Warning: INSERT command denied to user 'dbo256360593'@'74.208.59.62' for table 'watchdog' query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:7:\"warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:40:\"Creating default object from empty value\";s:5:\"%file\";s:86:\"/homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:33;}', 3, '', 'https://tahoetowhitney.org/category/type-post/weather', '', '35.153.73.72', 1563880352) in /homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/includes/database.mysqli.inc on line 134

Warning: INSERT command denied to user 'dbo256360593'@'74.208.59.62' for table 'watchdog' query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:402:\"INSERT command denied to user 'dbo256360593'@'74.208.59.62' for table 'captcha_sessions'\nquery: INSERT into captcha_sessions (uid, sid, ip_address, timestamp, form_id, solution, status, attempts) VALUES (0, '6a851d898f70a89385f335241532dfcd', '35.153.73.72', 1563880353, 'user_login_block', '243752d655e40d50461c4fb6a856b22b', 0, 0)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:88:\"/homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc\";s:5: in /homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/includes/database.mysqli.inc on line 134
Weather in the High Sierra | High Sierra Backpacker

You are hereWeather in the High Sierra

Weather in the High Sierra


Post up about weather conditions, changes, and dealing with it.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Status & Evolution of the High Sierra Spring Thaw of 2019 sticky icon

High Sierra Spring of 2019
Evolution of Conditions

Page Started
March 30, 2019

Updated
July 7, 2019

 

2019
SNOW PACK STATUS
THIS YEAR

A Heavy Snow Year

July 5 2019
A Month of Warm-"Temperate" Temps with Rapid & Slow periods of Thawing.
Heavy Spring Snowpack Persisting into Summer: Extra Caution, Information, Skills, Fitnesss and Proper Gear still REQUIRED.
71% of Average Snowpack
Calendar

June 17 2019
Two Weeks of Warm Temps & Rapid Thawing
120% of Average Snowpack
Calendar

Alex Wierbinski's picture

May 2019 High Sierra Storm Activity to Recharge High Sierra Snow Pack

 

HIGH SIERRA WEATHER PROSPECTS

A, "Spring Recharge," is Underway...

Highly Unusual Sequence of Winter-Like Storms Headed for California (In late May!),
Weather West, May 14, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

End of Dry-Warm Strecth
"A very warm April and relatively warm start to May–coupled with rather dry conditions throughout the state during that period–will come crashing to an end tomorrow."

"...perhaps even downright stormy, conditions are expected across most of California over the next 10 days or so."

PCT & Widespread Effects
"...highly unusual nature of widespread significant rainfall (and mountain snowfall) this late in the season will likely catch a lot of folks by surprise, and will have some substantial impacts for the agricultural sector and those traveling (not to mention those poor souls just starting out on the Pacific Crest Trail)."

Get Ready to Rumble
"Widespread soaking rains will arrive across the northern half of California tomorrow, and will continue on and off for the next 10-12 days. Significant rainfall is also possible across much of southern California, although that will more likely come from subsequent systems."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

SEKI WARNS: Lots of Snow on the South Sierra Crest & Flanks

 

MOUNTAIN SAFETY

Seasonal News of Note

Buried
Sherman Tree Parking Area and Comfort Station
Sherman Tree Parking Area and Comfort Station, Image by SEKI, NPS.
Image by SEKI, NPS.

 

Lots of Snow on the Sierra Crest & Flanks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Expect Some Late Facility Openings Due to Heavy Snowpack and Hazard Trees,
Sequoia National Park, April 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Expectations
"...have become accustomed to the light winters that the drought has produced."

Reality
"...Sequoia and Kings Canyon is 153% of normal."

Caution
"Azalea Campground closed on Tuesday, April 2, due to the large number of hazard trees in the campground."

"In an abundance of caution for park visitors, crews are working to address these tree hazards before facilities open for the season."

"...there are currently no open campgrounds in Kings Canyon."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Yosemite Announces Delayed Facility Openings, & Beware Snow-Covered Trails through July

MONSTER SNOW PACK of the WINTER of 2019

Seasonal News of Note
Yosemite Announces Delayed Facility Openings

Note the Snow will Affect High Trail Access, & Damages will Affect Trails Too

Yosemite National Park Announces Late Seasonal Openings for Several Park Facilities,
Yosemite National Park, March 13, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Damaged Facilities
“...that there will be late seasonal openings to facilities throughout the park...due to the exceptionally heavy snowpack in Yosemite National Park and the subsequent extensive damage to many park facilities.”

