Tioga Pass has just closed again because of the predictions for snow tonight and into tomorrow. It has been raining on and off all day here in Lee Vining, with fairly cool temperatures, so we’re not surprised to see the pass close. We’re having an unseasonably cool and rainy May this year, so Tioga Pass will likely close and reopen several more times depending on the weather. Remember to check road conditions before you travel!
Caltrans has released the fourth road report for the Lee Vining Rockfall Safety Project on Highway 395 along Mono Lake just north of Lee Vining.
Updates are also posted regularly on Twitter and Facebook.
Click here for all project updates and background.
Text from the official update is below.
When: Friday, July 24, 2015 7:30pm
Where: Lee Vining Community Center
Trail Chic is a fashion show fundraiser for the Mono Lake Committee’s Outdoor Education Center Access Fund. Entrance to the event is free, and our friends from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly will be pouring wine and bubbly (for a donation) and there will be a silent auction with an affordable selection of wines and outdoor gear.
And then, there are the fashions … in years past we’ve had climbers, cyclists, snowboarders, birders, woodsmen, aliens, tufa towers, invasive plant species, pirates, research biologists, and small dogs. You’ll have a good chance of seeing gold lamé, glitter, feathers, and sequins mixing with polypro, hiking socks, binocular straps, zip-off pants, farmer’s tans, and the like walking the pine cone-lined astroturf runway. Something magic happens when you put it all together with some groovy music, so we hope that you’ll be there to join in the fun.
With May only half over, we have measured almost three inches of precipitation in Lee Vining—surpassing the usual total for all of April-September. This May has already beaten the previous records of 2.23 inches measured in May 1989 and 2.74 inches measured in May 1994. It has also been cold, with over 16 inches of snow already beating the 14.6 inches measured in May 1994. At Cain Ranch, it is already the third-wettest May since 1931.
As Rush Creek above Grant Lake Reservoir nears record-low flows for May, record highs for precipitation are welcome.
A cold May with 400% of average precipitation is very good news for Mono Lake. Reduced evaporation helps slow the declining lake level, and direct precipitation on the lake a week ago raised the level about a tenth of a foot. It now stands at 6379.0 feet above sea level, about a tenth of a foot higher than it was on May 1st. Mono Lake is projected to drop a tenth of a foot this month, but it is now looking like it will remain steady, and it could even have a net rise if the last half of the month is wet.
Since Tioga Pass was opened for the season on May 4, this closure is temporary, and Yosemite National Park will open the road when the weather clears. Remember to always check road conditions before you travel.
Tioga Pass has reopened after last week’s storm that dropped 14 inches of snow in Lee Vining. The storm brought a little over two inches of water to the area, and even raised Mono Lake by about a tenth of an inch! All the water we can get in this fourth dry year in a row is welcome, though we’re glad that the pass has reopened so visitors and locals alike can travel to Yosemite National Park.
Since Tioga Pass opened for the season a week ago, any future closures for weather-related reasons will be temporary. Do keep in mind that Tioga Pass can close anytime during spring storms, so always check road conditions before you travel.
The numbers are in: 14 inches of snow and 2.07 inches of water in the last 24 hours! It’s looking like the most precipitation in California, and it’s safe to say that this kind of precipitation in May is off the charts.
Mono Lake Committee consulting hydrologist Peter Vorster is literally jumping with joy: “In year four of this drought, it sure feels like Mother Nature is smiling down on Mono Lake right now.”
Understatement of the year: we needed this.
Lisa is down at the lake measuring the level right now—we’re dying to know if … more »
Tioga Pass closed this morning due to a May snowstorm that has already dropped about an inch of large snow pellets in Lee Vining. Thunder has also been rumbling around in the sky for a few hours—thundersnow is quite rare! The gutters in town are brimming with water from the quickly-melting snow, all making its way to Mono Lake. While we’re ready for Tioga Pass to be open and stay open, we’re always glad of more water for Mono Lake.