It’s Thundering in California. . . Thundering Waterfalls
It is currently thundering in Yosemite National Park. No, not thundering from a thunderstorm but if you were to take a walk through the majestic grounds of Yosemite this time of year, it sure would sound like it.
Thundering is a loose term used by Park Rangers to describe the sound of Spring returning. When temperatures begin to warm in the Spring time, snow melt from the mountain peaks begins to flow into the surrounding creeks, rivers, and streams. All this water channels into nearby waterfalls that go from barely a drip in the winter to rushing and roaring waterfalls in the spring.
These thundering waterfalls not only make for great tourist attractions while visiting the park; however, they are also signs of good things returning.
While California’s drought as been nothing short of historic with four to five years of the worst drought in the state’s history, and we still have a ways to go with mitigating the drought, this year has been a big improvement comparatively speaking to last year.
For example, April 1st of last year the California’s snowpack had plummeted to record low levels for early spring at a mere 5% of normal, bringing more ominous news for the drought-stricken state’s water supply leading into the summer of 2015.
This year, its a different story. Most locations across the Sierra Nevada’s, as of April 1st, are still between 70% – 90% of normal.
Remember, drought is not only the lack of water falling but also how much we are losing to evaporation. If we warm too quickly into the spring months, it can be a downfall to all the snowpack we’ve gotten thus far. It’s ideal to have more of a slow warm-up or gradual warming in the spring months.
So far, it has been gradual for the month of March and, so far for April, however, the last big rain that moved through Southern California last weekend brought record breaking temps from San Francisco to Los Angeles beforehand. This contributed to some rapid snowmelt in the high country in addition to the rain that moved through in the days to follow.
That is why these waterfalls are thundering in Yosemite National Park louder than normal and its all a welcomed sight to see and get this. Beginning this weekend, these might waterfalls will be a free sight to see!
You got it! The National Park Service is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of all National Parks. As a result, most national parks across the country will be waving general admissions fees upon entering. Here is a link to all the parks to visit for free April 16th-24th