Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Thursday, April 26th, 2018
Today: Mostly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Near the crest, a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms and snow showers in the afternoon.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of thunderstorms in the evening. Near the crest, a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms and snow showers in the evening. Over higher elevations, gusts up to 45 mph after midnight.
Friday: Sunny, windy. Highs 58 to 64 at 5000 feet...49 to 55 at 8000 feet. Southwest winds 25 to 30 mph over higher elevations. Gusts up to 60 mph over higher elevations.
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
ParkRx Day Celebration: A Walk in the Park, Sunday 4/29 at 10:15AM
Join our park doctor, CAPT Valerie Ohman, MD, along with Yosemite Medical Clinic staff, US Public Health Service officers and Mariposa County staff for a one-mile walk in the park to celebrate ParkRx Day. The goal of ParkRx Day is to connect people to the physical and metal health benefits of being outdoors and encourage community use of our green spaces. A volunteer naturalist and former NPS Park Ranger will join us to enrich the experience. All community members and park visitors are welcome. Meet at the Yosemite Medial Clinic Parking Lot (9000 Ahwahnee Drive) at 10:15AM on Sunday 4/29/2018 for a walk on the Valley Loop Trail ending at Lower Yosemite Falls Bridge. The event is expected to last one hour. For questions/more information, call (209) 372-4637. (N.Casey)
Hooting Owl Lecture Series, Thursday, April 26
"Fire and Archeology in Yosemite National Park"
by Jun Kinoshita, Fire Archeologist
Come explore why the Fire and Aviation Management Branch of Yosemite National Park has an archeologist trained as a firefighter! For the past seventeen years, Jun Kinoshita has worked closely with firefighters to document and protect the varied cultural resources of Yosemite National Park.
This month's Hooting Owl lecture will take place on Thursday, April 26, from 6:30 7:30 pm at the Wawona Community Center. Doors open at 6:00. (J. Cox)
Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park to Open on Saturday, April 28, 2018
Yosemite National Park announces the Glacier Point Road will open to all vehicular traffic at 9:00 am on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
There will be limited visitor services available at Glacier Point. There is no projected opening date for the Glacier Point store or the Bridalveil Creek Campground.
The Four Mile Trail is open from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point.
Visitors are encouraged to slow down and drive with caution along all park roads, as bears and other wildlife may be present on or near the roadway. Drivers should be aware of potential hazards in the road, including wet and icy conditions or debris in the roadway.
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again.
Volunteer Opportunity to Restore Monarch Butterfly Habitat at Cascade Falls - Sat. April 28th
Join members of the California Native Plant Society and Park Service biologist to help restore habitat for the iconic and once ubiquitous monarch butterfly. The recent and dramatic population declines of the monarch butterfly has led to its consideration for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Help restore this historically disturbed site by hand pulling invasive weeds and watering recently planted native species. We’ll learn about the plants used for restoration, techniques for restoring monarch and other pollinator habitat, and the weeds that threaten them. Meet at the El Portal Market to arrange carpools at 9:00 am or at Cascade Falls Picnic Area at 9:30 am. We'll wrap up by 3:00 and volunteers are welcome to come for all or any part of the day. Cascade Falls Picnic Area is located about 3 miles east of Arch Rock entrance station and is the first parking area with a bathroom that you’ll see on your right if coming from the west/El Portal. For more info, contact David at 612-867-8700, or email@example.com. All are welcome. Hope to see you there! (D.Campbell)
Bicycle Access On Glacier Point Road Thursday & Friday
Glacier Point Road has been cleared of snow and is near being ready to open. Prior to opening to vehicles, it will be open to bicycles only. For two days, Thursday, April 26th and Friday, April 27th, cyclists may park at Chinquapin and ride all sixteen miles of the Glacier Point Road. Cyclists need to stay in the correct lane of travel, be aware that there may be admin vehicles using the road, and watch for debris. (C. Andrews)
Southside Drive Delays Update 4/24
Drilling Operations at Pohono Bridge and Happy Isles Bridge will continue thru Friday, April 27th as part of a bridge preservation project in Yosemite Valley. There will be single lane traffic control with flaggers, so please use caution when traveling thru the construction zone. To help minimize the traffic impacts during the day, crews will be drilling the north abutment for Pohono Bridge on Thursday night between 10 PM and 6 AM. The following delays should be anticipated while traveling across these two bridges this week:
Monday thru Friday 6am to 5:30pm – Traffic delays up to 15 minutes at Pohono and Happy Isles Bridges
Thursday Night 10pm to 6am - Traffic delays up to 15 minutes at Pohono Bridge (M. Pieper)
Scheduled Power Outages In Wawona
PG&E will be performing scheduled maintenance in the Wawona area. There will be 2 temporary short outages:
Tuesday April, 24th, 8:30am-9am
Thursday April 26th, 4pm-4:30pm
For more information contact Heather Gonzales, PG&E Outage Coordinator, at 726-5588. (K. Bablitch)
Yosemite Valley Flood Narrative
On April 7th, Yosemite Valley experienced the 8th largest flood recorded at Pohono Bridge since 1917, the largest flood in 21 years. The Merced River peaked at Pohono Bridge at 6:15pm at 13.73 feet, flowing at 12,200 cubic feet per second (cfs). Upstream at the gage at Happy Isles, the Merced River peaked at 3:45pm at 10.09 feet, flowing at 8,000 cfs, which was the 6th largest on record at this gage since 1916. During the river’s peak, more than 60% of the river’s flow entered Yosemite Valley at Happy Isles, with the rest coming mainly from the numerous tributaries flowing into the valley. At Pohono Bridge, flood conditions occurred for nearly 30 hours, rising above 10 feet on April 7 at 08:00am and dropping below 10 feet on April 8 at 1:45pm. Floodwater inundated roads at numerous places, water depths ranged 2 - 4 feet at Chapel Meadow, Wosky Pond, Sentinel Cross, and El Cap Cross.
