Sunrise light on a grove of tufa towers emerging from the water of Mono Lake with soft green and dusty-red wild grasses in the foreground, Canada geese in the shallow water with reflections of the rocky towers, and desert hills in the distance.

Summer Update: Daily thunderstorms

The busy days of midsummer are in full swing, we’re even seeing visitation numbers higher than previous years. So far it has been a great summer for thunderstorms!

Warm, with highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s. Nearby thunderstorms are keeping the sky very interesting. On Sunday afternoon it rained in Lee Vining for half an hour.!Thunderstorms remain in the forecast through Monday.

It is a good summer for Pandora Moths–look for them in the forested areas south of Mono Lake. Mosquitoes aren’t too bad, especially when it is windy–but they are around at the usual times and places. Keep an eye out for ground-nesting wasps in wooded areas.

Morning outings are best–plan to be out of exposed areas before afternoon thunderstorms pop up. Wildflowers are at peak–look for larkspur (and the hummingbirds it attracts) on the Mt. Dana Trail. Please do not feed the marmots or bears.

The late-summer rabbitbrush bloom is just starting–sorry for those of you with allergies. There are a few other flowers at low elevations, including Blazing Star. High country flowers in wet areas are at their peak.

Osprey, juvenile California Gulls born on the islands this year, thousands of phalaropes, and Peregrine Falcons can all be seen at Mono Lake. Visit our Bird and Other Wildlife Sightings Page to read about how the oldest-known Willow Flycatcher is nesting at Rush Creek, and also to learn how you can avoid killing these endangered songbirds.

We will post a hydrology update soon.

The pure and clear blue high-altitude  Mono Basin skies have been smoke-free for over three weeks. There have been lots of thunderstorms and lightning, but no smoky fires. See our Fire and Smoke page for links to more information.