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Re: Winter storm watch

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avatar Winter storm watch
May 12, 2015 04:12PM
Urgent - winter weather message
National weather service hanford ca
1230 pm pdt tue may 12 2015

Caz096-130400-
/o.New.Khnx.Ws.A.0002.150514t1200z-150515t0600z/
Sierra nevada from yosemite to kings canyon-
Including the city of...Shaver lake
1230 pm pdt tue may 12 2015

...Winter storm watch in effect from late wednesday night through
Thursday evening above 6000 feet...

The national weather service in hanford has issued a winter storm
Watch above 6000 feet...Which is in effect from late wednesday
Night through thursday evening.

* hazard type...Snow.

* snow accumulations...4 to 6 inches at 6000 feet with local
Amounts up to 12 inches near the crest.

* timing...Snow showers beginning late wednesday night. Heavy snow
Showers are possible thursday afternoon and early thursday
Evening.

* impacts...Biggest concern will be for tioga pass and travelers
Using this highway. Also for highways 140 and 41 in yosemite
Park...And highway 168 near huntington lake. Back country
Campers and hikers will likely see rapid changes in the weather.

* temperatures...In the upper 20s to lower 30s.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant
Snow...Sleet...Or ice accumulations that may impact travel.
Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.

&&

$$

Ds
Re: Winter storm watch
May 13, 2015 04:57AM
Yeah ! More snow !
Re: Winter storm watch
May 13, 2015 08:18AM
Yikes.. we have a campsite reservation at Lower Pines starting tomorrow.
We're planning to drive up Highway 41 tomorrow (in a minivan). What is the best way to find out if the highway is closed or requires chains?
Re: Winter storm watch
May 13, 2015 09:25AM
There's a highway conditions link at the bottom of this page that gives current conditions:

Highway conditions

For upcoming dates, the best bet is to check the weather forecast--especially the forecast discussion. Highway 41 goes a bit above 6000', so if the forecast is for snow at that elevation (and it looks like it will be close), chain control may be needed. However, this time of year, I suspect that any control will be short-lived, and at most it will be R1, which requires at most "mud and snow" tires, which most vehicles have (look for M + S on the sidewalls...)

You could also take 49 to 140 and enter the valley that way--that should avoid all snow this time of year. Even though it's a much longer route, it may be not that much longer time-wise if there is significant snow over 41 due to the reduced speed limit when chain controls are in effect.
Re: Winter storm watch
May 13, 2015 09:35AM
I'd plan on going in on 140. Snow level of 6000 ft. is lower than the highest elevation along 41 in the park (6200). 140 doesn't get that high up (4000). I remember it as being only about another 30 miles more than 41, but I'd check a map on that (41 to 49 to 140).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2015 09:42AM by mtn man.
Re: Winter storm watch
May 13, 2015 10:33AM
Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely keep an eye on the conditions and look into taking 140.
avatar Re: Winter storm watch
May 13, 2015 11:39AM
It's really not that much longer time-wise to take Hwy 140 from the Central Valley (versus Hwy 41) when approaching Yosemite from the south. According to Google Maps it only about 15 minutes longer (which is close to what I've found driving the different routes myself).

Hwy 41 is the slowest road into Yosemite, even in GOOD weather, since there are extremely very few places to pass slower moving vehicles, especially those driving those rent-a-campers and it's the most popular route of those traveling up from Southern California. Hwy 140, while longer in distance, has a good number of places with passing lanes where one can pass the slow moving vehicles. So even it's longer in distance, time-wise it's only 15 minutes longer in good weather. In bad weather when chains might be required on Hwy 41, it could even be faster.

Definitely try taking Hwy 140 instead of Hwy 41.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2015 11:40AM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Winter storm watch
May 13, 2015 02:06PM
Quote
plawrence
there are extremely very few places to pass slower moving vehicles

I once had a Greyhound bus pull over and let me pass on Wawona Road (Hwy 41). I'm still in shock.
Re: Winter storm watch
May 13, 2015 02:10PM
Quote
plawrence
It's really not that much longer time-wise to take Hwy 140 from the Central Valley (versus Hwy 41) when approaching Yosemite from the south. According to Google Maps it only about 15 minutes longer (which is close to what I've found driving the different routes myself).

Hwy 41 is the slowest road into Yosemite, even in GOOD weather, since there are extremely very few places to pass slower moving vehicles, especially those driving those rent-a-campers and it's the most popular route of those traveling up from Southern California. Hwy 140, while longer in distance, has a good number of places with passing lanes where one can pass the slow moving vehicles. So even it's longer in distance, time-wise it's only 15 minutes longer in good weather. In bad weather when chains might be required on Hwy 41, it could even be faster.

Definitely try taking Hwy 140 instead of Hwy 41.

