Yosemite Stock Photographs, Prints and Video | Yosemite National Park Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Yosemite National Park Thursday, January 18th, 2018

January 18, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park

Thursday, January 18th, 2018


Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast

Winter Weather Advisory in effect from January 18, 10:00 AM PST until January 20, 04:00 AM PST

Today: Mostly cloudy. A 50 percent chance of showers in the afternoon. Near the crest, a 20 percent chance of snow showers in the afternoon. Very windy. Snow level above 8000 feet. Highs 51 to 61 at 5000 feet...43 to 49 at 8000 feet. Southwest winds 30 to 45 mph with gusts to around 100 mph over higher elevations.

Tonight: Showers. Snow showers. Very windy. Colder. Snow accumulation up to 9 inches. Snow level above 8000 feet. Lows 28 to 38 at 5000 feet...22 to 30 at 8000 feet. South winds around 25 mph with gusts to around 45 mph...southwest 30 to 45 mph with gusts to around 80 mph over higher elevations.

Tomorrow: Snow showers in the morning, then chance of snow showers in the afternoon. Near the crest, snow showers likely. Windy, colder. Snow accumulation up to 3 inches. Total snow accumulation up to 12 inches. Snow level 6000 feet. Highs 35 to 41 at 5000 feet...29 to 34 at 8000 feet. Southwest winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts to around 60 mph over higher elevations.

Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:

Yosemite Valley  |  Wawona  |  Tuolumne Meadows  |  Glacier Point |  Big Oak Flat  |  Hetch Hetchy  |  El Portal  |  Mariposa | Badger Pass






Research Library Closure

The Research Library is closed until further notice. Please contact the Museum for assistance. https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/historyculture/collections.htm (V. Sanchez)



Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update for January 17, 2018



New snow: 1 inch

Total settled snow depth: 8 inches (at 8,600 feet)

High temperature: 58°F (January 12)

Low temperature:  18°F (January 13)


Ski Conditions and Weather: It was another very warm week, with high temperatures in the mid-50s. This has resulted in the snow setting up more like springtime along the Tioga Road and in the flats around Tuolumne Meadows. Speaking of the flats……we are often asked what gear works best for a ski tour to Tuolumne Meadows. We prefer skis with a patterned base and full metal edge. The patterned base allows for touring on low angle terrain without the need for climbing skins. Kicker skins (short skins that only cover about 1/3 of the ski base) are a useful alternative if you do not have skis with scales. Full length climbing skins are necessary when ascending steeper terrain. We always carry ski wax and a scraper for those days where the snow sticks to the bottom of our skis.


The best opportunity for making turns is on north aspects above 9,500 feet. Anything that is not due north, however, is a mixed bag of zipper or wind-crust. South aspects are still quite bony, but low angle drainages offer good touring. The Tioga Road as of this writing is also quick touring, but that may change here soon given the forecast for possible snow. Patchy snow starts at approximately 8,000 feet to the west along the Snow Creek trail. The Tioga Road is 100% snow covered from that area east to Ellery Lake Dam. 


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 warm temperatures have helped to stabilize the snowpack for the time being. At the beginning of this week we observed collapsing of the snowpack on weak buried layers on north aspects between 9,000 feet and 10,000 feet.  By weeks’ end, we were not observing this sign of instability. The avalanche hazard is presently low in the Tuolumne Meadows area and along the Tioga Road corridor as there is hardly any snow in these avalanche paths.


Wildlife: We have been hearing more great horned owls this season than our previous ones. In fact, the other night, we heard another curious call. It sounded like something plaintively begging or barking. But, it was responding to the typical hoots of a great horned owl. As it turns out, it was an immature great horned owl who’s, let’s say, voice, hadn’t quite reached adulthood. The response of its parents to the youngster’s incessant calls may have been interpreted as “you’re old enough now; get your own food!”


