Yosemite National Park occupies 1,190 sq miles of some of the most beautiful landscape in the world, but the the one mile wide by seven mile long valley floor makes up the most popular part of the park. This small section of real estate is where the vast majority of people spend most of their time. During the busy summer months the valley looks more like a crowded metropolitan city park than a dedicated wilderness area.

But why the crowds congregate to this small little plot of land is by no means an accident. They are there because Yosemite Valley provides some of the best scenery to be found anywhere in the world. John Muir called it the "Crown Jewel of the Sierra Nevada"  


Weather in Yosemite can range from 100 degrees in the valley during the summer to below zero in the upper elevations of the park during the winter. Yosemite Valley that rests at an elevation of about 4,000 feet has fairly mild temperatures throughout the year, but as you go higher, the temperature (in general) decreases 1 degree Fahrenheit for every 300 feet of elevation gain. Precipitation also increases 2 to 4 inches for each 300 feet of elevation gain reaching a maximum at about 5000 to 6000 feet. You will hit these elevations along the Mist Trail between Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. Ninety five percent of the precipitation (both in rain and snow form) falls between October and May, with more than half (typically) falling in January, February, and March.
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THE FOLLOWING IS THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR YOSEMITE VALLEY AT THE 3,998 FT LEVEL

December 12 Wednesday Night  Mostly clear, with a low around 37. East wind around 5 mph becoming north in the evening. 
 
December 13 Thursday  Sunny, with a high near 57. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. 
 
December 13 Thursday Night  Partly cloudy, with a low around 39. South southwest wind around 5 mph becoming northwest in the evening. 
 
December 14 Friday  A 30 percent chance of showers after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west northwest in the morning. 
 
December 14 Friday Night  A chance of showers, mainly before 10pm, then a slight chance of rain after 4am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 36. West southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
 
December 15 Saturday  A 20 percent chance of rain before 10am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 50. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm. 
 
December 15 Saturday Night  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 37. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph. 
 
December 16 Sunday  A 30 percent chance of rain, mainly after 4pm. Cloudy, with a high near 50. South wind around 5 mph. 
 
December 16 Sunday Night  Rain likely, mainly after 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 39. Southeast wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. 
 
December 17 Monday  Rain likely, mainly before 10am. Cloudy, with a high near 46. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. 
 
December 17 Monday Night  A 10 percent chance of rain. Partly cloudy, with a low around 35. Calm wind. 
 
December 18 Tuesday  A 20 percent chance of rain. Mostly sunny, with a high near 51. East northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm. 
 
December 18 Tuesday Night  Partly cloudy, with a low around 37. Calm wind becoming east northeast around 5 mph. 
 
December 19 Wednesday  Mostly sunny, with a high near 56. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the morning. 
Ellery Lake Tuolumne Meadows
To the left is frozen Ellery Lake (9,489 feet) The Lake is located along the Tioga Road just below the Tioga Pass (9,943 feet) This photo was taken on June 6th, 2010 (opening day for the Tioga Pass Road that year).

When the Tioga Pass Road opens varies from year to year (depending on weather and snow conditions). Tioga Pass is the Eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park. It is the highest highway pass in California and in the Sierra Nevada.

THE FOLLOWING IS THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR TUOLUMNE MEADOWS AT 8,650 FEET
Check out the big temperature drop when comparing the higher elevation of Tuolumne Meadows to the Valley Floor's forecast as noted above.

December 12 Wednesday Night  Mostly clear, with a low around 20. Light and variable wind becoming west southwest 5 to 10 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph. 
 
December 13 Thursday  Sunny, with a high near 37. Southwest wind around 10 mph. 
 
December 13 Thursday Night  Partly cloudy, with a low around 21. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. 
 
December 14 Friday  Partly sunny, with a high near 33. East northeast wind around 5 mph. 
 
December 14 Friday Night  A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 18. West southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. 
 
December 15 Saturday  Mostly sunny, with a high near 33. South southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. 
 
December 15 Saturday Night  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. South wind 10 to 15 mph. 
 
December 16 Sunday  A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after 4pm. Cloudy, with a high near 33. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. 
 
December 16 Sunday Night  Snow likely, mainly between 10pm and 4am. Cloudy, with a low around 21. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
 
December 17 Monday  A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly before 10am. Cloudy, with a high near 29. South southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. 
 
December 17 Monday Night  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. South southwest wind around 10 mph. 
 
December 18 Tuesday  Mostly sunny, with a high near 35. Light and variable wind becoming west southwest 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph. 
 
December 18 Tuesday Night  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable in the evening. 
 
December 19 Wednesday  Mostly sunny, with a high near 40. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph. 
Above Weather Report Powered by the National Weather Service
Shasta Lake Helen

Half Dome Cable Ladder to the Left

Psalm 103:11-13
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;  for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.



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