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snows over Memorial Day weekend

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snows over Memorial Day weekend

Postby SSSdave » Mon May 18, 2015 10:32 am

Current snow depths show significant change from just a few weeks ago. With the Memorial day weekend now just ahead it is useful to give the many that don't know how to get at snow information, a heads up. My own assessment is one will be fine below about 7000 feet which means stay away from the High Sierra unless one likes wet and post holing. Of course those areas are also going to be rather brown while areas below will be relatively dry, green, and within the 3k to 6.5k elevations wildflowers.

This below link was the puny snow depth on May 6 before the storm:

Image

This was the snow depth right after the May 8 storm:

Image

And per link below the snow depth last Saturday May 15 that shows little at higher elevations melted with just melt off at lower elevations. Of course since the snow there has been more snow showers, cool temps, and mostly cloudy troughy skies.

Image

See the dark graphic that is Mono Lake? See how multi feet of snow are now covering crest areas of the Tuolumne and Merced River basins? And below that the lighter blue areas show up to 20 inches of that new snow. See where the Tuolumne River and Merced River canyons are bare of snow? My eyes see it now snow free below 7k. Off to the east it is obvious NOT a time to consider driving up into the White Mountains. Even areas from Sonora Pass to Donner Pass still have snow.

Far to the north see those two dark lakes? The one one right is Eagle Lake and the one a bit to the southwest is Lake Almanor. Note the areas with a little snow north-northeast of the latter? That is Mt. Lassen and other volcanic peaks of that region. That is where I've decided to drive to and spend the next weekend. After that will drive off west towards Humboldt and Del Norte redwood and coast areas for the rest of the week.

Go back to the May 6 snow depth map and note how almost all those areas north of about Sonora Pass were free of snow before the storm so all that is also just the new snow. One area that will be fine are the lakes off the Bowman Lake Road. No wilderness permits needed for backpacking to any of the many small lakes at relatively low elevations. However a lot of people know about those areas so one can expect company.



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Re: snows over Memorial Day weekend

Postby schmalz » Wed May 20, 2015 5:56 pm

I've been hopeful that my plans for the weekend were going to work, but the current storm system over the Sierra just doesn't seem to want to break up. Saturday looks like it'll be stormy near the crest. Memorial Day foiled again! :\
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Re: snows over Memorial Day weekend

Postby ExploreABitMore » Thu May 21, 2015 9:46 am

I think I'm heading out regardless of the forecast and just gonna hope for the best. At the very least, I'll get some acclimatization and possibly some neat photographs. But, yeah, was really hoping for a better Memorial Day forecast myself. This pattern of instability in the weather we've had and how long it's lasting is pretty crazy. In the end, it will be a blip on the radar as far as helping out with the drought, but I guess we need every last drop.
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Re: snows over Memorial Day weekend

Postby ExploreABitMore » Thu May 21, 2015 9:49 am

Actually latest forecast doesn't sound too bad:

"Longwave trough continues to camp off the West coast. As such, it will send a series of shortwaves inland, bringing unsettled weather to our entire forecast area. So showers & thunderstorms are possible, mainly in the afternoons and evenings thru Friday. A general decrease in shower activity over the weekend as the longwave trough moves east. But another system, running down the backside of the departing trough, looks to head thru the PACNW over the weekend. So I will throw in a chance of showers & thunderstorms along the Sierra Crest thru Memorial Day, under partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies. Stay tuned for updates on this."

http://www.sierrawave.net/34812/dennis- ... ecast-108/
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Re: snows over Memorial Day weekend

Postby Jimr » Thu May 21, 2015 10:43 am

Hobbes and I are hiking up Taboose the day after Memorial day and exiting OV on the 28th.
What?!
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Re: snows over Memorial Day weekend

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu May 21, 2015 11:46 am

Showers, of rain and snow and possible T-storms, but the bigger issue for me is the cold temperatures - not warm enough to melt the new snow that has fallen. Really cold at higher elevations.

Right now I have two 6-day trips planned starting Sunday; one in Desolation (predicted highs in upper 40's) and the Lost Coast (weather predicted as stable, low temps in the high 40's, high temps in the low 60's). Lost Coast (Matolle river to Hwy 1), is a logistics nightmare without two cars (hubby will drive up to get me back to my car at the north end). I did the Lost Coast years ago but did not take a camera (and weather was horrible), so would like to do it again in better conditions. By the way, the tides are right for the first 3 days on the Lost Coast only for a brief window Sat-Wed. I am hoping predicted temperatures will be higher and rain less for Desolation, a logistically preferable trip. My final decision does not have to be made until Saturday night. Packing my gear for one or the other!
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Re: snows over Memorial Day weekend

Postby SSSdave » Thu May 21, 2015 12:51 pm

Since posting above here is the latest snowcover image from Wednesday May 20:

Image

So quite a lot of the lower elevation west slope snow has melted off but by mid forest elevations and on the east side not. As mentioned this weekend will see an easing of the troughy thunderstorm weather though anywhere above about 8k is likely to mean postholing and wetness.

Am looking forward to working the Lassen areas (long snow free as below 6.5k) this weekend having already made a rather involved plan of rambling to various tripod spots on the topos though all will be day hiking. Rather a mystery what vegetation and wildflower conditions I will find but have good reason to be hopeful. Would like to find some nice areas of dense lupine. Then later like WD will be up along the North Coast. Latest Eureka NWS forecast expects the troughy weather to return by Tuesday that will be good for this person since diffuse light is exactly what one needs to photograph down in the understory of redwood forests though overcast and breezes may make a Lost Coast trek dim, foggy, and exposed.
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Re: snows over Memorial Day weekend

Postby seanr » Fri May 22, 2015 12:24 pm

I'm heading to Mt. Shasta. I might do Brokeoff-Lassen Peak as a warm up and look for the flowers and volcanic fun with my kids while there. I'm leaning toward just going straight to Shasta. It should be nice this weekend on the big mountain. Yes, Lost Coast is great in decent conditions!
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