Killer Sunset at The Sisters near Carson Pass
Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail
Need a Map? Lost Al near Lost Keys Lake
Emigrant Wilderness under Tropical Thunderstorm, September.
Round Top Lake
Whitebarks and Grizzly Peak in Emigrant Wilderness under Tropical Clouds during September 2013
Lost Keys Lake
 

Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney
Trail Guide, Magazine, & High Sierra Backpacker's Trails and Topics Forums

2018
HIGH SIERRA BACKPACKER'S

Calendar

 

JANUARY

 

Under Construction

 

Important Seasonal Happenings, Transitions, Events & Dates
for
High Sierra Backpackers

 

 

Road Conditions, Resupply, Seasonal Transition Concerns, Permit Dates, Weather, Water, and Mosquitoes

 
2018
High Sierra
News
2018
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Alerts
2018
Natural Meltdown
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Backpacking
TOPICS
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Backpacking
TRAILS
High Sierra
Backpacking
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GUIDE INDEX
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2018
January         February         March         April         May         June         July         August         September         October         November         December

Last Year

January 2018
North Desolation Wilderness

Dicks and Fontanellis Lakes in the North Desolation Wilderness.
View North across Dicks and Fontanillis Lakes. Phipps Peak and Pass are the prominent peak in the middle-Right background. Note Middle Velma Lake nestled in below Phipps Peak. Our route from Meeks Bay on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe crossed Phipps Peak to join the Pacific Crest Trail in the Desolation Wilderness just a bit North of Middle Velma Lake.

Trail Guide           Map           Miles and Elevations

January 2018

End of December 2017

January         February         March         April         May         June         July         August         September         October         November         December

2018 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

 

 

 

Happy New Year

of note:

 

 

FULL WINTER CONDITIONS
2018
Be it a Winter Season of drought or deluge, The Fall Gear has been stowed or complimented by the Heavy Gear of Winter.

 

What's Going On?
See December of 2017 High Sierra Reports

FALL
2017
to
WINTER
2018

On September 15th we shifted from Summer to Fall Gear.

On November 3rd Winter Gear was Required.


After November 26 FULL Winter gear, skills, and fitness levels required.

 

 

All
High Sierra Weather Info



Latest Daily Snow Depth Summary

Daily Sierra Snowpack % of Normal pdf

Daily Snow-Water & Percent of Average

 

 

All Precipitation-Snow Data

 

All Snow Surveys

SWC & Snow Depth

 

 

 

Yosemite-Hoover-Desolation
&
John Muir Trail Hikers:

 

Time to
Order Next Year's Permits!

Reserved permits for June 2018 now available from Yosemite, Hoover, and Desolation Wilderness Areas. In other words, Yosemite, Desolation, and Hoover Wilderness Areas all offer advanced reservations about six months ahead of your desired hiking dates.

This means now is the time to get your JMT permit application, along with other popular hikes, into the Man.

 

 


All Permits

 

 

Yosemite Permits         Desolation Wilderness

1

US COLD PLUNGE
Central,
Central-South,
&
Northeast US:
Temps at, and Plunging to Record Levels, Continuing through New Year.

What's Happening Here?

Polar Vortex Weakening

West Coast
Cloudy
& Dry
Lows marching North up the West flank of the Persistant High off the West Coast of N America & West US (as they go around us) have been shedding high clouds Eastward, and over the Sierra, yet without any precip, but warming things up a bit, while bringing no substantial snow in them.

That should change on Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

2018
HIGH SIERRA
--WINTER--
Temp-Snow Check

After-report of eleven* Snow-storms across Sierra this Fall.

The last weak front came across on the 20th.

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

Last: Dec 28, 2017

NEW WATER YEAR

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report. "+/- & =" are changes since last reading.

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Carson Pass 16" -1
8388 feet
(8.8" H2O) +.1
47 & 31 -/+

Ebbetts Pass 19" -1
8660 feet
(12.30" H2O) =.0
47 & 36 =/=

Leavitt Lake 39" +2
(errors)
9602 feet, East Flank
(12.6" H20) =.0
46 & 33 +/-

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
xx & xx:
(New readout page sucks... & Tech issues)

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek
9250 feet, West Flank
000.0 Snow (BAD)
(14.76" H20)
(BAD?) +.12
49 & 23 +/-

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
6.07" Snow -.07
46 & 22 -/+

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
14.49" Snow +.22
(--.--" H20) (BAD)
(Temps NONE)

Mammoth Mountain Ski

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(9.3" H2O) SuspectSuspect
temps suspect

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
32.06" Snow -.71
(9.76" H2O) +.04
48 & 28 -/-

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow BAD")
(15.8 H2O) =
46 & 28 -/-

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
1.1" Snow +.1
41 & 24 -/+

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
11.84" Snow =
39 & 25 -/+
(station reporting again!)