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. Follow our blog: https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/tmconditions.htm. Think snow! Laura and Rob Pilewski - Tuolumne Winter Rangers (L. Pilewski) 





New Vehicle Stickers

Are you an employee working in Yosemite National Park? If so, and you have already gotten a new YNP-18 (seasonal) or YNP-20 (permanent) sticker for your windshield, thank you! All purple YNP-17 stickers expired at the end of 2017. Please obtain a new one as soon as possible. 

NPS employees, bring your vehicle registration to your division representative. See Sharepoint for details. Employees of Yosemite Hospitality, NatureBridge, Ansel Adams Gallery, etc. must obtain new stickers through their respective organization. (P. Davis)



Yosemite Valley Fuel Station 

The Y8 Fuel Station in Yosemite Valley is now fully operational and accepting GSA credit cards. Please contact Tony Paladino, Acting Chief of Concessions Management (372-0274)  if you have any problems. (T. Paladino)



Incident Qualification Card (Red Card)

If you are planning on applying for Incident Qualification Card (Red Card) for this year, please start submitting any IQCS training or experience you have completed. The Sharepoint site will be updated with the 2018 material and a following notification will be sent.  (C. Mitchell)



Flu Season

Lastweek, the California Department of Public Health announced that flu activity in California is widespread and at levels usually seen at the peak of the influenza season.  Recently, Yosemite Medical Clinic has seen an uptick in the number of patients seeking care for flu-like illness.


It is not too late in the flu season to get a flu shot.  Since Yosemite Medical Clinic has only very few doses of flu vaccine remaining (and please do feel free to call 209-372-4637 for vaccine availability), we recommend finding locations in communities outside the park where vaccine may be available; this site can help: https://vaccinefinder.org/ Additionally, the Mariposa County Health Department offers flu shots on an appointment basis - call 209-966-3689.




- The flu virus causes a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms that include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue.

- Flu may be mild in some people but can cause hospitalization and even death in others. People at higher risk for flu complications include children younger than 5 and especially younger than 2 years of age, pregnant women, the elderly, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and people with weakened immune systems or who have underlying medical conditions.

- There is an annual seasonal flu vaccine, which is currently available.

- Although the vaccine is not 100% effective, it can prevent disease, reduce the risk for hospitalization, and may make illness milder if you do get sick.




Everyone 6 months of age and older, with very few exceptions, should get a flu vaccine shot. Flu shots can be obtained through your health care provider and at multiple pharmacies.  


If you do develop symptoms of flu, you should:

- Stay home and avoid contact with other people. If appropriate for your job, discuss the possibility of telework with your supervisor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities.

- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.


Many people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. However, if symptoms continue to worsen or become severe (including difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest or abdominal pain, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting) or you are at higher risk for flu complications, contact your healthcare provider. Your health care provider may prescribe antiviral medications, not available over the counter.


For more information about flu go to CDC's influenza website: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/


For more information or for the originally circulated alert from the NPS Office of Public Health, please contact George_Carroll@nps.gov.  (C. Griffin, M. Doyle)






Art Center Demolition

The AAC demolition is completed except for the sand removal under the building. This will require a contract modification and so the project is on hold until the modification is completed by PWR, likely in late January - early February. Completion of the sand removal is expected by early February.  (D. Miller)



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)



Wawona Road Delays Update 1/11

Around South Entrance: There will be 30-minute delays (Mon.-Fri.) with single lane traffic control 6AM to 6PM as crews continue finalizing the remaining road punchlist items (striping, smoothness grinding, cleanup, etc.) around the South Entrance Intersection. Weather permitting the delays will continue through January 19th. The crews will also be working this coming Saturday with 15-minute delays in an effort to complete the remaining weather dependent Wawona Road work before the expected cold weather next week.


Between the Rostrum and the Wawona Tunnel: There will be up to 15-minute delays 6AM to 6PM on Thursday and Friday this week (1/11&12/18) as crews complete placing the final pavement markings along this area of the Wawona Road.  (M. Pieper)


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