Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Thursday, December 21st, 2017
Today: Sunny. Very windy. Highs 38 to 46 at 5000 feet...33 to 43 at 8000 feet. Northeast winds 25 to 30 mph with gusts to around 65 mph...northeast 35 to 45 mph with gusts to around 75 mph over higher elevations.
Tonight: Clear, windy. Lows 18 to 28 at 5000 feet...14 to 24 at 8000 feet. Northeast winds 25 to 30 mph with gusts to around 60 mph in the evening.
Tomorrow: Sunny. Not as cool. Highs 44 to 54 at 5000 feet...42 to 52 at 8000 feet.
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
The Loft at Degnan's
The Loft at Degnan’s has an extended schedule for the holidays.
12/20 – 12/31 Open Wednesday - Sunday: 1pm – 8pm
Closed Monday & Tuesday (L. Cesaro)
Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update for December 20, 2017
New snow: 3 inches
Total settled snow depth: 6 inches (at 8,600 feet)
High temperature: 58°F (December 14)
Low temperature: 17°F (December 19)
Ski Conditions and Weather: The winter rangers are back for lucky season number seven! This is our first post of the 2017-18 season. As we skied away from Tuolumne Meadows down the depths of Lee Vining Canyon last April, it finally set in what an intense winter we had experienced first hand. Now that we’re back, we look at everything from a new perspective with a mere six inches on the ground here in Tuolumne Meadows. Presently, the Tioga Road east of the park is bare from Lee Vining gate to Ellery Lake. Beyond there one can either walk and/or ski along the edges of the road/meadows. From Tioga Pass to just east of Tenaya Lake the Tioga Road is 95% snow covered.
Snow depths vary greatly with elevation/aspect with 4-6 inch depths around Tuolumne Meadows (8,600 feet) and up to 24-30 inches around Tioga Pass at 9,940 feet. This week saw unseasonably warm temperatures for three days, followed by cold temperatures and strong NE winds. Skiing on all aspects, subsequently, is sun and wind affected. As of this writing it is windy and snowing with a couple inches of new snow on the ground.
Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: Please refer to the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (ESAC) for the avalanche advisory for this part of the Sierra Nevada.
There is enough snow around Tuolumne Meadows to slide around on if one is creative. However, most southerly aspects at this elevation are devoid of snow. North facing aspects above 8,600 feet are snow covered. ESAC avalanche/snowpack advisory is spot on. North facing slopes are faceted, sugar snow with a melt-freeze/facet/wind slab sandwich on top in places. On more solar aspects, there appears to be a bit more stable of snow a snowpack with higher density snow at the ground and some faceting/melt freeze layers above. The avalanche hazard will increase with the new wind blown snow forming wind slabs over faceted snow at the higher elevations. The avalanche hazard is presently low at the middle and lower elevations. The ice, rocks and downed trees are the main hazard there!
Wildlife: We fell asleep to the sounds of a Great Horned Owl at Tioga Pass the other night and were greeted the next morning by the serenades of the coyotes in Dana Meadow. A flock of Dark-eyed Juncos was flitting around amidst the beautiful white snowflakes today. They appear anxious to take advantage of the bare patches of ground and seeds before they move down to the lower elevations
Questions: The Tuolumne Meadows Ski Hut is open. There is firewood and 8 bunks that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no phone service in Tuolumne Meadows at this time. We can be contacted via email, but we may be delayed in responding if we are on patrol. Contact the wilderness office at 209/372-0740 with any questions or concerns. Come prepared, and please make good decisions while traveling in the wilderness this winter. Happy Winter Solstice! Laura and Rob Pilewski - Tuolumne Winter Rangers (L. Pilewski)
Holiday Movie Night Saturday
All Yosemite employees and their families are invited to a potluck and movie night at the Yosemite Valley Auditorium and Theater on December 23rd. Bring a dish to share for a potluck dinner starting at 5:30p in the Yosemite Valley Auditorium, followed by a showing of the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000, J. Carrey) at 6:30p in the Theater. This is a free event. Be a zero hero and bring your own mess kit! (S.Diaz)
Mariposa PIV Station Closure
The Mariposa PIV station will be closed from Monday, December 25th through Friday, December 29th, and will not be processing enrollments, activations, or updates. For urgent PIN resets, please contact the HR Service Desk at 379-1805. The next available appointments will be on Wednesday, January 3rd. (J. Gallegos)
Candlelight Service Sunday
Yosemite Community Church will be hosting a Candlelight Service on Sunday, December 24th at 4:00pm in the historic Chapel in Yosemite. Don’t miss this beautiful tradition! (F. Moore)
Museum/District Building Electrical Rehab Project
This project will rehabilitate the electrical system in the Museum/District Building by installing grounding in the existing electrical circuits. The Contractor mobilized on Monday, December 18th and the project is expected to run for 6 months. The 8 parking stalls to the west of the building between the sidewalk on the south and the south end of the fence to the north will become the Contractor's staging areas. Please do not leave any vehicles parked there on Sunday night. Thank you. (K. White)
Author Night Thursday
Yosemite Library invites you to its first Author Night! Join in for an evening with John Colver on Thursday, December 21st from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Learn how to add the Daily Dozen to your day! Listen to amazing stories of John’s year on the Pacific Crest Trail, John Muir Trail, the peaks he summited and his experience of “Walking in the Footsteps of a Saint”, a year walking where John Muir explored. (C. Reynolds)
Sightings of coyotes in developed areas within Yosemite Valley has increased over the past month. In particular, coyotes have been observed approaching dogs in campgrounds and housing areas. Please be extra cautious to keep pets on short (6 foot) leashes while in the park. Do not leave pets outside unattended. If you see a coyote approaching you, make a lot of noise, wave your arms to look bigger, and keep children close by. As always, please remember to store your food properly at all times and never feed wildlife!
Yosemite Medical Clinic Holiday Closure
Yosemite Medical Clinic will be closed Monday, December 25th in observance of Christmas Day, a federal holiday. As usual, ambulance response will be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week by calling 911. (C. Griffin)
CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS
Yosemite Valley Parking and Road Construction
Contractors are wrapping up work for their winter shutdown. The only work that will take place this winter will be reconstructing masonry headwalls, with local traffic control as needed. Masonry contractors have wrapped up work in west Yosemite Valley and moved to the Lodge area. (L. Acree)
Yosemite Valley Building Demolition
The abatement and demolition of the AAC Center began on Monday, November 6th and will continue through November 22nd, with the building demolition phase scheduled November 27th – December 18th. The accessible pedestrian pathway from the new Yosemite Village Day Use Parking Area to Yosemite Village (to the Village Store, Visitors Center, etc.) will not be blocked and will have chain link fencing on the interior side for visitor protection. The site will be restored to a seasonal wetland in 2018. (D. Miller)