Stormy Winter
“...significant storm systems in January and February produced high levels of snow, which resulted in temporary road closures, rock and debris slides, and falling trees. Additionally, these storms resulted in extensive damage to facilities throughout the park. Damage to facilities includes trees falling on and damaging campground restrooms, utilities systems compromised, tent cabins damaged or destroyed, and falling trees impacting campsites, parking areas, hiking trails, and roads.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

March 2019 NOAA Disasters, Climate, & Weather Trends: Cool, Wet, and Saturated

 

WEATHER

Major Midwest Flooding in March

 

Offutt Air Force Base Flooded, Nebraska
Offutt Air Force Base Flooded, Nebraska, March 17, 2019, U.S. Air Force, Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake.
March 17, 2019, U.S. Air Force, Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake.

 

2019 Climate & Weather Trends: Cool & Wet

U.S. hit with Two Billion-Dollar Disasters so far in 2019,
NOAA, April 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Two events so far this Year.

#1>
Bomb Cyclone
"...heavy snow, blizzard conditions and major flooding to the Midwest..."

#2>
Major NE, SE, & Ohio Storm of February

More
Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Overview
“In 2019 (as of April 9), there have been 2 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included 1 flooding event and 1 severe storm event.”

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

April 2019: A Disjointed, Mis-located El Nino

 

 

WEIRD-ASS WEATHER

Disjointed, Mis-located El Nino

NASA sees El Niño conditions prevail in the Central Pacific Ocean,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, April 11, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Not a Normal El Nino
“A Different Thing”
“This is what is known as El Niño “Modoki” (Japanese for “a similar but different thing”) or a Central Pacific El Niño, wherein enhanced SSTs and rainfall occur near the dateline and not near the coast of Peru.”

 

Bottom Line

That’s one weird, weak El Nino… but, along with the rest of our weather, we’re experiencing, “A Different Thing.” We are experiencing a Global, “Modoki.” Enjoy the ride...

On October 16, of 2018 I put the odds of an El Nino at half those called by NOAA, and I have been half-vindicated by this half-ass Modoki El Nino.

 

February 2019 NOAA: Weak El Nino Here? To Persist?

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2019: Second Super Bloom Season in Three Years, Second This Year

 

AMAZING LIFE

Superbloom!
2019 Antelope Valley Superbloom of wildflowers and poppies, NASA/Jim Ross.
View from a NASA aircraft, T-34, over the Superbloom of wildflowers and poppies from the Antelope Valley in Southern California, Poppy Reserve and solar panels are in the background. NASA Photo / Jim Ross. Big, full res version.

 

Second Super Bloom in Two Years

A Super View of a Super Bloom,
NASA Earth Observer, April 10, 2019.

 

Last View of 2019
NASA: Super Bloom Fires Up Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

 

Earlier this year

 

NPR: Wildflower Superboom of 2016

 

 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Alaska Skips Mid-Winter to Experience Late Spring Conditions in March

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Extreme Land Surface Temp Anomalies, March, 2019
Widespread Extreme Heat
Extreme Land Surface Temp Anomalies, March, 2019, NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin.
Darker red colors depict areas that were hotter than March's average temps between 2000-2012; blues were colder than average. Note the widspread deep darkness.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin. Big.

 

Alaska Skips Mid-Winter to Experience Late Spring Conditions in March

Alaska Hit With a Hot March,
NASA Earth Observatory, April 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Weird Weather Across Alaska

Records Across Alaska
“The average temperature for March 2019 set records at 10 of 19 ground-based weather stations in Alaska."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

WEATHER WEST: Winter of 2018-2019. What Happened? What’s Next?

 

 

WEATHER

Winter of 2018-2019

What Happened? What’s Next?

Just how wet and cold was winter 2018-2019?
Weather West, March 24, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Start
"...punctuated by California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire in history during the uncharacteristic month of November."

Seasonal Precip
“Overall cumulative precipitation anomalies have not been particularly exceptional...”

Seasonal Temps
“...temperatures for the full period really haven’t been that cold–shaking out pretty close to average for most of the state. (Of course, that somewhat masks the very cold conditions that occurred during February).”

The Question
“So how, exactly, can California have received 156% of average snow water equivalent when precipitation over the same interval was only ~120% of average and temperatures were “near average?”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Extreme Antarctic Events Common Source of Annual Averages

 

SNOW, ICE, EXTREME WEATHER & CHANGE

Percent of Annual Precip Deposited by Extreme Events
circular map, showing percentage of annual precip brought by EPEs, by British Antarctic Survey.
The contours and colours show the percentage of the annual snowfall that comes from the extremes, here taken as the top 10% of daily snowfall amounts, credit to BAS.