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

* We've had more than eleven fronts come across the Sierra, and periods of spitting snow, but only eleven fronts of any substance.

Most have been dissapated as they pass through this vast High.

 

 

All Snow and Rain Precipitation Forecasts,
&
Snow Depth and/or
Inches of Water

 

2017
Overcast and Warmer, with still Cold-sprinkles

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

 

2

Backpackers

Full Winter Gear, Skills, and Fitness precautions
REQUIRED

Weather Observations

 

2018
January 2
HIGH SIERRA REPORT

What we're seeing today is one step in a transition between the last and the next in the series of vast, massive cells of persistant High Pressure air that have been covering the West Coast of California (if not the whole West Coast of North America) over the whole month of December. We're watching the Next High moving East across the width of the Central & Southern North Pacific Ocean, which is "compressing," and tending to push the High currently over the West Coast, to the East.

The gap between this "succession of Highs" is giving a couple of weak tropical lows, which are dragging weak tropical fronts behind them, which are trying to squeeze in between the succession of Massive Highs, a chance to "squeeze in" between the transition of Massive Highs.

Two things are happening to these Lows, and have been happening to their associated fronts, through the whole month of December: 1st, these Lows and their associated tropical fronts are both seriously degraded by their transits through the persistant High Pressure zone, when they are able to break through.
This considerably weakens both the Lows and their associated fronts, which have been weak to begin with. Second, Lows traveling into and through the Highs are deflected North as they are weakened, tending to push potential precipitation North around the Sierra Nevada.

FULL REPORT

 

Let's Check the relevant resources

North Pac Animated Weather Map

Snow Model

Rain Model

 

 

Next Summer's Permits
Permits for JUNE 18 2018 available from Yosemite TODAY.

Yosemite Permits

Desolation Wilderness

Hoover Wilderness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2017 REPORT
Vast High in NE Pacific

 

3

JANUARY
Snow Course Measurements

Ca Statewide Ave: 11%

Sierra Snowpack 24%
(see below)

West Coast
Three days of Mildly Stormy weather begins today-this afternoon.

Nonetheless, a wall of High Pressure sits over the whole Western Edge of North America from Vancover to the LA Basin.

Neither the Low currently off the West Coast of California, nor its associated Front, will make landfall: They are both moving North up the coast, off the Western edge of the wall of High Pressure covering Western North America.

California is being "grazed" by this Low and Front as the High deflects them North.

ALL HIGH SIERRA
REPORTING STATIONS

All Snow and Rain Precipitation Forecasts,
&
Snow Depth and/or
Inches of Water

RADAR

SAT VIEW

 

 

2018
Pre-Storm
Current Snowpack
:
Percent of Average for
January 3.

N Sierra: 21%

Cen. Sierra:29%

S Sierra: 20%

 

Ca State: 24%

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

 

US COLD PLUNGE
Central,
Central-South,
&
Northeast US:
Temps continuing at Record Low Levels:
Storms in
Southeast & Northeast US pose unique risks...
What's Happening Here?

Polar Vortex Weakening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Stormy and Cool, but still Cold-regular precip, light intensity strengthening to moderate into late PM

2017
Today's Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps


4

Clearing
between
Weak Fronts

Yesterday's storm a freeking dud. The weather observations of Jan 2, below, explain why.

Weather Observations

 

Thoughts
for the
New Year

Next Summer's Permits
Permits for JUNE 18 2018 available from Yosemite TODAY.

Yosemite Permits

Desolation Wilderness

Hoover Wilderness

CCC
Backcountry Trail Crew
Applications due

EARLY FEB 2018

 

 

 

2018
HIGH SIERRA
--WINTER--
Temp-Snow Check

After-report of twelve* Snow-storms across Sierra this Fall.

The last weak front came across on the 3rd.

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

Last: Jan 1 , 2018

NEW WATER YEAR

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report. "+/- & =" are changes since last reading.

