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Re: Any guesses as to the first big snow dump in the valley?

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Any guesses as to the first big snow dump in the valley?
October 22, 2012 11:23AM
Given the odd weather of the past season, I'm hoping there's a LOT more snow, and earlier, in Yosemite Valley this year. Winter is, after all, the best season to see the valley. Especially for photographers, being there the morning after the first snowfall gives all sorts of beautiful, contrasting shots of snow and fall foilage.

I'd love it if it were, say, the second week of November.
avatar Re: Any guesses as to the first big snow dump in the valley?
October 22, 2012 11:32AM
Actually for the trees sake, I would prefer the first big snowfall occurs after most of the leaves have fallen off of the deciduous trees. When it snows heavily while the trees still have their leaves, a lot of deciduous trees suffer great damage due to the weight of the snow breaking off a good number branches.

In the meantime, a light snowfall should be sufficient for excellent picture taking opportunities.

.
Re: Any guesses as to the first big snow dump in the valley?
October 23, 2012 11:44AM
Around Thanksgiving seems to be the time where there could be some snow in the valley but it is usually a small amount and tends to melt off quickly. I have never kept track of when the first big dump comes but I would guess that it would be sometime near the end of December. Of course this changes from year to year.
Re: Any guesses as to the first big snow dump in the valley?
October 23, 2012 01:03PM
You are going to need a lucky rabbits foot.

Yosemite Valley is at 4k while the average snow level for winter storms is about 6k though such varies greatly. Also the bottom of the valley always seems to be less cold than the same elevation in nearby forest areas probably because of latent heat in the massive granite walls. Thus even when really cold storms visit with temps at 20F degrees at 4k to 5k elevations in the nearby region, the valley may still be in the high 20s to 32F. Such air temps are not cold enough for snow to remain frozen long so any snow also tends to melt off quickly on many surfaces, especially the large rock faces though snow on trees or vegetation will accumulate and last longer.

My experience is when snow levels are really low down to Mariposa at 1942 feet, the valley floor also gets a good accumulation. That does not happen often. Thus a photographer besides paying attention to NWS storm forecast details is probably going to either need to live right in the valley as a park employee or expect to make several visits before getting lucky which is what I had to do. And many years none of such cold storms even come close to dumping this much:

http://www.davidsenesac.com/images/print_06-e3-1.html



http://www.davidsenesac.com
Re: Any guesses as to the first big snow dump in the valley?
October 23, 2012 03:10PM
Great picture. We have lucked out several times, through out the years, and happened to be staying in the Valley when a huge storm came through during the night. Nothing like waking up to a winter wonderland.
avatar Re: Any guesses as to the first big snow dump in the valley?
October 23, 2012 03:28PM
Quote
parklover

Great picture. We have lucked out several times, through out the years, and happened to be staying in the Valley when a huge storm came through during the night. Nothing like waking up to a winter wonderland.

Yup. That's the best way to do it. Fortunately, Yosemite Valley's lodging rates are the lowest in the middle of winter (excluding the President's Day week in February).

.
Re: Any guesses as to the first big snow dump in the valley?
October 23, 2012 05:02PM
Quote
DavidSenesac
You are going to need a lucky rabbits foot.

Yosemite Valley is at 4k while the average snow level for winter storms is about 6k though such varies greatly. Also the bottom of the valley always seems to be less cold than the same elevation in nearby forest areas probably because of latent heat in the massive granite walls. Thus even when really cold storms visit with temps at 20F degrees at 4k to 5k elevations in the nearby region, the valley may still be in the high 20s to 32F. Such air temps are not cold enough for snow to remain frozen long so any snow also tends to melt off quickly on many surfaces, especially the large rock faces though snow on trees or vegetation will accumulate and last longer.

My experience is when snow levels are really low down to Mariposa at 1942 feet, the valley floor also gets a good accumulation. That does not happen often. Thus a photographer besides paying attention to NWS storm forecast details is probably going to either need to live right in the valley as a park employee or expect to make several visits before getting lucky which is what I had to do. And many years none of such cold storms even come close to dumping this much:

http://www.davidsenesac.com/images/print_06-e3-1.html

Well I must have been really lucky for the past three years, then, having caught massive snow levels in the valley in each of them.
Re: Any guesses as to the first big snow dump in the valley?
October 23, 2012 05:46PM
You have photos of "massive snow falls" in the Valley during the winter of 2011-12?

Your definition of "massive" might be quite different than mine. Having grown up in Mammoth, my definition of a masive snowfall is 6-10 feet in 24 hours. The Valley floor got very, very little snow this past winter.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2012 05:47PM by Ulysses61.
avatar Re: Any guesses as to the first big snow dump in the valley?
October 24, 2012 06:32AM
Maybe he meant epic.
tongue sticking out smiley

It snowed down to Mariposa last year.

https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/ValleyMar1719_12



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Any guesses as to the first big snow dump in the valley?
October 24, 2012 06:55AM
Quote
Ulysses61
You have photos of "massive snow falls" in the Valley during the winter of 2011-12?

Your definition of "massive" might be quite different than mine. Having grown up in Mammoth, my definition of a masive snowfall is 6-10 feet in 24 hours. The Valley floor got very, very little snow this past winter.

Sigh. So nitpick me for a few feet.

Having grown up in Big Sur, massive snowfall is 2-3 feet for me, regardless of the time period.

And perhaps your timing is just bad. I was there March 18th of this year, and there was a LOT of snow.

Bummer you missed it.


Bridalveil and Merced River Valley, NIK by tanngrisnir3, on Flickr


Frozen Beach, Merced River by tanngrisnir3, on Flickr



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2012 07:00AM by tanngrisnir3.
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