Concur with Plawrence on the time thing. I used to pull my trailer going 140 and I seem to remember it was only 25 minutes or so more than going 41.

If you are coming north on 99 instead of going 41 to 49, you can go past 41 in Fresno, stay on 99 til just north of Chowchilla and turn right on Minturn rd. towards Le Grand, rt. on Le Grand ave, left on Sante Fe ave, rt. on Cunningham to 140. You'll want a map of the Le Grand area or GPS to make it easier to navigate that. The road overall is a lot less winding than 41 and 49. Good luck! The snow and rain should make the Falls better.

We'll be in Lower Pines starting this Sunday, but it looks like we'll miss the snow storm but still might get rained on.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2015 09:09PM by mtn man.
avatar Re: Winter storm watch
May 22, 2015 12:31PM
Quote
mtn man
Quote
plawrence
It's really not that much longer time-wise to take Hwy 140 from the Central Valley (versus Hwy 41) when approaching Yosemite from the south. According to Google Maps it only about 15 minutes longer (which is close to what I've found driving the different routes myself).

Hwy 41 is the slowest road into Yosemite, even in GOOD weather, since there are extremely very few places to pass slower moving vehicles, especially those driving those rent-a-campers and it's the most popular route of those traveling up from Southern California. Hwy 140, while longer in distance, has a good number of places with passing lanes where one can pass the slow moving vehicles. So even it's longer in distance, time-wise it's only 15 minutes longer in good weather. In bad weather when chains might be required on Hwy 41, it could even be faster.

Definitely try taking Hwy 140 instead of Hwy 41.

Concur with Plawrence on the time thing. I used to pull my trailer going 140 and I seem to remember it was only 25 minutes or so more than going 41.

If you are coming north on 99 instead of going 41 to 49, you can go past 41 in Fresno, stay on 99 til just north of Chowchilla and turn right on Minturn rd. towards Le Grand, rt. on Le Grand ave, left on Sante Fe ave, rt. on Cunningham to 140. You'll want a map of the Le Grand area or GPS to make it easier to navigate that. The road overall is a lot less winding than 41 and 49. Good luck! The snow and rain should make the Falls better.

We'll be in Lower Pines starting this Sunday, but it looks like we'll miss the snow storm but still might get rained on.

Any reason you wouldn't just take 99 to 140 at Merced? Coming from the south I always take 99 to 41. Earlier this year I was returning from NorCal and coming down 99 where I took 140 straight to the park. Seemed like a much prettier drive than my usually trek up and down 41. But I'm not sure if it was just the change of scenery or if it might really be worth the extra time coming from the south.
avatar Re: Winter storm watch
May 22, 2015 01:35PM
Quote
JohnC
Quote
mtn man
Quote
plawrence

Definitely try taking Hwy 140 instead of Hwy 41.


Concur with Plawrence on the time thing. I used to pull my trailer going 140 and I seem to remember it was only 25 minutes or so more than going 41.

If you are coming north on 99 instead of going 41 to 49, you can go past 41 in Fresno, stay on 99 til just north of Chowchilla and turn right on Minturn rd. towards Le Grand, rt. on Le Grand ave, left on Sante Fe ave, rt. on Cunningham to 140. You'll want a map of the Le Grand area or GPS to make it easier to navigate that. The road overall is a lot less winding than 41 and 49.

Any reason you wouldn't just take 99 to 140 at Merced? Coming from the south I always take 99 to 41. Earlier this year I was returning from NorCal and coming down 99 where I took 140 straight to the park. Seemed like a much prettier drive than my usually trek up and down 41. But I'm not sure if it was just the change of scenery or if it might really be worth the extra time coming from the south.


Going from Hwy 99 directly to Hwy 140 is fine too. Also Merced is a great city to pick up your final supplies for Yosemite. It has a Costco near Hwy 99 (only a couple of miles north of the Hwy 140 turnoff) that also sells very low-priced gasoline (though other independent Merced gas stations often match Costco gasoline prices).

The detailed shortcut that mtn man gave is a way to shave off a few more minutes (no more than 10 minutes) from the drive versus taking Hwy 99 all the way to Hwy 140.

(And I too find the drive along Hwy 140 far more scenic than Hwy 41. Scenery-wise, the only thing that Hwy 41 as going for it (heading towards Yosemite) is its finally payoff: Tunnel View. Otherwise the scenery along Hwy 140 beats Hwy 41 hands down.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2015 01:36PM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Winter storm watch
May 22, 2015 02:11PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
JohnC
Quote
mtn man
Quote
plawrence

Definitely try taking Hwy 140 instead of Hwy 41.


Concur with Plawrence on the time thing. I used to pull my trailer going 140 and I seem to remember it was only 25 minutes or so more than going 41.