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Carson Pass 17" +1
8388 feet
(9.0" H2O) +.2
49 & 33 +/+

Ebbetts Pass 20 " +1
8660 feet
(12.60" H2O) +.3
53 & 37 +/+

Leavitt Lake 40 " +1
(errors)
9602 feet, East Flank
(12.8" H20) +.2
48 & 34 +/+

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
xx & xx:
(New readout page sucks... & Tech issues)

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek
9250 feet, West Flank
000.0 Snow (BAD)
(14.76" H20) +.12
(BAD?)
51 & 32 +/+

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
4.71" Snow -1.36
50 & 29 +/+

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
15.38" Snow +.89
(--.--" H20) (BAD)
(Temps NONE)

Mammoth Mountain Ski

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(9.29" H2O) SuspectSuspect
temps suspect

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
33.19" Snow +1.13
(9.76" H2O) =.00
53 & 28 +/=

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow BAD")
(15.8 H2O) =
55 & 34 +/+

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
0.70" Snow -.4
46 & 32 +/+

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
11.95" Snow +.11
41 & 27 +/+
(station reporting again!)

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

* We've had more than twelve fronts come across the Sierra, and periods of spitting snow, but only twelve fronts of any substance.

Most have been dissapated or weakened as they pass through this vast High, but this was the first to make landfall as the High finally broke and moved Southeast, allowing the Front to drag across the Western portions of the state.


 

 

2017
Stormy and Cool, but still Cold-regular precip, light to moderate intensity

5

Weak Front
Stronger than Last Front

 

 

 

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

 

All Snow and Rain Precipitation Forecasts,
&
Snow Depth and/or
Inches of Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Clear and Cold
Huge tropical flow lining up from the Southwest, heavy precip expected from tomorrow night through next Friday...


2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps


7 Day Precip Forecast

2017
NOTE
La Nina still puttering along...

 

6

Clearing
between
Weak Fronts

The Sierra
on
January 6
by...

MODIS
SIERRA SATELLITE

Radar

Visible Satellites

Water Vapor Satellites

 

Sierra Forecasts

Western US Forecasts

 

All Sierra Snow Info

Sierra Sensor Networks

High Sierra Highways

 

 

2018
HIGH SIERRA
--WINTER--
Temp-Snow Check

After-report of thirteen* Snow-storms across Sierra this Fall.

The last weak front came across on the 4th.

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

Last: Jan 4 , 2018

NEW WATER YEAR

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report. "+/- & =" are changes since last reading.

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Carson Pass 18" +1
8388 feet
(9.9" H2O) +.9
42 & 34 -/+

Ebbetts Pass 32" +12
8660 feet
(14.10" H2O) +1.3
40 & 33 -/-

Leavitt Lake 52" +12
(errors)
9602 feet, East Flank
(14.2" H20) +1.3
39 & 31 -/-

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
xx & xx:
(New readout page sucks... & Tech issues)

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek
9250 feet, West Flank
000.0 Snow (15.48" H20) +.72 (BAD?)
51 & 32 +/+

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
11.08" Snow +4.3
46 & 25 -/-

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
22.23" Snow +6.85
(--.--" H20) (BAD)
(Temps NONE)

Mammoth Mountain Ski

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(10.07" H2O) SuspectSuspect
temps suspect

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
41.88" Snow +8.69
(10.72" H2O) =.00
45 & 29 -/+

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow BAD")
(15.8 H2O) =
47 & 31 -/-

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
1.90" Snow +1.24
43 & 29 -/-

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
15.58" Snow +1.63
41 & 26 =/-
(station reporting again!)

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

* We've had more than thirteen fronts come across the Sierra, and periods of spitting snow, but only thirteen fronts of any substance.

Most have been dissapated or weakened as they pass through this vast High, while this time the High has moved further South and East.

 

 

2017
Storm Time
Tropical Pounding
RAIN ACROSS SIERRA CREST

Huge tropical flow transporting vast amount of warm moisture from the Southwest, heavy precip.

Raining Across the Sierra Crest

 

 

Top

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

7

Clouding-Up

Persistant High over West Coast being displaced, & sitting further South, as are all the Highs approaching from the West across the Southern North Pacific...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Storm Time
Tropical Pounding
Rain on the Sierra Crest.

Ground Saturating, All Rivers Rising.

 

8

Moderate
Low & Front
Stronger than Last Front of the 5th

Widespread weak to moderate precip.

A Cold Front from the North is sitting North of a low-lattitude High off the SoCal Coast.

Significant Tropical Moisture could be drawn NE between them, before both the Cold Front moves East over the US, and another High moves East across the Pacific.

Storm & Flood
WARNINGS

 

Last Snow Reading
The 6th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps


North Pacific
Surface Map

The day you click it is the day you see...

North Pacific
14 Day Surface Map

Tahoe to Whitney Weather

9

Moderate
Low & Front

Persistant High Broken

12:00 UTC

LOW PRESSURE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL

LA-LA LAND & SOCAL

Widespread weak to moderate precip.

