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Memorial Day Snow in Wyoming

Old 05-28-19, 07:52 AM
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Memorial Day Snow in Wyoming

For years I have tried to warn folks from London and Atlanta and Sidney that May touring in the Rockies is risky.
This week, the mountains of Wyoming are getting FEET of snow. Heavy, wet, brutal spring snow.

The high country almost always has big snowstorms in late spring.
People who are not from the West just don't understand - esp. when it's 86F/30C in Atlanta.

https://www.weathernationtv.com/news...-and-colorado/

Photo -
Heading up Togwotee Pass on the TransAm route -
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Old 05-28-19, 08:23 AM
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Fond memories of Togwotee Pass. About 5 miles up the west slope there used to be a joint U.S.F.S./Adventure Cycling primitive cyclist-only campsite on a hillside that looked directly at the Tetons. Just a few picnic tables and a bear locker. There at least one ripped open tree stump and some moose tracks. Spent the night there at the very end of June, so snow was not likely. I remember being so nervous about a bear encounter that every little noise made my head turn. Good times.
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Old 05-28-19, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
For years I have tried to warn folks from London and Atlanta and Sidney that May touring in the Rockies is risky.

People who are not from the West just don't understand - esp. when it's 86F/30C in Atlanta.
94° actually, but we here in Atlanta appreciate the warnings nonetheless.

I'm sorry if it seems like we are not paying attention. Lots going on here. Been pretty busy lately.

Y'all come down if you want to get away from the snow.


-Tim-
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Old 05-28-19, 09:56 AM
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It's so much easier to point a camera out the window in Atlanta than look up the Wind River Lake webcam!

Is the late snow likely to mean fewer fires later this year within 2-300 miles of Yellowstone?
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Old 05-28-19, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
It's so much easier to point a camera out the window in Atlanta than look up the Wind River Lake webcam!


Perhaps Charlotte or Macon will be more receptive.
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Old 05-28-19, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
94° actually,
Y'all come down if you want to get away from the snow.
Oh, honey chile -

I would jus' daaaah - if found mah self in 94 degree weather.
Mah collards an' cornbread come out mighty fine at high altitude.
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Old 05-28-19, 11:39 AM
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Fair enough, but I have an even less extreme example - weather in Boston vs. the White Mountains, only about 2 hrs driving north. "Oh, it's a pleasant day in Boston, let's go hiking in the Whites... BAM - surprise, snow!". Conversely, in the winter, people think "Eh, weather's too mild in Boston, I'm not in a skiing mood" while it's dumping feet in the mountains.

Always look up the forecast based on your destination.
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Old 05-28-19, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
Always look up the forecast based on your destination.
You mean the weather can be different in the place to are traveling to? Never knew that.
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Old 05-28-19, 01:42 PM
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When I did my cross country ride, I started shortly after Memorial Day. I did the northern tier and the Cascades still had plenty of snow. The roads were clear but there was snow piled up on either side of Hwy 20.
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Old 05-28-19, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s
You mean the weather can be different in the place to are traveling to? Never knew that.
A surprisingly challenging concept for a lot of people to grasp.
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Old 05-28-19, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
A surprisingly challenging concept for a lot of people to grasp.
Judging from the frequency of "I won't hit snow crossing the rockies in mid-May, will I?" questions, I have to agree with you.

My first tour ever started out west in Seattle. On the 5th day, we crossed the N. Cascades Highway. June 2nd. I had zero experience with western weather other than when I spent about a week in Seattle in August seven years earlier. Had I not studied up on what to expect, I never would have guessed that it could easily snow in the mountains at that time of year. Here is a shot from near the summit of Washington Pass. The rain at lower elevation had changed to snow before both Rainy Washington Passes.

