Saturday, January 1, 2011
La Nina Settles In
It's been a pretty dynamic start to our Sierra winter with frequent storms and plentiful snow and rain. Sierra-wide, precipitation is reportedly twice normal. For New Year's Day the park got some snow down below the 4000' mark though that's lifted in the afternoon.
Highway 140 was closed by a rockslide just above Parkline on Thursday morning, but NPS road crews did some blasting and re-opened the road last evening. The recent cold/wet weather has brought a lot of rocks down here and there.
Down canyon at Clearinghouse, there's a bank of yellow mustard (Sinapis) in bloom. This is the green season below 3000' here, and the El Portal area is lush with the new foliage of lupine, poppies, etc. ready to add color in a couple more months. We'll be looking for waterfall buttercups within the next few weeks, as well as skiing on a deep snowpack above 6000.'