Current NORTHEAST PACIFIC Visible Satellite

This is the first Low Pressure Storm Center I've seen hit LA & SoCal in a very long time. Fronts are dragged across SoCal more often, but not often lately. This Low is the first actual storm-center I've seen hit LA for a very-very long time...

It's making a mess of the fire zones...

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018
HIGH SIERRA
--WINTER--
Temp-Snow Check

"Halfway" -report of fourteenth* Snow-storm this Fall & Winter, & still falling on the Sierra.

The previous weak front came across on the 5th.

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

Last: Jan 6 , 2018

NEW WATER YEAR

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report. "+/- & =" are changes since last reading.

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Carson Pass 20" +2
8388 feet
(11.0" H2O) +1.1
38 & 32 -/-

Ebbetts Pass 32" +0
8660 feet
(15.10" H2O) +1.0
38 & 31 -/-

Leavitt Lake 56" +4
(errors)
9602 feet, East Flank
(15.4" H20) +1.2
38 & 32 -/+

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
xx & xx:
(New readout page sucks... & Tech issues)

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek
9250 feet, West Flank
000.0 Snow (16.08" H20) +.60 (BAD?)
41 & 32 -/=

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
10.54" Snow -.54
37 & 32 -/+

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
26.88" Snow +4.65
(19.34" H20) (BAD)
(Temps NONE)

Mammoth Mountain Ski

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(11.05" H2O) +.98 SuspectSuspect
temps suspect

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
47.2" Snow +5.32
(10.72" H2O) =2.08
34 & 29 -/=

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow BAD")
(15.8 H2O) =
34 & 28 -/-

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
7.4" Snow +5.5
32 & 25 -/-

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
25.47" Snow +9.89
31 & 25 -/-
(station reporting again!)

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

* We've had more than fourteen fronts come across the Sierra, and periods of spitting snow, but only thirteen fronts of any substance.

Most have been dissapated or weakened as they pass through the persistant High, which has now dissapated.

 

2017
Tropical Pounding
Cooling Significantly

 

 

10

Gradully Clearing
&
Cooling

Diminishing to End of Precip

Beware
COLD PLUNGE

 

The Sierra
on
January 9
by...

MODIS
SIERRA SATELLITE

Visible Satellites

Water Vapor Satellites

 

2018
Post-Storm
Current Snowpack
:
Percent of Average for
January 10.

N Sierra: 18%

Cen. Sierra: 30%

S Sierra: 25%

 

Ca State: 26%

Last Reading: Jan 3

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF


 

2018
HIGH SIERRA
--WINTER--
Temp-Snow Check

"Ending" -report of fourteenth* Snow-storm this Fall & Winter, & still falling on the Sierra.

The previous weak front came across on the 5th.

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

Last: Jan 9, 2018

NEW WATER YEAR

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report. "+/- & =" are changes since last reading.

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Carson Pass 22" +2
8388 feet
(11.2" H2O) +.2
38 & 33 =/+

Ebbetts Pass 33" +1
8660 feet
(15.20" H2O) +.1
40 & 31 +/=

Leavitt Lake 60 " +4
(errors)
9602 feet, East Flank
(15.5" H20) +.1
39 & 29 +/-

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
xx & xx:
(New readout page sucks... & Tech issues)

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek
9250 feet, West Flank
000.0 Snow (16.32" H20) +.24 (BAD?)
41 & 25 =/-

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
10.87" Snow +.33
36 & 25 -/-

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
26.89" Snow +.01
(19.53" H20) (BAD?)
(Temps NONE)

Mammoth Mountain Ski

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(10.66" H2O) -.39 Suspect Suspect
temps suspect

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
(BAD)" Snow +-.--
(12.16" H2O) +1.44
34 & 22 =/-

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow BAD")
(16.0 H2O) +0.2
34 & 23 =/-

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
7.5" Snow +0.1
31 & 18 -/-

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
26.46" Snow -1.01
28 & 17 -/-
(station reporting again!)

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

* We've had more than fourteen fronts come across the Sierra, and periods of spitting snow, but only thirteen fronts of any substance.

 

 

11

Cloudy & Clearing

Little or No Precip

Radar

Visible Satellites

Water Vapor Satellites

 

Sierra Forecasts

Western US Forecasts

 

All Sierra Snow Info

Sierra Sensor Networks

High Sierra Highways

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Tropical Pounding
Storm Time

Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

Serious snow accumulation...

 

2017
NOTE
La Nina still puttering along...

 

12

Foggy to Clear

No Precip

 

High Building-In.
Will it Persist?

