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Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby rlown » Tue May 25, 2010 2:55 pm

this might be a pretty simple philosophy: if there is big snow late into the "season", plan for snow, if there was big snow, plan that stream crossings will be high in July, and don't worry about water in the late season as it, and the bugs, will be everywhere.

I've done early snow, and i bring gaiters (or skiis) for those trips. Mid season is about getting your feet dry after crossings and keeping the bugs off you (that goes pretty much the whole time this year).

Late season is nice, except this year, there'll still be bugs i think.

For me, it's not so much melt rate but what is there when i plan to go, and then, plan accordingly.



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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Wed May 26, 2010 10:36 am

Weekend before last I did the dayhike up to the top of Chilnualna Falls (Yosemite) and back and driving the roads checking conditions. A year ago to date I did a backpack beyond Hetch-Hetchy and it was dry all the way (except between Vernon and TilTill Valley), but I do not think that is the case this year at the same time. I would estimate that the conditions are at least a month or more behind last year. There was snow below 6000 feet and Crane Flat was about 90% covered. More, I think there will be deep north slope drifts and shaded spots well into August. The South Sierra will not be so bad, but the streams will be full late. PCTers will be having a serious hard time with stream crossings like at Middle Fork Kings and in Yosemite when the trail strays far from the Crest (Rancheria Creek). A few heat waves could change things, but that would just meant the stream crossings will be harder. Flowers all year this year!
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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby kpeter » Sat May 29, 2010 9:26 pm

I've been figuring out how to use the plot program at the DWR and here is what I found.

Today the water content in the snowpack at Charlotte lake is 20".

Last year the same 20" level was reached on May 7. That puts us 22 days behind that dry year.

Last year the remaining 20" melted in an additional 16 days--by May 23. If the same happened this year, that would be a complete melt at Charlotte by about June 15. That would depend on it being warm in June, and it does seem as if the jetstream has finally shifted north and that we might be coming back into a traditional weather pattern.

If Charlotte is a good indicator for much of the Sierras, then I would expect June 15-July 21 to be prime mosquito/wildflower/high water season in the 10,000+ zones.

A lot of "what ifs," take it for what it's worth.
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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon May 31, 2010 10:11 am

Here is a little hope:
http://sierrafire.cr.usgs.gov/camHist/v ... Frame=true
Just a few weeks ago the snow was above the tops of the fence posts, and this is ~8000 feet.
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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby TehipiteTom » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:15 pm

I was lucky enough to get a few shots from the plane returning from Boston this morning; they give some idea of where we are with snowpack.

North/west of Tioga Pass:
Image

And I don't think I need to identify this one:
Image
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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby kpeter » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:52 pm

A lot of the gauges are not working properly, and many are hand gathered once a month, some don't show actual snow depth. I'm frustrated that the Agnew Pass gauge and the Paradise Meadow gauges are not working--it would give good data in heavy backpacking zones. But here is a sampling of some of the working gauges with daily satellite readings.

Charlotte Lake (10,400). Snow depth down to 27". It was at its peak of 67" on May 11. At this rate of melting, it should be clear at the gauge in another ten days. It reached 0 on May 23, 2009, so this would put it 3-4 weeks behind last year's melt.

Bishop Pass (11,200) is showing 51" of snow, down from 80+". At higher elevation, it clearly is not melting out as fast as Charlotte. It has gone from 65" to 51" in two weeks. The problem has been maximum air temperatures that have not been that high, but that seems to have changed the last few days. June 3rd it reaches 63 degrees and it has been consistently getting above 50 degrees for a week, so hopefully the higher elevations will start melting.

Kibbie Ridge (6700) has been essentially clear of snow since June 1.

Ostrander lake (8200) 37" of snow.