The flood resulted from an unusual Spring atmospheric river of warm precipitation falling on a saturated snowpack and saturated soils. With the snowline higher than 12,000 feet, most of the precipitation falling in the Tuolumne and Merced River watersheds fell as rain. This combination of preexisting conditions and high snowline led to rapid runoff from most of the watershed area, generating flooding with only 2 – 4 inches of precipitation. This scenario differs from typical winter storms when the snowline is lower and a much smaller area of the watershed is contributing runoff.
Interestingly, during rain-through-snow events it is generally thought that rain contributes most of the runoff, while smaller amounts of runoff are contributed by melted snow. However, during this storm, snow sensors in Yosemite measured larger amounts of snowmelt, in some places possibly doubling the amount of runoff. The amount of rain during the event ranged 2 – 4 inches, while snowmelt ranged 0.7 – 4.3 inches of liquid water. During the afternoon of April 7, winter rangers in Tuolumne Meadows observed the Tuolumne River melting out rapidly, which was last observed during the historic flood of 1997. We are still investigating why such a large amount of snowmelt occurred. (H. Forrester)
Room(s) for Rent
Rooms for rent in a beautiful, large 4+ bed/2.5 bath home, nestled in the hills off the 140, near the border of Mariposa and Midpines. Home is on 5 quiet acres, surrounded by great views which you can see from bedroom windows. $550/month per room, plus a portion of utilities. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested. (K. Indigo)
CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS
YARTS Schedule Affected by Construction April 23-25
Construction on El Portal Road and Northside Drive will impact YARTS service this week. Due to the closure of Northside Drive, YARTS buses will not stop at the Visitor Center and (The) Majestic Yosemite Hotel. All visitors and employees must use stops at Half Dome Village and Yosemite Valley Lodge. Specific adjustments to arrival and departure times are subject to delays caused by construction and traffic congestion. (J. Donovan)
Yosemite Valley Road Work
Final paving on Northside Drive between Bank 3-Way (Sentinel Dr.) and Camp 4 is planned for Monday April 23rd through Wednesday April 25th. The road segment will close and there will be temporary 2-way detours on Northside and Southside Drives. Shuttle bus routes from Yosemite Lodge will evolve throughout the 3 days. On Monday, shuttle buses will not be able to run east from the Yosemite Valley Lodge to Yosemite Village (instead they will head west to Pohono Bridge and circle back on Southside Drive). There may be short windows on Tuesday and Wednesday when shuttle buses may be able to travel east from the lodge. The next week, April 26th through April 30th, there will be two-way traffic through the area with short delays to finalize utility access points.
Contractors will pave the Yosemite Falls Parking area from April 26th through May 4th. Contractors will pave the Camp 4 Parking area May 7th and 8th.
Visitors may park at the Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Village parking lots. In addition, parking at Camp 4 and Yosemite Falls Parking areas will open in selected parking bays this Friday at the close of the work day through Wednesday, May 2nd. This parking is for day use only with the exception of Camp 4 campers. (L. Acree)
Caltrans Construction Update For SR 49 and Surrounding Area
Caltrans advises that damage to State Routes (SR) 49 and 132, sustained after heavy rains on March 22nd, resulted in long term closures. SR 49 is closed for 36 miles between SR 120 and Bear Valley Road. SR 132 is closed for one half mile between Granite Springs and Piney Creek Roads. Completion dates are unknown at this time. Additionally, a Caltrans contractor has begun repaving 34 miles of SR 108 and SR 120 in Tuolumne County. Work began on April 2nd and is expected to continue into October. Motorists can expect lane closures and one-way traffic control, with flaggers and 10-minute delays. (J. Donovan)
Northside Drive Traffic Pilot Beginning April 13th
Beginning late Friday morning, April 13th, Northside Drive will be reconfigured as a one-way two lane road at the Lower Falls intersection for westbound traffic. Traffic from Camp 4 and the Yosemite Falls Parking area will use Lodge Drive to head back to the Lower Falls intersection. There a right turn heads east on Northside Drive toward Yosemite Village. As a reminder, Lodge Drive is signed with a speed limit of 15 MPH. The goal of this pilot is to improve pedestrian safety and the overall efficiency of the Lower Falls intersection. (J. Hoeflich)
El Portal Road Delays Update 3/28
Crews have re-mobilized to finish working on the storm damage repairs from last year. Delays will continue up to Memorial Day weekend. Crews will be working on the El Portal Road between the western Park boundary (Yosemite View Lodge) and the Big Oak Flat Intersection. There will be single lane traffic control with flaggers and pilot car operations, so please use caution when traveling thru the construction zone. This work is scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day weekend. The following delays should be anticipated while traveling the El Portal Road between the western park boundary and the Big Oak Flat Intersection:
Monday thru Friday
6am to 8am – Traffic delays up to 15 minutes
8am to 3:30pm -- Traffic delays up to 30 minutes
3:30pm to 5:30pm -- Traffic delays up to 15 minutes (M. Pieper)
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. (K. White)
Utilities Branch Chief until further notice
Physical Science & Landscape Ecology Branch Chief until further notice
Kent van Wagtendonk: 379-1046
Wilderness Patrol Supervisor until August 8
Lisa Kahn: 372-0354
Park Botanist until further notice
Garrett Dickman: 379-3282
Chief Curator until June 9
Paul Rogers: 379-1282