Friday, January 20, 2012
After being dry for nearly two months we have a series of storms coming through Yosemite. Light precipitation overnight left snow down below 7000' in places. More accumulation is expected over the next few days, perhaps as much as 2-3 feet at high elevations by Monday.
Tioga Road is closed. Glacier Point Road is closed. But the snow level is high enough that we don't have any chain restrictions in effect. Badger Pass, at 7200' has a ways to go before even cross-country skiing will be possible there.
The Merced River had gone down to 27 cfs at Pohono Bridge - a mere 20% of normal flow! The tiny bit of overnight rain is showing up in the river already with a slight rise. Last night was quite a bit warmer than usual due to the cloud cover that limited radiational cooling. Some of the many frozen waterfalls that have been so visible for the past few weeks are softening up in the warmth and rain.
While Tioga was open, park resources people made some sound recordings of the lake ice on Tenaya, Dog and Lower Cathedral Lakes. If you were up there, you know how eerie those creaking, groaning, pinging sounds were. I hope they'll have some of these unique recordings available online soon.
Meanwhile the dry landscape is soaking up liquid moisture and stacking up the solid form for later use...