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Wet and warm winter on way for Eastern Sierra?

October 11, 2013

Parchers Resort on the south fork of Bishop Creek, received more than a foot of snow earlier this week as an autumn storm rolled into the Eastern Sierra. The Owens Valley floor received between .13 and 1.09 inches of rain. Photo by Jared Smith

Residents in the Eastern Sierra may experience a warmer-than-average winter this coming season. But predictions aren’t all bad, as there is a chance this winter could bring above-average precipitation.
Early winter weather predictions suggest that it may be a weak to moderate El Niño year. For the Eastern Sierra, El Niño, a warming trend in the Pacific, means warmer weather with increased chances of rain and, in the higher elevations, snow.
This past Wednesday, Owens Valley residents were treated to their first taste of winter weather as an unexpected storm provided more than an inch of rain on parts of the valley floor and as much as 11 inches of snow at higher elevations like the Bishop Creek Drainage.
According to local weather forecaster Dennis Mattinson, for California, the 2013-14 winter season may break the current drought cycle in the area.
“The Southern Jet (a storm track) could play a more dominant role with our weather. It is looking like we are going to have a weak to moderate El Niño and this will keep that Southern Jet more active,” Mattinson said.
He explained that the Southern Jet typically runs across the Pacific Northwest, “but with weak to moderate El Niño, it can dip southward into California.”
(Read more in the Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 edition of The Inyo Register.)

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