 

Extreme Events Common Source of Annual Averages

Antarctic snowfall dominated by a few extreme snowstorms,
British Antarctic Survey, March 25, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Extreme Precipitation Events (EPEs)

This “...study reveals the importance of a small number of intense storms around Antarctica in controlling the amount of snow falling across the continent.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Watching the Changing Character of the High Sierra & California’s Climate

WEATHER NOTES

Tropical Storm into Eastern Sierra, Fall of 2013
Fall Tropical Storm sucking up dust crossing Deserts to the Eastern Sierra
Fall Tropical Storm sucking up dust crossing Deserts before hitting the Eastern Sierra

 

WILD WEATHER

 

Living Under The Changing Character of the High Sierra & California’s Climate,
High Sierra Backpacker, February 28, 2019

MAIN POINTS

It’s Going Tropical
The Tropical Winter Weather of 2019

“Traditional” Weather
Heavy Cold Precip from North: Feb 4 Calendar

 

First TTM Tropical Downpours Feb 15, ‘19

 

Second TTM Feb Tropical Downpours Feb 26, ‘19

 

Next TTM?

March 1 or 2?

 

 

Tracking Tropical Moisture

Alex Wierbinski's picture

New Measure of Strength and Impacts of Atmospheric River Storms

OCEANS, WEATHER, HEAT, & LOTS & LOTS OF WATER

 "Atmospheric River" Smacking California
Atmospheric river hits California, more precisely, a Tropical Transport Mechanism. Credit to Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory/ VIIRS satellite
Fantastic Shot by Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory/ VIIRS satellite.

 

Tropical Transport Mechanism Quantification

CW3E Research Notice

CW3E Releases New Scale to Characterize Strength and Impacts of Atmospheric Rivers,
CW3E, February 5, 2019.

Published

New scale to characterize strength and impacts of atmospheric river storms,
University of California - San Diego, February 5, 2019.

 

AR
FORECAST-OBSERVATION
PORTALS

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tahoe Snowpack Best in US; Resorts Shatter February Snowfall Records

MOUNTAIN WEATHER

Tahoe Ski Resorts, Western US, get a Record Snowpack Break

Route from Meyers out of Tahoe Basin to Carson Pass
Snow route out of Meyers, Christmas Valley to Carson Pass.
Winter Backpacking the Tahoe Basin is a gas, gas, gas!!! Guide Page


Lake Tahoe snowpack best in western US; resorts shatter February snowfall records,
Tahoe Daily Tribune, February 22, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Lake Tahoe Snow
"...holds the best snowpack in the western United States and the crowds are flocking to the world-class slopes."

Traffic
"... has been insane, infuriating and downright miserable at times — all while the snow continues to fly."

 

Record Feb Snowfalls at:

Diamond Peak

Sierra-at-Tahoe

Squaw Valley and Homewood

Alex Wierbinski's picture

February 2019 NOAA: Weak El Nino Here? To Persist?

WEATHER TRENDS

EL Nino Conditions Rise
Sea Surface Temps of Dec 2018 compared to 1981-2010 period
Dec 2018 SST compared to 1981-2010 period, NOAA, Climate.gov, NNVL
Geo-Polar SST of El Nino Zone, NOAA, Climate.gov, NNVL

 

Weak El Nino Here? To Persist?

NOAA announces the arrival of El Nino,
El Nino likely to be weak with little influence on weather through early spring.
NOAA, Feburary 14, 2019.

More

NOAA Monthl Report, PDF

Latest NWS CPC Analysis

 

Backpacker's Weather Page
El Nino Information

Alex Wierbinski's picture

NOAA REPORTS: Atmospheric River Soaks California

WILD WEATHER

Tropical Transport Mechanism
Feb 14 Tropical Transport Mechanism being pushed South by descending Low, NOAA.
Feb 14 Tropical Transport Mechanism being pushed South by descending Low, Credit: NOAA

Atmospheric River Soaks California,
NOAA, February 15, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Freak Extreme Weather Continues…
"...set records in parts of southern California. The National Weather Service reported 10.1 inches of rain fell Thursday at Palomar Observatory northeast of San Diego, the wettest day there since observations began in 1901."

Ca Washed by Fire Hose
"...flood warnings are still in effect from Sacramento to Redding, where more downpours are possible through Friday evening."

NOAA Wrong, or Misstating
"...these long, narrow regions of the atmosphere carry enormous amounts of moisture over thousands of miles, from as far away as Hawaii."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Winter 2019 Status: Tropical Transport & Storms of February 13

STATUS of the WINTER of 2019

 

NASA MODIS reveals the Instantly Intense Winter of 2019
NASA MODIS reveals the Instantly Intense Winter of 2019, Credit NASA, MODIS team.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) acquired these natural-color images of the difference a year makes; the Sierra Nevada on February 15, 2018, and February 15 of 2019. Credit NASA, MODIS team.

Also check-out MODIS, Feb 13, 2015

Scroll the Year on MODIS above to review Today's Sierra,
especially the 11th.

