Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Thursday, April 12th, 2018
Today: Mostly sunny. A 20 percent chance of snow showers in the morning. Breezy, colder. Highs 39 to 45 at 5000 feet...28 to 34 at 8000 feet. West winds around 25 mph in the afternoon. Over higher elevations, west winds 25 to 30 mph, gusts up to 60 mph in the morning decreasing to 40 mph in the afternoon.
Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 24 to 34 at 5000 feet...13 to 21 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Sunny. Not as cool. Highs 53 to 59 at 5000 feet...47 to 53 at 8000 feet.
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update for April 11, 2018
New snow: None
Total settled snow depth: 21inches (at 8,600 feet)
High temperature: 60°F (April 9)
Low temperature: 15°F (April 8)
Ski Conditions and Weather: Although it did not snow in Tuolumne Meadows this week, we did receive 2.11 inches of water in the form of rain. This was a significant weather event in that the rain fell on deep snow over a short period of time and caused the Tuolumne River to flood its banks in numerous places. Just as the rains abated, we observed an ice jam real-time that spanned the width of the river above the bridge on Highway 120. This snow and ice backed up just above the bridge and caused the river to divert into an entirely new channel adjacent to the road. A similar event happened just above the bridge near Soda Spring and Parson’s Lodge. This was an impressive hydrologic event that will probably continue until the snow and ice jams melt out. It remains to be seen if these are new changes in the river course or just isolated until the water levels continue to drop.
As for the skiing…..even though the area has lost significant snow depth with the rain and warm temperatures this week, the rain soaked snow that remains is set up for good spring travel. The snowline was near 13,000 feet for this late season atmospheric river and only on the highest reaches of Mt. Dana did we observe new snow. It has been freezing just enough at night and warming during the days to make for a good spring ski cycle. In the alpine zone, we would recommend ice axe and crampons. For those traveling through mid-elevations, traction devices for shoes are advised.
Wilderness travelers should be aware that river and stream crossings are extremely hazardous at this time, and that snow bridges may be impossible to find. Not only did the Tuolumne River flood, but all water courses (even un-named ones) are now deep channels with high snowbanks on either side. If one is planning travel in the backcountry, we would recommend trying to find crossings near the headwaters of any drainage. Be advised that lakes at 10,000 feet and possibly above have thawed out and may have only thin ice with a dusting of snow on top. Even human made bridges in the backcountry may have been compromised during this atmospheric river event so if traveling in these zones, have contingency plans! We have not observed any flooding over the Tioga Road yet, and so far this appears to be a safe travel corridor (However, we haven’t been back to where Murphy Creek has met Tenaya Lake since last week).
Caltrans continued their snow removal efforts on the east side of Tioga Pass this week. They were at the Saddlebag Road on Monday, and projected to be near the pass by Friday. Visitors approaching from the east should anticipate dry pavement (except any new snow that falls) east of Tioga Pass. Please stay clear of any machinery to ensure your safety and the safety of the equipment operators.
Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: Please refer to the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (ESAC) for the avalanche advisory for this part of the Sierra Nevada.
The avalanche hazard in the Tuolumne Meadows area is presently low. The warm temperatures and overnight freezes have stabilized the snowpack at all aspects and elevations. Wet slides are still possible during the heat of the day especially on steep granite domes and around rock bands. The forecast calls for a few fast moving storms to come thru over the next week so visitors should be prepared for changing conditions.
Wildlife: The resident killdeer has moved back to stake its claim to Soda Springs. All of the other “tweety” birds seem to be singing a bit louder to compete with the roar of the river. One of those singing birds, initially appeared to be female…until we did some research and realized it was a first year male Cassin’s finch.
General Information: There is no phone service in Tuolumne Meadows at this time. We can be contacted regarding winter travel to Tuolumne Meadows via email, but we may be delayed in responding if we are on patrol. For permit information: https://www.nps.g
YARTS Subscription-based Alerts
YARTS announces the inauguration of a subscription-based service for reporting service alerts. When a bus is delayed, subscribers will receive a text message (depending on your location and cell phone reception). To subscribe, text Yarts20182 to 77453. (Service charges may apply, if text messaging is not supported by the subscriber's cell phone contract.) (J. Donovan)
Next On-sale Date for Campsites
Next on-sale date for camp sites is 4/15, which opens arrival dates Aug 15-Sept 14. Please get admin requests in by COB Friday, 4/13 via sharepoint.
Use of Projector in Auditorium
The projector in the auditorium recently "expired" and we are now using the more expensive projector that we normally only use for special events as a temporary fix. Anyone who is expecting to use the projector starting today and into the future months must meet with Ed Whittle to get training on how to use the equipment and go over all "housekeeping guidelines and rules" for the projector to keep it in good running order. Ed can be reached at 372-0546 or if you cannot reach Ed, please contact Rhonda Aranguena at 372-0290. (R. Aranguena)
Yosemite Valley Parking and Road Work
Final paving on Northside Drive between Bank 3-Way (Sentinel Dr.) and Camp 4 is scheduled for April 16th through April 18th. The park plans to close this road segment and enact temporary 2-way detours on Northside Dr. and Southside Dr. to complete paving within this time frame. Visitors may park at the Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Village parking lots. Contractors will begin paving the Yosemite Falls and Camp 4 Parking Areas on 4/19, after they complete work on Northside Dr. They will open selected parking bays at the Yosemite Falls parking area when paving the Camp 4 parking area and vice versa. (L. Acree)
Room for Rent
Furnished Room for rent in 3 bed, 2 bath home. Guest bath has been remodeled and bedroom has newer carpet and walk in closet. Large home with laundry and big kitchen. Must be okay with a large fluffy dog and an affectionate cat. All utilities are included as long as tenant is responsible with them (solar, gas, trash, WiFi). Access to all common areas. Month 2 Month 209-742-7798 $500 a month. (M. Matheson)
Yosemite Forum Today 3:30-4:30PM
"Soil microbial ecology of the Western US: Predictions for a warm and fiery future" by Nick Dove, UC Merced
Soil microbial communities are key mediators of soil organic carbon, which constitutes a major portion of the global carbon pool. Temperature, nutrient availability, and fire frequency/severity are expected to vary in response to climate change, but uncertainties about the response of microbial community composition, activity, gene expression, and physiology limits the ability to predict the stability of soil carbon pools.This talk will explore how warming, fire, nutrient cycles and microbes interact now and into the future.
Please contact Garrett Dickman 379-3282 for additional information. (G. Dickman)