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Snow Season End: Snow Pack vs Trail Snow

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Snow Season End: Snow Pack vs Trail Snow

Postby postholer » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:22 am

Now at the end of the snow season we are able to show the graphic difference between monitoring snow pack vs trail snow.

As you notice from the southern sierra CDEC's popular snow pack graph (bottom), it shows a snow pack of near zero. (circled in red) From this you might be inclined to think that no more snow will be found along the trail. Clearly, that's not the case.

If you look at the postholer 'trail snow' graph (top) you'll see that many miles of trail still have snow in the area. (circled in red) Even with this huge improvement, the postholer graph tends to under do the existence of large snow patches due to the 1km resolution of the data.

You might ask, "If the snow pack is near zero, how can snow be on the trail?". Quite simply, there are only a few snow sensors that CDEC uses that are on or near the trail. The vast majority of the sensors used to determine snow pack are off trail and at lower elevation. The PCT traverses some really high terrain.

Before you go out, nothing beats an 'on the trail' report from a reliable source. With many hikers on trail carrying technological wonders like a smart phone, images and video are often available within a day or two, or even same day reporting.


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