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Planning for the Weather

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.

Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby joshuacourter » Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:59 pm

I primarily use these two methods when I go backpacking/camping. I find them reliable.

1. Weather.gov. Simply put in the nearest down name or zip code in the upper left where it says "Local forecast by "City, St" or ZIP code. Click the "Go" button and the page will refresh to that town. Here is where you can customize it to your exact location. See the Google Map on the right? Use your mouse to move the map to where you will actually be hiking. Then click on that spot. The page will refresh and you will get a customized weather forecast up to 10 days for that location. I tend to click on different elevations to get an idea of what to expect. I also check this the night before or morning of my trip to get the latest.

2. Amatuer Radio. I carry a radio for live weather reports. I have been down in the Kern Canyon and received the NOAA weather broadcasts. If you are not familiar with these frequencies, they broadcast 24/7. Those frequencies can be found HERE. You can buy an inexpensive radio, like a Baofeng, at Amazon.com. Additionally you can tune into National Park and Forest Service frequencies to monitor any wildfire traffic (assuming they are using their local radio system). You do not need to have a license to listen. Only to transmit if you didn't know.

Anyway, those are the two things I use for weather planning besides watching the sky ;)



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Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby CharlieW » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:19 am

I'm not sure if it is widely known, but anyone with a DeLorme can get up-to-date weather forecasts, either for present location or specific coordinates or a mountain peak. I just made a thread on this if anyone is interested:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13110

To answer the OP, #1 a long time ago. #2 or 3 more recently. Now #3 plus frequent reports via DeLorme.
Last edited by CharlieW on Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby freestone » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:25 pm

There is currently an outbreak of tropical storm activity in the Eastern Pacific. One model has hurricane Dolores making landfall on the Santa Barbara coast then drifting it's moisture into the southern Sierra around the 20th of July. The other model has her drifting harmlessly off to the west.

Bulls-eye is on the South Coast. Epic surf a good possiblity, then a drenching:
https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/wxmap_cgi/cg ... 18&set=All

No threat:
https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/wxmap_cgi/cg ... 12&set=All
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Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby SSSdave » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:37 am

I noticed Howard has apparently updated his weather links page. It is by far the most complete listing of weather links for the Sierra region. Also weather links to all manner of planetary weather stuff.

http://mammothweather.com/howards-favor ... ite-links/

One nice listing is all the High Sierra Remote Weather Sensors CDEC links.
Mammoth Pass
Agnew Pass Big
Pine Creek
Bishop Pass
Blackcap Basin
Cottonwood Creek (Owens Valley)
Cottonwood Lakes
Crabtree Meadow
Dana Meadows
Ebbetts Pass
Gem Pass
Monitor Pass
Oak Creek (Owens Valley)
Owens Valley
Rock Creek
Sawmill
Sonora Pass
South Lake
Tunnel Meadow
Tuolumne Meadows (N.P.S.)
Tuolumne Meadows
Upper Tyndall Creek
Virginia Lakes Ridge
Volcanic Knob
Yosemite Valley -
Last edited by SSSdave on Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby Shawn » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:33 am

Hey - thanks Dave for the info. I haven't looked at the CDEC stuff for a long time; some really nice improvements to the map of all the (very) many remote stations make it much easier to navigate.

I looked at the WX data for Farewell Gap, as shown below. What do you imagine is the data for the Snow WC indicating when it goes from a positive reading at night to a negative reading by day and back to a positive value again?

Date / Time SNOW WC
10/19/2015 01:00 19.60
10/19/2015 02:00 19.46
10/19/2015 03:00 25.04
10/19/2015 04:00 15.47
10/19/2015 05:00 17.72
10/19/2015 06:00 -3.72
10/19/2015 07:00 -6.54
10/19/2015 08:00 -2.73
10/19/2015 09:00 -6.55
10/19/2015 10:00 0.70
10/19/2015 11:00 10.25
10/19/2015 12:00 11.62
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Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby SSSdave » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:44 am

I'd guess one issue with some sensors is mechanisms getting stuck from freezing water and riming. Remote sites also use solar cells and batteries that when temperatures drop low at night will have less output so might give odd readings.
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Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby Shawn » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:48 pm

Ah, that must be it; thanks.
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Re: Planning for the Weather

Postby maverick » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:19 pm

Need a refresher course on understanding/reading mountain weather, this is a good one:

http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/classroom/prac ... untain.php
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, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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