Map It

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Storm Breaking Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

Mixed to Clear

SNOW CAMPERS

Track snow, storms, and temps to determine character of Winter, and find a big hole between the storms.

Then we determine snow depth, its condition, and the daily temp swing, and gear-up appropriately.

Winter Weather Reports

We are looking for big gaps, mountains of High Pressure between storms.

 

 

 

 

 


Top
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

14

Mixed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

 


15 MLK Day

Cloudy

Light Precip Anticipated this evening

 


 

 

 

 

2018
HIGH SIERRA
--WINTER--
Temp-Snow Check

"Ending" -report of fourteenth* Snow-storm this Fall & Winter, & still falling on the Sierra.

The last front came across on the 9th.

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

Last: Jan 10, 2018

NEW WATER YEAR

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report. "+/- & =" are changes since last reading.

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Carson Pass 21" -1
8388 feet
(11.2" H2O) =.0
50 & 33 +/=

Ebbetts Pass 31" -2
8660 feet
(15.60" H2O) +.4
51 & 36 +/+

Leavitt Lake 56 " -4
(errors)
9602 feet, East Flank
(15.5" H20) =.0
50 & 35 +/+

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
xx & xx:
(New readout page sucks... & Tech issues)

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek
9250 feet, West Flank
000.0 Snow (BAD?)
(16.32" H20) +.24
(BAD?)
48 & 23 +/-

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
10.82" Snow -.05
50 & 22 +/-

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
24.00" Snow -2.89
(19.53" H20) (BAD?)
(Temps NONE)

Mammoth Mountain Ski

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(10.56" H2O) -.1 Suspect Suspect
temps suspect

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
46.31" Snow -.89
(12.60" H2O) +.44
50 & 31 +/+

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow BAD")
(16.0 H2O) =0.0
55 & 29 +/+

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
3.1" Snow -4.4
46 & 24 +/+

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
23.55" Snow -2.91
45 & 28 +/+
(station reporting again!)

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

* We've had more than fourteen fronts come across the Sierra, and periods of spitting snow, but only fourteen fronts of any substance.

16

Cloudy-Weak Fronts
NO SUBSTANTIAL PRECIP

High building back in, but not into the NE Pacific, not off the shore of North California & Oregon, but hugging along the coast and inland over the NW corner of the US. This/these Highs extend SW into the Pacific off the coast of Central and Southern California.

This configuration has weakened all the fronts we've experienced since the 2nd day of this month, when I first noted this front-weakening effect.

 

 

 

WINTER of 2018

 

 

17

Cloudy-Weak Fronts
NO SUBSTANTIAL PRECIP

No substantial precip since the moderate storms at the end of December & first days of January.

 

 

 

REALTIME
High Sierra Crestline
Reporting Stations

(Compare with the 15th)

Carson Pass
8388 feet

Ebbetts Pass
8660 feet

Leavitt Lake
9602 feet

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank

Deadman Creek
9250 feet

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet

Gem Pass
10750 feet

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet


South Lake Cabin
9580 feet

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet

Bishop Pass
11972 feet

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet

 

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

 

 


2017
Moderate Precip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top

18

Weak Front
Arriving in PM
Light-Moderate
PRECIP

Winter Storm
Warning & Advisory

Low & Front crossing
Nor Cal
at
2:56 UTC

6:56 PST

 

 

 

 

 

See
Surface Low Pressure Tracks

 

All Weather Information

 

Selected Resources

Radar

Visible Satellites

Water Vapor Satellites

 

MAPS

 

Sierra Forecasts

Western US Forecasts

 

Precip Animation & Charts

Graphical Precip Forecast

 

All Sierra Snow Info

Sierra Sensor Networks

High Sierra Highways

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Howling

19

Last Band of Weak Front Clearing Sierra
19:15 UTC
11:15 PST

Big Clear, Cold, High sliding in behind

 

Beware
COLD PLUNGE

Colder Fronts Coming !

2018
HIGH SIERRA
--WINTER--
Temp-Snow Check

"Ending" -report of fifteenth* Snow-storm this Fall & Winter.

The last front came across on the 16th.

Let's check our reporting station snow & temp readings.

Below: Watershed Snow Water Content Charts followed by individual reporting station's Snow Depth and 24 hour high-low temps.

Last: Jan 15, 2018

NEW WATER YEAR

Tahoe Basin
Watershed

N Sierra Reporting Stations On a Map
Scroll over stations for snow & temps. Click for
full report. "+/- & =" are changes since last reading.

