Above average snowpack | High Sierra Topix  

Above average snowpack

Discussion 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.
User avatar

Above average snowpack

Postby OldGeezer » Sat Apr 01, 2006 8:20 pm

According to the Fresno Bee for Friday, March 31st, the central Sierra snowpack is anywhere from 130% to 150% above normal so far this year, and there are more storms on the horizon. It's beginning to look like a late season for anybody heading for the high country.

I wonder if the guys building the bridge across the south fork of the Kings River at upper Paradise Valley will have it finished before my planned Rae Lakes Loop trip in September.
============
Bill Jones <><
Sanger, California
============



User avatar
OldGeezer
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:32 pm
Location: Sanger, California
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby SteveB » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:41 pm

I was just wondering what the levels were at. I'd been planning a photo trip into Evolution Valley in the last week of June, but have been concerned that with the way this spring has been shaping up that heading up there in late June would be a little ambitious.
User avatar
SteveB
Founding Member
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 10:08 pm
Location: Reno, NV
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby OldGeezer » Sun Apr 02, 2006 6:33 pm

According to the newspaper article the measurement was taken at Statum Meadow. The article went on to reference a blanket of snow which "covered nearby Wishon Reservoir at 6,500 feet."
============
Bill Jones <><
Sanger, California
============
User avatar
OldGeezer
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:32 pm
Location: Sanger, California
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:27 pm

It's pretty difficult to translate "130%" or such into actual conditions in the backcountry come summer given that how warm spring and early summer is can play a big role and the fact that "100" doesn't really relate to any tangible schedule in the backcountry. Unless one has a plane and flies over to check things--the Chuck Yeager method (and the vast majority of us aren't in that category)--then the next best thing is to look at the DWR snowpack and compare it to earlier years when we've been up in the Sierra. I generally don't bother to really check until the beginning of May. Then check the DWR snowcourse historical measurements and compare them to the current year (as of the May 1 reading). You will generally be able to find a past year that is pretty close or bracket between two years. Then you compare your notes for that past year (or years) for a given location and elevation versus where and when you want to go this year. Granted this is a heck of a lot more useful if you've visited the range a lot over the years (and have kept notes on the early season conditions--we've tried to hit a number of lakes right after the thaw for fishing purposes, hence the attention paid to this detail). Until this latest storm we were about dead on the 1997 pace, but I imagine we're now ahead of 1997 for the southern/central Sierra. As far as Evolution in late June is concerned, I'm pretty sure the lakes will be thawed, but stream crossings may be a problem.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:49 pm

Mammoth Mountain is 8" away from breaking their record of 617".
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
User avatar
Snow Nymph
Founding Member
 
Posts: 2041
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:43 pm
Location: Santa Barbara & Mammoth Lakes, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby SSSdave » Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:54 pm

For the internet savvy, one can check any of the many CDEC remote sensor sites near areas one is visiting:
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow/current/snow/

Below is something too, part of today's Yosemite report. Note one of the Tuolumne sites, Gin Flat which of course is along highway 120 at 7k shows 92 inches of snow depth. And in the last 48 hours they have had over 11 inches of rain on top of it! ...David

----------------------------------------

April 1 Snow Survey Results

Park personnel have completed the April 1 snow surveys. March was wet! There was measurable precipitation in Yosemite Valley on 20 days in March; for the period February 26th through April 3rd, we had precipitation 26 out of 37 days. Overall, the water content of the snowpack went from about 90% of average at the end of February to about 130% of average at the end of March. This is somewhat behind last year, when the water content was 163% of average on April 1, but the current series of storms forecast for early April may should increase those figures above last year's totals, particularly at the higher elevations. While these numbers are impressive, the total gain in the snowpack doesn't quite match the "miracle March" of 1991. Figures for individual snow courses are shown below.



Course Elev. Date Depth H2O Density 4/1 Avg. %of Avg.

Tuolumne River Basin

Dana Meadows 9,800 30-MAR 124.6 47.6 38% 31.1 153%

Rafferty Meadows 9,400 27-MAR 121.1 51.6 43% 32.8 157%

New Grace Meadow 8,900 30-MAR 175.3 72.8 42% 48.0 152%

Tuolumne Meadows 8,600 29-MAR 98.1 32.7 33% 22.7 144%

Wilma Lake 8,000 30-MAR 166.8 60.6 36% 43.2 140%

Paradise Meadow 7,650 30-MAR 141.0 50.0 35% 39.9 125%

Vernon Lake 6,700 30-MAR 77.9 27.9 36% 22.4 125%

Beehive Meadow 6,500 30-MAR 81.0 27.6 34% 23.5 117%



Basin Average Pct. of April 1: 129%



Merced River Basin

Snow Flat 8,700 25-MAR 150.5 59.5 40% 44.5 134%

Ostrander Lake 8,200 30-MAR 123.6 48.9 40% 32.6 150%

Tenaya Lake 8,150 26-MAR 117.6 40.9 35% 33.6 122%

Gin Flat (Course) 7,000 26-MAR 91.9 36.2 39% 32.0 113%

Peregoy Meadows 7,000 01-APR 93.7 29.7 32% 29.3 101%



Basin Average Pct. of April 1: 124% (M. Fincher - 4/4/06)
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby will_jrob » Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:54 pm

Comparing the current webcam shots of Half Dome from Sentinel, on the Yosemite Association website, with last years of the same date, there seems to be little difference in snow depth. Half Dome is obscured upto the summer snow patch in both views. This was about the high mark for last year.
User avatar
will_jrob
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 7:35 pm
Location: S F Bay Area
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby SteveB » Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:36 pm

Just saw on the news that the storm coming into the Truckee area of the Sierra is expected to drop up to another foot of snow about 7000'... :D
User avatar
SteveB
Founding Member
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 10:08 pm
Location: Reno, NV
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby norcalhiker » Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:52 pm

Yep, it's looking a lot like last year :crybaby:

For some visual representations check out:
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/current/PlotSWC

and:

http://postholer.com/cgi-bin/postHoler?trail=PCT

I'm heading north from Kennedy Meadows (south) around mid-june and I'm expecting LOTS of snow. Might well bring snowshoes and I'll definitely have an ice axe and crampons.
User avatar
norcalhiker
Founding Member
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 7:59 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

More snow, more snow, more snow!!!

Postby SteveB » Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:07 pm

Yup, you read right!! :) Another foot of the white stuff has dumped in this latest storm, and latest forecast calls for up to another 20" tonite! Mandatory chain conditions on I80, 50, and 88.

I think this officially kills my Evolution Valley plans for last week of June! :crybaby:
User avatar
SteveB
Founding Member
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 10:08 pm
Location: Reno, NV
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby hikerduane » Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:27 pm

I was going to go into the Ansel Adams Wilderness one year in mid to late July. I called a couple weeks before the trip and they told me there were still 6' snow drifts and running water thru the meadows. That was a good year to go to the Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness west of Red Bluff. I went into the Ansel Adams in mid Oct instead and there was still snow higher up on some parts of the trail I went on and Lake Catherine looked like it had only thawed out about a quarter of the way and was froze over again when I got there.
Piece of cake.
User avatar
hikerduane
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:58 am
Location: Meadow Valley, CA, Carson City, NV
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby dave54 » Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:11 pm

I can't remember the last time (if ever!) I had to fire up the snowblower on Easter morning to get out of the driveway.

I did this year. :(
=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
Log off and get outdoors!
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=
User avatar
dave54
Founding Member
 
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:24 pm
Location: where the Sierras, Cascades, and Great Basin meet.
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Conditions Reports and Information



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 4 guests