When one is frustrated by weather and spends far too much time checking the National
Weather Service website to see if the forecasters have changed their minds, it’s time to check with our weather guru, Dennis Mattinson.
While Mattinson couldn’t satisfy the burning question (“when will this end?”), he did provide an explanation in layman’s terms. Here it is:
“So what’s going on with all these big storms hitting California? The main cause is an
ongoing train of low pressure systems extending as far as the Alaskan Western Aleutians, which has linked up with a strong Pacific Atmospheric River (AR) moisture stream extending into the Pacific.
The West Coast has received this huge moisture stream in spades, for the last 10 days.
Our forecast area has also received the brunt of these storms with copious mountain snow and valley rain.
“I expect these AR storms (at a more moderate level) to continue in Mammoth and the Owens Valley this weekend, with successive storms extending into the middle of next week. There is some “light at the end of the tunnel. Right now it looks like high pressure might build over the West Coast about Friday January 20th or the 21st, shifting the storm track to our north. Many variables still to contend with, but that’s the way it looks now. We will have to wait and see how all this pans out.”
Considering the number of 100-degree plus days the Owens Valley has lived through, an eight-day wait for relief from an atmospheric river assault should be bearable. Hopefully, Mother Nature will realize we’ve been punished enough and return us to warmer temperatures, more sunshine with just enough rain/snow to guarantee a nice high water table.