Yosemite National Park Shuts Down Amidst Sierra Blizzard Alert

Yosemite National Park is battening down the hatches and closing its doors until at least Sunday in anticipation of an epic blizzard set to smother the Sierra with several feet of snow and unleash ferocious winds. The park has issued a clear directive for visitors to make their exit by noon Friday, bracing for what’s predicted to be a significant snowfall event throughout Yosemite.

The National Weather Service office projects that Yosemite Valley could see between 6 to 12 inches of snowfall, with a winter storm warning effective from Saturday morning through Sunday morning. The situation escalates outside the valley, where a blizzard warning extends through Sunday morning, indicating more severe weather conditions.

Travelers from the San Francisco Bay Area accustomed to entering the park via the Highway 120 Big Oak Flat entrance might find themselves facing 2 to 3 feet of snow. Meanwhile, those coming from Fresno or Southern California via Highway 41 could encounter an astounding 5 to 6 feet of snow near the park’s entrance around Mariposa Grove. Even the Wawona Hotel area is expected to receive 1 to 2 feet of snow.

This closure aligns with broader safety pleas from officials, urging the public to steer clear of mountain travel across regions stretching from Lake Tahoe to Mammoth, as the storm promises to pack a punch with not just snow but also powerful winds.

A blizzard warning spans a large portion of the Sierra Nevada, with the weather service highlighting particularly hazardous conditions expected from Friday afternoon into Saturday. Forecasts predict gusts reaching 100 to 110 mph at the highest peaks, with visibility near zero due to the strong winds and heavy snowfall. The highest peaks could see up to 12 feet of snow through Sunday, making for a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation for anyone caught unprepared in the storm’s path.

Active NorCal

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