American-Yuba Watersheds

Carson-Walker
Watershed
s

Carson Pass 24" +3
8388 feet
(11.5" H2O) +.3
50 & 33 +/=

Ebbetts Pass 37"+6
8660 feet
(16.20" H2O) +.6
41 & 29 -/=

Leavitt Lake 61 " +5
(errors)
9602 feet, East Flank
(16.4" H20) +.9
41 & 29 -/-

Marine Base
6748 feet East Flank
FULL REPORT
VIS-CHIL-WEA-MB-WIND
xx & xx:
(New readout page sucks... & Tech issues)

Mokelumne-Stanislaus Watersheds

Deadman Creek
9250 feet, West Flank
000.0 Snow (BAD?)
(17.4" H20) +1.08
(BAD?)
40 & 16 -/-

Tuolumne-Merced
Watersheds

Tuolumne Meadows
8600 feet, West Flank
10.1" Snow -.71
45 & 22 -/=

Tioga Pass/Dana
9798 feet
22.85" Snow -1.15
(19.53" H20) (BAD?)
(Temps NONE)

Mammoth Mountain Ski

Mono Lake-Owens Basin

Gem Pass
10750 feet
SNO " Depth Suspect
(10.82" H2O) +.24 Suspect Suspect
temps suspect

Mammoth Pass
9500 feet
43.82" Snow -2.18
(12.64" H2O) +.04
38 & 22 -/-

South Lake Cabin
9580 feet, East Flank
(Snow BAD")
(16.0 H2O) = 0.0
43 & 28 -/-

Big Pine Sawmill
10200 feet, East Flank
2.3" Snow -.8
39 & 25 -/-

Kings River

Bishop Pass
11972 feet
BAD-
BAD

Charlotte Lake
10398 feet, West Flank
TEMPS ONLY

-- & -- BAD
(The coldest station)

Kern Watershed

Upr Tyndall Creek
11441 feet
23.53" Snow -0.02
29 & 24 -/-
(station reporting again!)

All High Sierra
Reporting Stations

* We've had more than fifteen fronts come across the Sierra, and periods of spitting snow, but only fifteen fronts of any substance.

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

 

20

Clear
Sierra Crest Cloudy

All Snow Data

 

The Sierra
on
January 20
by...
MODIS
SIERRA SATELLITE

 

Current Conditions

Lows bobbing around Gulf Alaska, occasionally shooting one, a Low Pressure Zone, off to the East.

Check the North Pacific Weather Maps

High Pressure over East Pacific off West Coast of Oregon & California for December has broken-down into High over NW Corner of US "leaking" SW off the Coast of California from roughly at the lattitude of SF & extending Southwest off the coast.

Tropical Moisture is currently being sucked Northeast between the Low to the North in Gulf Alaska and the High off the Coast of Central and Southern California. Exactly where this moisture gets deposited on the North American Continent depends on the specific orientation of the Lows & Highs. Some of it will likely cross the Sierra over the next few days.

All mositure is deflected around California if the High moves North.

Moisture is directed at the Sierra when the Lows in Gulf Alaska and the High off the West Coast both shift South.

Currently, and for the next five days it looks like the movements of the Highs and Lows looks likely to direct the majority of the thick tropical moisture and powerful frontal activity to our North, with that getting through the High Pressure along the Coast of California being weakened by the now "semi-persistent" High Pressure over California and the Sierra Nevada.

We're going to get some precip in the Sierra over the next few days, but it looks like it'll be, "scraps," while the majority of Lows and their associated Frontal Activity passes North.

We'll See...

2018
Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
January 20.

N Sierra: 17%

Cen. Sierra: 27%

S Sierra: 21%

 

Ca State: 22%

Last: Jan 3

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

 

2017
Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
January 20.

N Sierra: 143%

Cen. Sierra:168%

S Sierra: 197%

 

Ca State: 168%

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

Next 2017 Reading
Feb. 3, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Top

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

21

 

 

 

22

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high
& low temps

23

 

 

 

 

2017
Diminishing
downpours

24

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

 

 

 

25

 

 

 

 

 

26

 

 

 

 

2017
Clear Blue Skies.

2017
Spring Prospects

If this transport mechanism brings tropical rains to the Sierra during the Spring Thaw, as it did during Fall, we will see the biggest Spring Thaw in living memory.