If you are coming north on 99 instead of going 41 to 49, you can go past 41 in Fresno, stay on 99 til just north of Chowchilla and turn right on Minturn rd. towards Le Grand, rt. on Le Grand ave, left on Sante Fe ave, rt. on Cunningham to 140. You'll want a map of the Le Grand area or GPS to make it easier to navigate that. The road overall is a lot less winding than 41 and 49.

Any reason you wouldn't just take 99 to 140 at Merced? Coming from the south I always take 99 to 41. Earlier this year I was returning from NorCal and coming down 99 where I took 140 straight to the park. Seemed like a much prettier drive than my usually trek up and down 41. But I'm not sure if it was just the change of scenery or if it might really be worth the extra time coming from the south.


Going from Hwy 99 directly to Hwy 140 is fine too. Also Merced is a great city to pick up your final supplies for Yosemite. It has a Costco near Hwy 99 (only a couple of miles north of the Hwy 140 turnoff) that also sells very low-priced gasoline (though other independent Merced gas stations often match Costco gasoline prices).

The detailed shortcut that mtn man gave is a way to shave off a few more minutes (no more than 10 minutes) from the drive versus taking Hwy 99 all the way to Hwy 140.

(And I too find the drive along Hwy 140 far more scenic than Hwy 41. Scenery-wise, the only thing that Hwy 41 as going for it (heading towards Yosemite) is its finally payoff: Tunnel View. Otherwise the scenery along Hwy 140 beats Hwy 41 hands down.)

Well, I'm "only" a 6 hour drive away so "final" supplies have already been loaded before leaving the house. :-)

I'll have to check out the shortcut on google maps. The one issue that does tend to make me lean toward 41 is that I usually like to knock off Glacier Point on the way in since it's avoids having to double back (considering where I'm starting from) if entering the valley first. I like to see it in the afternoon and I actually like to view sunset from Sentinel Dome. In the fall when it gets darker earlier it doesn't leave a lot of time to get to too many places the day I arrive. And I refuse to go in the summer. :-)

BTW, here's a shot from the Feb visit when I came in from the north...

avatar Re: Winter storm watch
May 22, 2015 06:03PM
Quote
JohnC
Quote
plawrence

Going from Hwy 99 directly to Hwy 140 is fine too. Also Merced is a great city to pick up your final supplies for Yosemite. It has a Costco near Hwy 99 (only a couple of miles north of the Hwy 140 turnoff) that also sells very low-priced gasoline (though other independent Merced gas stations often match Costco gasoline prices).

The detailed shortcut that mtn man gave is a way to shave off a few more minutes (no more than 10 minutes) from the drive versus taking Hwy 99 all the way to Hwy 140.

(And I too find the drive along Hwy 140 far more scenic than Hwy 41. Scenery-wise, the only thing that Hwy 41 as going for it (heading towards Yosemite) is its finally payoff: Tunnel View. Otherwise the scenery along Hwy 140 beats Hwy 41 hands down.)

Well, I'm "only" a 6 hour drive away so "final" supplies have already been loaded before leaving the house. :-)


Well, I only live about 3 1/2 hours away, still often I need to stop for some final supplies. "Final supplies" being an euphemism for things that I forgot to pack but remembered needing after being a 1/2 hour or more away from my home. wink


Quote

I'll have to check out the shortcut on google maps. The one issue that does tend to make me lean toward 41 is that I usually like to knock off Glacier Point on the way in since it's avoids having to double back (considering where I'm starting from) if entering the valley first. I like to see it in the afternoon and I actually like to view sunset from Sentinel Dome. In the fall when it gets darker earlier it doesn't leave a lot of time to get to too many places the day I arrive. And I refuse to go in the summer. :-)


There are indeed some pragmatic reasons to take Hwy 41 when arriving from the south. You mentioned one, heading to Glacier Point though I find the drive more pleasant (and scenic) going to and from Glacier Point from Bridalveil Falls than taking Hwy 41 from south of Wawona. (For me, there's nothing wrong with "doubling back" on that stretch of highway.) But for those who want to visit the Mariposa Grove, Wawona and Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome on their first day in Yosemite, pragmatically it makes more sense (if you coming from the south) to take Hwy 41 all the way into the park.

.
avatar Re: Winter storm watch
May 22, 2015 07:59PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
JohnC
Quote
plawrence

Going from Hwy 99 directly to Hwy 140 is fine too. Also Merced is a great city to pick up your final supplies for Yosemite. It has a Costco near Hwy 99 (only a couple of miles north of the Hwy 140 turnoff) that also sells very low-priced gasoline (though other independent Merced gas stations often match Costco gasoline prices).

