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Trail Chic fashion show fundraiser: July 24, 2015

May 19th, 2015 by Arya, Communications Director
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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.

It’s Tioga Pass flip-flop season … now it’s open

May 18th, 2015 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Tioga Pass has reopened after last week’s stormy weather. 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!

Wet weather causes Mono Lake to rise

May 15th, 2015 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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After the storm clouds cleared last Friday, Black Point had turned white under 14 inches of new snow. Photo by Lisa Cutting.

After the storm clouds cleared last Friday, Black Point had turned white under 14 inches of new snow. Photo by Lisa Cutting.

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.

It’s Tioga Pass flip-flop season … tonight it will be closing

May 13th, 2015 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Tioga Pass will be closing tonight at 8:00pm due to a snowstorm predicted for tomorrow and through the weekend. In addition, Sonora Pass (Highway 108) will be closing today at 4:00pm.

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.

It’s Tioga Pass flip-flop season … today it is open

May 11th, 2015 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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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.

Mother Nature smiles on Mono Lake

May 8th, 2015 by Arya, Communications Director
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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.”

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Geoff and Jess carefully pour the melted snow gauge water into the measuring tube.

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There was too much water for our measuring tube so we split it up and combined the readings for a total of 2.07 inches of water from the storm. Photos by Arya Degenhardt.

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 »

Whoa. Snow!

May 8th, 2015 by Arya, Communications Director
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May 8, 2015. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Here’s a taste of what things look like in Lee Vining this morning … we’re working on our official NOAA weather reading right now, but wanted to share our excitement for the snow first.

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Lily reading the snow depth. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

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From the Conway Summit overlook. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Other fun resources:

It’s Tioga Pass flip-flop season … today it is closed

May 7th, 2015 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Large pellets of wet snow have been falling this morning in Lee Vining, accompanied by thunder and lightning: thundersnow! Photo by Elin Ljung.

Large pellets of wet snow have been falling this morning in Lee Vining, accompanied by thunder and lightning: thundersnow! Photo by Elin Ljung.

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.

Since Tioga Pass opened for the season on Monday, this closure is temporary, and the Yosemite National Park will open the road when the weather clears.

Highway project to control rockfall, erosion next to Mono Lake starts today

May 4th, 2015 by Geoff, Executive Director
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The local highway project designed to control rockfall—and, thanks to Mono Lake Committee member involvement, to stop erosion and to achieve slope revegetation—starts today. The slopes adjacent to Mono Lake that are pictured below will receive the first treatment. Read more on our web page devoted to the project.

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Caltrans workers below some large exposed boulders on the eroded slopes that will be fixed with the Rockfall Safety Project that began today and will continue through fall 2015. Photos by Geoff McQuilkin.

From the Committee’s Instagram feed — follow us @monolakeca

From the Committee’s Instagram feed — follow us @monolakeca

Tioga Pass is open

May 4th, 2015 by Arya, Communications Director
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The much-anticipated official opening of Tioga Pass for the 2015 season is here.

We recommend that all travelers check on road closures, weather, and road conditions before traveling. Tioga Pass is still subject to closure for spring weather events that cause dangerous driving conditions. Travelers should also expect delays for roadwork. Also note that entrance fees to the park have increased, and the fee structure has changed.

Excitement about the early access to and through Yosemite National Park is muted somewhat by the fact that the early opening has much to do with dismal snowpack and drought conditions.

Drive safely and we hope to see you at Mono Lake soon!

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