The cards building this hand are still on the table, and Nature is still dealing us Wild Cards:

Great Flood of 1862, Wiki

Top

27

 

 

 

 

2017
Clear Blue Skies

High off CA Coast

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

28

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Clear Blue Skies,
High off CA Coast

 

 

2016
Sierra approaching season-normal snow and precip for first time in years.


29

 

 

 

 

 




30

 

 

 

 

 

 


31

 

 

 

 

 

2017
First "REAL" Winter since the Winter of 2010-2011


1

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Snow Depth,
24 hour high & low temps

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Clear Blue Skies

High off CA Coast

3

 

 

 

 

 

2017
Current Snowpack:
Percent of Average for
February 3.

N Sierra: 145%

Cen. Sierra: 174%

S Sierra: 198%

 

Ca State: 171%

Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content PDF

Last Reading: Jan. 20

 

Also See
Norms, Accumulations, and Anomalies

 

 

 

 

2018 NOTES

A CRITICAL YEAR

SUSPENDED BETWEEN GROWING POPULATION AND DIMINISHING GLOBAL FERTILITY

 

 

2017 NOTES

Early Jan
So far we've had a typically strange Winter, as we've increasingly had for the past couple of decades. The Fall and early Winter storm activity we've seen so far this season have all come out of the Southwest and West, rather than the typical-traditional Winter storm track out of the Northwest. These storms have been sufficient to put a reasonable, if low, percentage of normal snowpack onto the High Sierra for this time of year. My concern is the reasons why. See my note of December 29, 2016. So far, the conditions into early Jan:

Weak, warm Arctic.

High temps, low differential between lowest Lows and highest Highs. Little temp difference ahead/behind front lines.

Rebirth of the Great High?

Mid Month
Terrific transport of warm tropical moisture out of Southwest followed up by cold flow out of West; still nothing out the Northwest. What a world!

 

History:
2016 NOTE
"2016’s El Nino weather is forming up for a reasonable snowpack for the first time in five years. 2014 and 2015 were the earliest openings of the high trails I remember. The year before was one of the latest. Extremes have become the new normal. This year's El Nino is setting up for a high probability of extremes rain and snow hitting the West Coast of the US. Where? is the question. The El Nino tropical flows have been transported North around California by a persistent ridge of High Pressure.

Let's see how that sucker stands up, now that heavy tropical activity has begun North of Indonesia. (And then stood down) "

2017
Ironic Note: The huge El Nino of 2016, which indicates heavy precip, delivered a below-average snowpack to the Sierra last year. This year's La Nina, which typically indicates a cold, dry Winter, is delivering a huge snowpack.

NOTE
JANUARY 2017 ASSESMENT
January 20
Wow. Finally, a Winter. A real Winter. Not out of the typical direction we would expect Winter to come from (the NW), but at this point, who's quibbling? Not I. The real interesting part I take note of was the rain across the Sierra Crest on the 6th and 7th. Well, that's what we get when our Winter is coming out the Southwest, rather than the Northwest.

These same warm tropical flows during Winter have also been pushing increasing mid-Winter floods and rain turning into vast ice storms into the mid-West and even the South for years and years now, regardless of if these storms cross or go around the Sierra on their way East.
This change in the direction and character of our Winter Weather (from the Southwest, rather than the Northwest; being tropically warmer, wetter, and passing around, rather than across the Sierra) has not yet brought its worse effects to the Sierrra. Well, besides a deepening and enduring drought. Despite this interesting tropical respite we are experiencing, actually bringing tropical storms from Dec 2016 through today (Jan 20, 2017), "breaking" the drought we've been experiencing for the past six years.

Besides rain falling into the Sierra during mid-Winter not being "banked" as snow for the subsequent Summer, the fact we are watching rain falling on the Crest in January offers a bad omen for the storms of Spring. The Arctic has remained warm so far this Winter. This has weakened the N Jet Stream through the Gulf Alaska. Stationary Lows in Gulf Alaska have pulled significant tropical moisture Northeast into the Sierra.
We will see some amazing thaw events If that trend driving our Winter so far, of stationary or wandering Lows in Gulf Alaska sucking warm tropical storms out of the Southwest, continues into the Spring Thaw.

We could very well see the same transport mechanism of warm and dense precip out of the sub-tropics, that is currently driving snow accumulation in the Sierra, strip the High Sierra of snow as quickly as it was laid down. These warm conditions and storm transport out of the Southwest opens enduring prospects for both current and late-season rain on a deep, warm snowpack, then covered by more snow. These conditions in the sky and on the ground bring certain short and long term hazard effects into play.

Danger-Danger
In the short term we are faced with a range of very bad layering conditions in the snowpack. Most storms require a few days to fall down the mountain (avalanches) and for the snow itself to compress for easier travel. There are always danger zones left behind we must identify.
What we saw with the current deposition pattern of snow, rain, snow, and rain across the Sierra Crest will leave many areas where faults in the snowpack are preserved, far beyond the typical times it takes for gravity to settle snow. Areas that would typically be trustworthy will be untrustworthy.

