NASA Captures Snow-Covered Yosemite National Park Following Early Winter Storm: PHOTO

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Somchaij

Earlier in the month, the iconic Yosemite National Park glistened under a bright blue sky, with snow dusting its peaks and powder covering its valley floor like something from a winter wonderland.

In the second week of November, California was hit with its first significant winter storm of the season. Record daily rainfall pummeled the lowlands, and heavy snow fell in the mountainous regions. As the storm system moved east, skies cleared in California. As a result, we got a winter-wonderland view of the Central Sierra Nevada region, thanks to NASA.

According to reports, The Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9 acquired a stunning image of Yosemite Valley on November 13, 2022. It shows a blanket of snow covering the central Sierras, including Yosemite National Park, and areas east into Mono County.

Per reports from meteorologists, the November 8 storm delivered a daily record 1.31 inches of rain to Los Angeles, roughly 280 miles southeast of the iconic national park.

In places with higher elevations, snow fell in the area. For example, the area near Devil’s Postpile, located southeast of the park, received a whopping 28 inches.

Yosemite Valley got about 4 inches, while some of the park’s higher peaks saw as much as 30 inches.

“Yosemite National Park received snow last evening and into this morning,” Scott Gediman, a spokesperson for the park, said. “There are about 4 inches of snow on the ground in Yosemite Valley.”

Close to the park, the Mammoth Lakes area received up to 2.5 feet, according to the weather service. Officials also indicated that Mammoth Mountain received up to 46 inches. In the Tahoe Basin, Soda Springs recorded 27 inches, according to the weather service said.

Fire season comes to an end in Yosemite thanks to winter storm

As of November 13, snow still covered much of the central Sierras. In addition, viewers could also see a dusting on the Yosemite Valley floor. However, the wintery scene was broken up by the rock face of the valley’s famous steep granite cliffs, brown-colored domes, and vibrant evergreen trees.

Despite the dreamy landscape, it also came with some negatives. The snowfall in Yosemite National Park led park officials to close Tioga Road, which divides the park and provides drivers access to areas east, including Tuolumne Meadows.

It’s worth noting that the road typically closes annually in November and reopens in late May or early June. Big Oak Flat Road was also closed during the winter storm when a rockfall left massive boulders in the road.

“Several large boulders came down across the road, and damaged the guard wall,” Gediman wrote in an email. “Crews are assessing the impacts, and there is no estimated time for reopening.”

Officials also said the park’s fire season was over thanks to the storm. According to experts, fire season ends after a storm delivers at least two inches of precipitation.