The Sierra Crest is noted for having the capacity to produce four seasons of weather during a single Summer Day. Rain, snow, hail, fog, lightening, and a bit of sunshine can all happen in quick sequence.
Spring and Fall can bring flashes of Winter weather, and Winter can turn downright Arctic occasionally.
The High Sierra is noted for rapid changes in weather and temperature, and the sudden appearance of harsh weather trends all year round.
You may experience anything from intense heat to bitter cold Summer snow storms. Or you may not. In any case, weather must be considered and preparations made to deal with these weather facts BEFORE entering the High Sierras.
Long Distance Backpackers who were on the High Sierra Crest in early August of 2009 experienced just such a series of Summer Snow Storms.
Temperatures dropped to the high teens and low twenties, snow and hail fell which partially obscured the trails, and all of those who entertained the misconception that the Sierras only have fine weather during the Summertime were bitterly disappointed. Luckily for the many backcountry travelers who were not properly prepared, those storms blew apart, rather than consolidated and deepened.
Weather considerations should inform and guide your gear selection.
Main Tahoe to Whitney Weather Page
Western US and East Pacific
High Sierra Zone Forecasts
Watches and Warnings
Real-Time Ground Reporting Stations
Real-Time Reporting Stations