NWS


The Town of Mammoth Lakes advises residents and visitors to be prepared by listening to KMMT 106.5 and Sierra Wave 92.5 for any road closures or shelter openings.

The Town will also post updated information on the Public Information Line: (760) 934-8054 and

Call Caltrans at (800) 427-7623 for updated road conditions and chain restrictions. In the event of any emergency, please call 911 for assistance.

In preparation for the winter storm, the Town advises residents to stock up on water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, along with special items for medical conditions. You may also consider an alternative way to heat your home; and if you have to drive, carry chains, make sure your gas tank is full, bring a charged cell phone, emergency food, water and blankets or sleeping bags and a shovel.