Why & How Mammoth Mountain Receives Massive Snowstorms?

Each year Mammoth Mountain receive hundreds of inches of snowfall at ski resort including the base of the town. The amount of snow each storm brings is unlike any other ski resort in America. Keep reading to learn why.


During the month of December 2019 Mammoth received over 139" inches of snowfall from one storm. Locals call it the "Mega Storm" yet this is just the start of the season and more storms just like this one are expected.


We all know Mammoth Lakes, CA receives "Mammoth Size Snowflakes" and an abundance of fluffy powder after each storm, although scientist are now testing why this pocket of California High Sierra Mountain Range gets storms so powerful and leave behind so much snow in-comparison to any other ski resort in North America.


Weather forecasters relay on a weather reader called Telaconnections. When they see a strong reading or connection on the m-jo they know that their is a large atmospheric river. If this river consist of a cold current then scientist know there will be snow in the forecast. I the river has a warm current the storm will bring nothing but rain.


In addition to the weather forecasters, Mammoth's ski patrol also does their part in measuring and testing every storm. Each morning before the mountain opens ski patrol goes to specifical sections on Mammoth Mountain and measures the snow manually. The measure it with two storm readers, one of which is called a storm board which measures the total amount of that one storm and the second measure reader is a 24 hour board which measure the snowfall in a 24 hour period. In addition to measuring the snow count manually there is also a digital sensor which assists in the measurements. Last but not least ski patrol has a scale that measures the height and weight of the snow in that 24 hour period. By doing all of these measurements and test on the snow it provided the crew with an estimate of how stable the mountain is. This is important because it give them an estimate of the likelihood of an avalanche. At this point ski patrol then coordinates with with everyone on the mountain from lift operations to snow cats, and more.


Stated by Mammoth's local Hydrologist, "The Minaret summit is the lowest point in the crest of the Sierra mountain range." So by Mammoth Mountain sitting over the crest, each storm that comes over, Mammoth will receive the heaviest part of the storm. Hydrology is another important aspect in learning about these snowstorms and predicting what will come next. They scientists behind the test they preform lets them better understand the snow-pack of that particular season which then determines how much water runoff will be leftover at the end of the winter season.


Want to learn more about how and why Mammoth Lakes, CA receive as much snow as they do each winter? CLICK HERE to watch the full video on "The Science Behind Why Mammoth Mountain Gets Mammoth Size Snowfalls."


If this has inspired you to take a trip to this magical mountainous ski area CLICK HERE to book your Mammoth ski/snowboard trip today!




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