WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)

Astounding webcam comparisons: Snow drought in Yosemite vs. surplus in Rockies

By Jesse Ferrell
2/21/2018, 12:05:57 PM

The National Parks "Sentinel Dome" webcam in Yosemite National Park, California, shows this winter's massive deficit of snow (pretty much none) versus Winter 2017's snow surplus (drifts in front of the camera which are rare, and likely higher than 10 feet as pictured). Lest you think the 2017 image is "fake news" here's the image from a couple days earlier, showing the same trees in the background at the top.

Yosemite Webcam Feb. 2017 vs. Feb. 2018

And yet, in Montana's Rocky mountains, at Apgar Mountain, another NPS webcam shows an abundance of snow this season compared to last (and the snow shown here, from Feb. 17th, was even higher the day after but the camera was covered with snow or rime ice). NOTE: They bought a new webcam this year, so there is more sky shown on the 2018 image.

Apgar Mountain, Montana Webcam Feb. 2017 vs. Feb. 2018

Both taken together do a good job of illustrating the "feast or famine" that has gripped the western half of the nation this winter. Here's a map showing the percentage of normal 30-day liquid precipitation, highlighting the two webcam locations. Apgar has had about 300 percent of their normal precipitation in the last 30 days, while Yosemite has received less than 5 percent!

30-Day Rainfall Percentage

California could be in big trouble again... the drought worsens as you move south and east, and it's getting worse as the weeks go by. This six-week drought monitor GIF shows things going downhill:

Drought Monitor GIF

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WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)