The detailed shortcut that mtn man gave is a way to shave off a few more minutes (no more than 10 minutes) from the drive versus taking Hwy 99 all the way to Hwy 140.

(And I too find the drive along Hwy 140 far more scenic than Hwy 41. Scenery-wise, the only thing that Hwy 41 as going for it (heading towards Yosemite) is its finally payoff: Tunnel View. Otherwise the scenery along Hwy 140 beats Hwy 41 hands down.)

Well, I'm "only" a 6 hour drive away so "final" supplies have already been loaded before leaving the house. :-)


Well, I only live about 3 1/2 hours away, still often I need to stop for some final supplies. "Final supplies" being an euphemism for things that I forgot to pack but remembered needing after being a 1/2 hour or more away from my home. wink


Quote

I'll have to check out the shortcut on google maps. The one issue that does tend to make me lean toward 41 is that I usually like to knock off Glacier Point on the way in since it's avoids having to double back (considering where I'm starting from) if entering the valley first. I like to see it in the afternoon and I actually like to view sunset from Sentinel Dome. In the fall when it gets darker earlier it doesn't leave a lot of time to get to too many places the day I arrive. And I refuse to go in the summer. :-)


There are indeed some pragmatic reasons to take Hwy 41 when arriving from the south. You mentioned one, heading to Glacier Point though I find the drive more pleasant (and scenic) going to and from Glacier Point from Bridalveil Falls than taking Hwy 41 from south of Wawona. (For me, there's nothing wrong with "doubling back" on that stretch of highway.) But for those who want to visit the Mariposa Grove, Wawona and Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome on their first day in Yosemite, pragmatically it makes more sense (if you coming from the south) to take Hwy 41 all the way into the park.

.

Oh, that makes me laugh. I went to the Grand Canyon in March. A couple hours into the trip I realized I had forgotten my ID and credit cards. I had just over $100 with me and did some quick math. I decided to continue on. The room was paid for already and I had a cooler of food for my 3 day 2 nite trip. It was painful paying $25 to get into the park knowing I had a pass at home. The lady wouldn't even trust me to sell me another senior pass. LoL! Naturally I got a flat tire the second day there. Fortunately I had an extra $21 to get it fixed, but there went my In-N-Out dinner in Kingman on the way home. Stopped for gas in Kingman coming home and realized In-N-Out was still in the budget. (Thank you for cheap gas in Arizona!...except for Williams) Got home with $6 and change an a half tank of gas. Quite the experience. LoL!

The other thing that can potentially factor in to route selection is where you stay. At one time or another I've stayed in the valley, at Yosemite West, and in Mariposa. I don't yet have a plan for another trip. But since my visit via 140 I'm trying hard to justify using that route again. I've planned a winter trip for 3 years in a row now and had to cancel due to lack of snow. I also had a trip planned for early May this year but that was to hopefully see some raging waterfalls and dogwoods. Since the water I saw in February was probably peak for this year I decided to cancel the May trip as well.
Re: Winter storm watch
May 22, 2015 08:35PM
We were in the valley in February and last week. The falls were better in May, the temps 10 degrees cooler and the crowds about the same. Except for the waterfall part, February was more like May or June than last week was. BTW drove in, drove out 41...I thought 140 was quite agonizingly slow last year. (Of course 120 would've been the quickest and most be-ooty-full...if open.)
avatar Winter storm warning
May 14, 2015 12:30PM
Urgent - winter weather message
National weather service hanford ca
207 am pdt thu may 14 2015

Caz096-142000-
/o.Con.Khnx.Ws.W.0002.150514t1800z-150515t1200z/
Sierra nevada from yosemite to kings canyon-
Including the city of...Shaver lake
207 am pdt thu may 14 2015

...Winter storm warning remains in effect from 11 am this morning
To 5 am pdt friday...

* hazard type...Snow.

* snow accumulations...4 to 6 inches above 6000 feet with local
Amounts up to 8 inches near the crest.

* timing...Late this morning through early friday morning. Heavy
Snow showers are possible this afternoon and early this evening.

* impacts...Biggest concern will be for highway 120 over tioga
Pass and travelers using this highway. Also for highway 41 in
Yosemite park...And highway 168 near huntington lake. Back
Country campers and hikers will likely see rapid changes in
The weather.

* temperatures...In the upper 20s to lower 30s.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather
Conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow
Are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an
Emergency. If you must travel...Keep an extra flashlight...
Food...And water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

&&

$$
Re: Winter storm watch
May 20, 2015 01:42PM
We took 140 and it was an easy drive in. Thanks for the advice! It rained on and off most of the time we were there. Had a blast!
Re: Winter storm watch
May 20, 2015 05:18PM
Thanks for the come back reply. Sometimes we give advice to people and they never respond to how our advice helped them. Great that you had a nice trip.
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