Slide Canyon (9200) 47" of snow.
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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby markskor » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:12 pm

Today’s YNP web page shows;
"THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR
THE MERCED RIVER AT POHONO BRIDGE.* AT 7:00 AM MONDAY THE STAGE WAS 10.3 FEET.
* MINOR FLOODING IS OCCURRING AND MINOR FLOODING IS FORECAST.
* FORECAST TO RECEDE TO NEAR 9.0 FT THIS EVENING THEN EXPECTED TO
RISE ABOVE FLOOD STAGE OF 10.0 FT TONIGHT THEN FORECAST TO RISE TO
NEAR 10.0 FT EARLY TOMORROW THEN FORECAST TO FLUCTUATE NEAR 10.0
FT THRU TOMORROW MORNING.
* FLOOD STAGE 10.0 FT
* MONITOR STAGE MSG FT,
* IMPACT...NEAR 10.5 FEET, WATER TOPS THE SWINGING BRIDGE DOWNSTREAM
FROM CHAPEL MEADOW. OVERFLOW FROM WOSKI POND FLOODS ACCESS
ROAD(NORTHSIDE DRIVE) LEADING OUT OF THE WEST ENTRANCE OF THE PARK.
* IMPACT...NEAR 10.0 FEET, WESTERN PORTION OF NORTH PINES
CAMPGROUND...LOCATED AT THE EAST END OF YOSEMITE VALLEY BETWEEN THE
CONFLUENCE OF THE MERCED RIVER AND TENAYA CREEK...BEGINS TO FLOOD.
WATER RISES TO THE BASE OF THE SWINGING BRIDGE DOWNSTREAM FROM
CHAPEL MEADOW.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby fedak » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:05 pm

> Due to the heavy snow this year, I would guess more than average.

This was actually an average snow year.
The snow was just later in the season than usual.
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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:12 pm

I just got back from Yosemite last night. I did a 3-day trip - Happy Isles to Merced lake up Merced River, back high cut-off trail to John Muir Trail, Panorma Trail to Glacier Point - Four Mile Trail to valley. Snow is not a problem for this route - but there was some major wading. Echo Valley is very flooded. Afternoon water levels more than a foot higher than morning. Little snow still on John Muir Trail. Lots of water in small side streams right now. It was really hot. Merced water levels seem to be coming down a bit. Merced Lake is flooded. The water is less than a foot below the footbridges on the upper Merced River. The Valley is really beautiful now.

Image
Yosemite Valley

Image
Merced Lake
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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby kpeter » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:24 am

Since June 6 all the snow gauges have lost about 10" of snow. That is better than 3" of melt a day.

June 9 readings:
Charlotte Lake 18" (down from 27")
Bishop Pass 41"(down from 51")
Ostrander Lake 27"(down from 37")
Slide Canyon 39" (down from 47")

The streams must be roaring.

At this rate, Charlotte will be clear in a week, while Bishop Pass will take two weeks. All these gauges should be clear before the last week of June. If it stays warm, the next three weeks will have a lot of very dangerous stream crossings.
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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby Shawn » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:28 pm

Mineral King report as received via email.

Mineral King report from Stoney Savage (thabnks, Stoney!):


I went to MK yesterday to survey the situation and had a successful adventure!

The road is open to Disney parking lot and in great shape with the following limitations:

1. Above High Bridge there are a couple minor snow drifts in shaded areas which are currently single lane cleared and will be gone very soon at the current melt rate;

2. Between the cattle guard and the Dixon cabin snow/ice is currently single lane with depth up to 1-3 feet in some areas deepest in the area of Cochrun -- Diseman cabins;

3. The rest of the road is clear of any snow;

4. Monarch Creek is currently overflowing across the road about 50 yards beyond the normal crossing due to the heavy runoff;

5. The bridge at EMK is one lane as it was last fall;

6. There are a couple large puddles along the way in the usual places.

There is lots of snow in the WMK and Faculty Flat area but if the weather stays warm/hot all of the snow will be gone soon! The temperature was a very warm 70+ degrees all day.
The water falls were the largest I've seen in many years!
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Re: Your thoughts on Summer 2010 Sierra water?

Postby Cross Country » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:22 pm

I'm curious. Has anyone been to Laurel Lake yet this year?
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