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Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update

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avatar Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update
April 19, 2012 11:46AM
Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update
This will be the final report of the winter season!

High temp: 52°F (April 16)
Low temp: 10°F (April 12)
New Snow: 16 inches
Total settled snow depth: 17 inches as of April 18, 2012

Skiing Conditions and Weather: Both Winter and Spring ski conditions were found in the Tuolumne area this week. A cold storm came through on April 13 and left 16 inches here at Tuolumne Meadows and over 2 feet of snow in the higher elevations. Powder skiing has rapidly evolved into spring snow since then as sunny warm days and cold nights have transformed the snowpack. The snowpack is shrinking fast and if you want to enjoy the Tuolumne area with snow you better come soon. Bare patches are showing up on the Tioga Road within the park, and the east side of Tioga Pass is snow free from the park boundary to the gate at the bottom of Lee Vining Canyon.

Avalanche and Snowpack Conditions: For the latest avalanche advisory for this area go to http://www.esavalanche.org for the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center and click on advisory. The ESAC site is updated several times a week and more often during weather events. There is significantly more snow than the 17 inches that is on our snow stake at Tuolumne when you get above 9,200 feet in all drainages and North facing slopes. The snowpack has settled from this week’s new snow and the avalanche hazard is presently low in the Tuolumne area. Wilderness travelers should pay attention to overnight temperatures and use caution on any days following nights that are not below freezing.

Wildlife: The sounds of spring are apparent throughout the area. Birds are now coming through and are very vocal on these spring mornings. The yellow-rumped warbler is the newest arrival and a wide variety of birds can be observed daily. The Tuolumne River is starting to open up and summer will be here soon. The Tuolumne Winter Rangers are migrating south and can be found in the wilderness of Sequoia National Park this summer.

Questions: Power and phones are out for the season. Contact the Wilderness Office at 209/372-0740 with any questions or concerns. Bring your ski & skin wax and happy skiing!! - Laura & Rob Pilewski, Tuolumne Winter Rangers.
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