 

Tropical Transport & Storms of February 13

A Strong Start to Sierra Snowpack,
NASA Earth Observatory, February 13, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Alex Wierbinski's picture

The Character and Evolution of the High Sierra Winter into the Spring of 2019

 

SETTING a SEASONAL “MARKER”

Almost Dead-Average Snowpack

February 2, 2019
The salient point today, the second of February, is we’ve got a seasonal normal, “average,” snow pack (calendar), while looking at a set of moderately powerful storms coming through, all playing out in the wake of the disruptions created by the great movement of the Polar Vortex, off the top of the planet to center its spin over the North end of Hudson’s Bay, over the past couple of weeks.

Today we can see the Polar Vortex has split into thee, "vortexes," with the one over Hudson's Bay, the one that brought so much frigid Arctic cold air to the South, has weakened in favor of the Vortex to its North:

 

High Altitude View of the Polar Vortex(es)
EARTH

10 hPa, roughly 84,998.2 feet of elevation.

A rough table of pressures and altitudes.

 

NEXT?
Where does, “it,” our Seasonal Transition into Spring, go from, “here?”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Rossby Waves Tie Together Extreme Rainfall Events Around the World

WEATHER, CLIMATE, & ROSSBY WAVES

Vast Troves of Big Data, New Methods, and Supercomputers Find Deep Relationships

Extreme rainfall events are connected across the world,
Imperial College London, January 30, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Rossby waves have been connected to regular rainfall, but this study is the first to connect them to extreme rainfall event patterns.

Big Data
“...the team developed a new method rooted in complex system theory to study high-resolution satellite data of rainfall. The data comes from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and covers the region between 50 (degrees) North and South since 1998.”

Hidden Patterns
Better Future Models & Forecasts
“Uncovering this global pattern of connections in the data can improve weather and climate models. This is especially true for the emerging picture of couplings between the tropics and the European and North American regions and their consequences for extreme rainfall.”

“...revealed a possible mechanism for how the events were connected.”

“...very surprising relationships between extreme rainfall events in different regions around the world.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Polar Vortex Sliding off Top of Planet, Arctic Weather Plunges into North America

CLIMATE CHANGING FREAK WEATHER

Polar Vortex Deep-Freezes North America
2019 Broken Polar Vortex Effects, 2-meter air temps, credit to MODIS.
NASA's view of the effects of the Polar Vortex breakdown, via MODIS, Caption 
SCALE
Darkest Blue on Left: Negative 40 C. Darkest Red on Right: Positive 40 C.
 

UPDATED
Videos

Polar Vortex Sliding off Top of Planet

Arctic Weather Plunges into North America,
NASA Earth Observatory, January 30, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Broken Polar Vortex
“...disturbances in the jet stream and the intrusion of warmer mid-latitude air masses can disturb this polar vortex and make it unstable, sending Arctic air south into middle latitudes.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

The Madden-Julian Oscillation Changing in Warming World

WEATHER & CLIMATE

Climate-Changing The Madden-Julian Oscillation
How Climate Changes affect MJO, by Eric Maloney/Colorado State University.
How Warming Climate affects MJO behavior, by Eric Maloney/Colorado State University:

"Current climate is represented in (a), and a warmer climate in (b). As the climate warms, the mean vertical gradient in water vapor (blue) increases. Tropospheric temperature (orange shading) will also increase more than the lower atmosphere."

 

The Madden-Julian Oscillation

Reliable tropical weather pattern to change in a warming climate,
Colorado State University, December 27, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

The MJO
“Every month or two, a massive pulse of clouds, rainfall and wind moves eastward around the Earth near the equator, providing the tropics their famous thunderstorms.”

Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system

Latest News: RSS FEED

Syndicate content

Support Tahoe to Whitney

The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide and Magazine are walked, written, funded, and supported by my efforts, with the help of kindred spirits and my sister.

We offer valuable Trail Guide, Skills, Weather, News and Analysis.

My goal is to get you out to see your natural and social potential. Help me keep this unique resource accessible and expanding towards its potential. We've a lot of miles to cover ahead...

I NEED HELP!
If you feel these efforts are valuable, I'm cordially inviting you to support them, here:

 

 

I am currently working towards publishing the completed guide between Tahoe & Yosemite as an e-book, while converting this "blog" to a fine magazine format. You will like the results! Help Tahoe to Whitney reach its potential!

 

Why Support Tahoe to Whitney?
Mission Statement


Warning: INSERT command denied to user 'dbo256360593'@'74.208.59.62' for table 'watchdog' query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:381:\"INSERT command denied to user 'dbo256360593'@'74.208.59.62' for table 'accesslog'\nquery: INSERT INTO accesslog (title, path, url, hostname, uid, sid, timer, timestamp) values('Weather in the High Sierra', 'taxonomy/term/662', '', '35.153.73.72', 0, '6a851d898f70a89385f335241532dfcd', 598, 1563880353)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:87:\"/homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/modules/statistics/statistics.module\";s:5:\"%line\& in /homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/includes/database.mysqli.inc on line 134