Ridge Merino's HQ is in the epicenter of where wild weather patterns converge to create the winter wonderland we call home.
Currently we're in the middle of an atmospheric river, a weather event that's been dumping multiple feet of snow per day over the past several weeks. This season so far, we've seen more than 420 inches at the summit of Mammoth Mountain, more snow than we received in total last year.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), atmospheric rivers are like "rivers in the sky." These long, concentrated regions in the atmosphere transport moist air from the tropics to higher latitudes. The moist air, combined with high wind speeds, produce heavy rain and snow upon landfall, especially over mountainous terrain.
Mammoth gets hit hard due to its proximity to the ocean, altitude and the surrounding topography. Generally in the Sierra, Pacific storms hit the western slopes and rise into thinner atmosphere against the ridges, resulting in our notorious mega storms. This means days and days of snowfall, usually followed by gorgeous bluebird powder days.
Here's a glimpse of what life's like in the snow globe (aka Mammoth Lakes, CA).
Ridge HQ: transitioning into igloo mode.
Januburied: disappearing cars and structures are typical sights around town.
Photos: Tiare Kirkland @outhikingwithtiare
- Tags: atmospheric river bluebird powder day california eastern sierra januburied mammoth lakes mammoth mountain snowfall