Mini Miracle March

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
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maverick
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Mini Miracle March

Post by maverick » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:13 pm

Inyo NF:
March came in like a lion and will go out like a lamb as dry and warmer conditions are expected this week.

March had a pretty miraculous turn around in just a few weeks where we saw substantial increases in Sierra snow pack and snow water equivalent (liquid content of the snow). Not quite the original "Miracle March" of 1991 but certainly a substantial boost.

The attached graphics give you an idea of the increases we saw in terms of predicted snow melt and precipitation (percent of normal) for Tahoe City and also Sierra snow pack increases. You can also get an idea how this winter stacked up with 1991. (Note that this year had a better start than 1991 but still saw a big rise.)
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: Mini Miracle March

Post by scipio » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:41 pm

maverick wrote:Inyo NF:
March came in like a lion and will go out like a lamb as dry and warmer conditions are expected this week.

March had a pretty miraculous turn around in just a few weeks where we saw substantial increases in Sierra snow pack and snow water equivalent (liquid content of the snow). Not quite the original "Miracle March" of 1991 but certainly a substantial boost.

The attached graphics give you an idea of the increases we saw in terms of predicted snow melt and precipitation (percent of normal) for Tahoe City and also Sierra snow pack increases. You can also get an idea how this winter stacked up with 1991. (Note that this year had a better start than 1991 but still saw a big rise.)
What does this mean for a late June trip out of Reds Meadow trailheads? Any idea of whether the road down into the valley will be accessible with a car? Or is it too early to predict?

I had a trip planned out of Reds on June 21. I'm wondering if I need to rethink.

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Re: Mini Miracle March

Post by maverick » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:44 pm

What does this mean for a late June trip out of Reds Meadow trailheads? Any idea of whether the road down into the valley will be accessible with a car? Or is it too early to predict?
To early.
Opened 6/15 in 2016, and 7/21 in 2017.
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: Mini Miracle March

Post by scipio » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:18 am

maverick wrote:
What does this mean for a late June trip out of Reds Meadow trailheads? Any idea of whether the road down into the valley will be accessible with a car? Or is it too early to predict?
To early.
Opened 6/15 in 2016, and 7/21 in 2017.
Thanks Maverick. I will cross my fingers. But being delayed by a better snow year is not a bad thing I suppose. Goodness knows we need the precipitation.

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Re: Mini Miracle March

Post by SSSdave » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:00 pm

Just returned from South Lake Tahoe skiing all mid week and now have 24 days this winter despite not skiing at all during the 3 long dry periods this winter. On the drive home found the Sacramento County foothills glowing a lush green in afternoon sun with wildflowers now rising everywhere. And here about our urban coastal region likewise now much greener than just a couple months ago. The greatest beneficiary of these March storms has been the Southern Sierra Nevada where it was especially dry. In any case there is little remaining snow below 6k elevation so lower areas ought be more accessible relatively versus higher elevations above about 8.5k.

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Re: Mini Miracle March

Post by kpeter » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:54 pm

I've been monitoring the snow gauges around Emigrant to try to time my June pack trip. As of today, most of the gauges are very close to where they were on April 1 2016.

That year I crossed West Fork Cherry Creek on June 23 and it was easy. Many side streams were dry--the outlet to Big Lake was dry, and the mosquitoes were out. I should have gone at least a week earlier in 2016. We will see how warm April and May are and how fast the runoff happens, but it is looking like mid June is a target for my trip.

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