These rain and snow layers will leave enduring zones of dangerous avalanche conditions that will remain until they are triggered or melt. Many of these danger zones will be beyond our ability to observe, and within zones we would normally consider safe by good common sense observations. Beware! That is why we observe so carefully. Our observations of weather resources, such as the real time reporting stations above, have given us temp and snow depth reports that tell us that rain has fallen on this year's snowpack. That tells us the snowpack contains significant hidden faults and threats. Beware!

Our technical reports give us valuable safety information if we intrepret them correctly.

In the longer trem of the enduring drought this rain falling on the Sierra Crest that we saw during the rains of the 6th and 7th fortells the potential for a seriously weak snowpack, both through the threat of Winter rains triggering a serious and rapid diminishment of the Winter snowpack, or even worse, triggering a precipitious thaw during Spring.

What I am most seriously concerned with at this time is the mechanism driving these powerful tropical flows setting up any time, but most especially as the Spring Thaw begins, when rising temps and river flows can threaten some serious Spring flooding. The whole San J Valley has been under 40 feet of water before, and it will happen again. This year is still "in the running" for epic outcomes.

Great Flood of 1862, Wiki

BOTTOM LINES
Drought-wise? Though we have a hell of a lot of snow and water now (finally), we certainly cannot count ourselves out of this drought until we've actually captured it. Our current snowpack now is only as good as it will be on the first day of Spring, and that's only beneficial if we can catch these Spring flows for Summertime use. That's the trick, and the prospect of warm rains makes that task even trickier.

Rain falling across the Sierra Crest during "Winter" is an instant and serious diminishment of "banked" snow providing water through Spring. Warm rains falling on the Crest during mid-Winter are also an "Omen," warning us of the much higer potential for warm rains much later during Spring, when the prospect of rain falling on a warm, wet, heavy snowpack of Spring gives pause to water managers (and all sensible folk) all over California.

Rains falling during the Spring Thaw creates a powerfull flow requiring water managers let most of the surging power of the Spring Thaw, and the water it is traveling through, flow straight through their system into the sea. Trying to contain/retain this type of power will bust all the dams.

 

The 22nd
Traditional Storm Track trying to form up, meaning a North Jet Stream across the Gulf Alaska from the Aleutians to the NW corner of the USA. Much cooler Storms/front lines now coming out of West and NW, rather than the warm storms out of the Southwest we experienced through December into mid January. Will this traditional cooling trend strengthen and deepen, or break back down into warm storms out of the Southwest?

The 24th
This is the third clear day during the Series of Storms that have struck since January 1. That adds up to twenty-one days of one degree or another of precipitation during the month of Janurary, so far. Even the days between the front lines brought rain, up to the 24th. Thus a huge snowpack sits on the Sierra, and much of the rest of California's soils are saturated, and our rivers, lakes, and creeks have risen to full, if not flood stages.
The environmental balance has shifted from deep Drought to fear of Flood and Slide. These radical storms and these radical changes in seasonal trends are signs of an unstable system flopping between extremes. I can't wait to see what happens next... Will the East Pac Ridge build in? Will tropical storms continue to deluge us from the Southwest? Will a normal storm track open up out of the Northwest? Will all the above happen in some strange "weather jumble?" We will see.

COLD WARNING

The 31st
High built in off Coast of California from 24th to the 29th, and is presently breaking down. It's role deflecting the flow of the Tropical Transport Mechanism to our North is now shifting to directing it towards us.

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar          2016 Calendar

Permits
Yosemite National Park and Desolation Wilderness accept reservations six months in advance for Summer backpacking dates.

June 2016 reservations are available in January, July in February, and so on.

Yosemite Permits

Desolation Wilderness

Hoover Wilderness

 

 


2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar  

2016 Calendar

BACKGROUND
The trajectory of the cold, rain, and snows of January provide both excellent backpacking experiences and establish the terms, a baseline for this year’s transition into Spring Conditions.

Regular storm activity laid atop a deep pack of Winter snows wrapped in cold temps indicate a long Winter into Spring transition.

Light snows and irregular storm activity sprinkled on a thin snow pack under high temperatures indicates an early and rapid transitions into Spring and Summer conditions.

Tahoe to Whitney

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February 2018

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January         February         March         April         May         June         July         August         September         October         November         December

2014 Calendar          2015 Calendar

2016 Calendar

End of December, 2017

 

Trailhead
 
Contact
Alex Wierbinski

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Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney

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