Winter Storms Convey ‘Upside-Down’ Snowpacks to Nationwide Parks

A sweep of winter storms have induced “upside-down” snowpacks throughout a number of U.S. nationwide parks.

The West and Southwest have seen some extreme winter storms in latest days as two atmospheric rivers introduced an onslaught of snow and rain to the areas.

California noticed extraordinarily heavy rain from January 31 to the beginning of February, as the primary atmospheric river made its manner throughout the state. The second got here into the ambiance between February 4 and 6. Each these rivers induced flooding in low-lying areas and a dumping of snow within the surrounding mountains.

The latest stormy circumstances had been at odds with the temperatures all through January, which in direction of the top of the month had been unusually heat. This has seen some “upside-down” snowpack accumulating within the mountains, in response to Yosemite Nationwide Park.

Yosemite Nationwide park coated in thick snow. Winter storms have introduced “upside-down” snowpacks to components of the West and Southwest.

Yosemite Nationwide Park

The California park posted some footage of the panorama glistening with the brand new mounds of snow.

“Our Tuolumne Meadows winter rangers have been experiencing blended messages within the excessive nation this winter. The top of January noticed file heat temperatures, and the beginning of February introduced two atmospheric rivers that introduced welcome new snow to the Sierra Nevada and over 100+ mph winds at a number of places,” the park stated in a Fb publish.

Snow in Yosemite park
A move at Yosemite Nationwide Park blanketed in thick snow following a number of storms within the space.

Yosemite Nationwide Park

“The newest storm resulted in an ‘upside-down’ snowpack in that the storm began chilly and received hotter because it progressed. Which means colder and drier snow now has hotter and wetter snow on prime of it. Not a really perfect recipe for stellar ski circumstances, however the much-improved protection and deeper snowpack is a worthwhile commerce off.”

In a later publish, the nationwide park warned that this snow would soften rapidly with hotter temperatures anticipated to set on this week.

When a considerable amount of snowpack accumulates within the mountains, and melts unexpectedly with heat temperatures, there’s a threat of flooding. Final spring, Yosemite noticed extraordinarily excessive flows within the Merced River after a file quantity of snowpack melted. This additionally induced flooding all through the park.

Yosemite shouldn’t be the one park seeing results from these storms.

New Mexico’s Valles Caldera Nationwide Protect acquired upwards of 5 inches of snow in simply two days, a Fb publish on February 9 stated.

“Right now, the estimated snowpack in Valle Grande ranges from 21 to twenty-eight inches, besides in areas of drifting snow,” the protect stated.

Valles Caldera National Preserve snow
An image exhibits park staff shoveling snow in New Mexico’s Valles Caldera Nationwide Protect, after a dumping of greater than 5 inches of snow over simply two days.

Valles Caldera Nationwide Protect

The park additionally posted an image of path managers shoveling the excessive ranges of snow to a background of blue skies, following the storms.

Utah’s Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park additionally expertise heavy snow because the storms made their approach to the Southwest.

The park posted pictures of the glistening snow across the canyon.

“And there it’s! As winter Storm Kayden rolls on, it leaves behind 27 inches of snow on trails, rocks, and bushes,” the park stated in a Fb publish.

Bryce Canyon national park
Aspect by aspect pictures present Utah’s Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park coated in snow following winter Storm Kayden. This adopted an unseasonably heat January, which means thick snow is now mendacity on prime of skinny snow, creating…


Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park

The west and southwestern areas of the U.S. is often very dry. This has been the case lately as an ongoing drought plagued the realm. Nonetheless, all through 2023, and originally of this 12 months, the area appears to be receiving a welcome quantity of snowpack.

When drought circumstances had been occurring, reservoirs and rivers within the space had been experiencing very low water ranges. This accumulation of snowpack, nevertheless, ought to assist replenish them.

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