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Old 05-28-19, 03:14 PM
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Hey, I just posted a few days ago, about snow up in Flagstaff. And HAIL here in Prescott. So you stole my idea. 😛😁😉 You can keep your collard greens, but I'll take some cornbread anytime, please? Just had some good biscuits & gravy the other day. 👍😘
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Old 05-28-19, 07:10 PM
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To be clear, this is a very abnormal year. Denver got up to about 10” of snow on May 20th which is something that hasn’t happened since the 70s. The snows in the high country (down to about 10,000 feet) is also abnormal for this late in May. While it is wise to be aware of the weather in early May, this is almost June and the weather conditions are often much, much nicer than this year. Memorial Day is a big camping day and a start to summer activities. This year, not so much. May camping this year was more of a winter camping experience.
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Old 05-28-19, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
To be clear, this is a very abnormal year. Denver got up to about 10” of snow on May 20th which is something that hasn’t happened since the 70s. The snows in the high country (down to about 10,000 feet) is also abnormal for this late in May. While it is wise to be aware of the weather in early May, this is almost June and the weather conditions are often much, much nicer than this year. Memorial Day is a big camping day and a start to summer activities. This year, not so much. May camping this year was more of a winter camping experience.
Yeah, Memorial Day always marked the beginning of "safe" swimming season, back in Pennsylvania when I was a kid. Safe from leeches, supposedly, but us kids didn't always wait. 🙄 It's all that danged global warming, I tell ya!😲
But it's starting a warming trend, here in AZ at least. Supposed to be in the 80s F this weekend. 👍
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Old 05-29-19, 12:07 AM
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OK but those late-spring Western snows usually melt quickly too. Best thing is to have some leeway in the schedule. It's a gamble, this spring the US has seen serial storm fronts marching across the country, few places seem immune from heavy rain & wind but unlike last year there are some nice sunny days in between the weekly storms.
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Old 05-29-19, 01:54 AM
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You wanna try Tasmania, our record in the mountains is 36C (96F) in the morning to 3ft of snow by the evening, on Boxing Day (26th December- the equivalent of 26th June)
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Old 05-29-19, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
Oh, honey chile -

I would jus' daaaah - if found mah self in 94 degree weather.
Mah collards an' cornbread come out mighty fine at high altitude.

Bring a hat.


-Tim-
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Old 05-29-19, 06:51 AM
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Brrr, that looks awful. looking at that, I can't believe I like riding in the winter ...
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Old 05-29-19, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
Brrr, that looks awful. looking at that, I can't believe I like riding in the winter ...
Check out the link in the last post in the Plowing GTS thread. Avalanche trapped cyclists riding Going to the Sun.
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Old 05-29-19, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan
OK but those late-spring Western snows usually melt quickly too. Best thing is to have some leeway in the schedule. It's a gamble, this spring the US has seen serial storm fronts marching across the country, few places seem immune from heavy rain & wind but unlike last year there are some nice sunny days in between the weekly storms.
Yes, they “usually” melt quickly. This year is very different here in the west. Every drainage basin in Colorado is way above normal for the year. Some of them are as high as 6 times the normal water in the snow. We went from severe drought in large parts of the state to no drought in all but a small sliver of the southwest. And none of it has started to melt. Rivers are still running rather low for this time of year.
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Old 05-29-19, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Yes, they “usually” melt quickly. This year is very different here in the west. Every drainage basin in Colorado is way above normal for the year. Some of them are as high as 6 times the normal water in the snow. We went from severe drought in large parts of the state to no drought in all but a small sliver of the southwest. And none of it has started to melt. Rivers are still running rather low for this time of year.
Crazy! Maybe they should open up the ski resorts like Hochkar Austria did a week ago. BTW Salt Lake City has bike lanes on the roads going up to the ski spots. (I'm not sure if bikes are included in the tire-chain regulations .)

https://www.euronews.com/2019/05/16/...st-time-in-may
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Old 05-29-19, 10:43 PM
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Cyco didn't mention the record cold high was broken in Denver, 39F. I hope that snow melt is going to the Green River and south.
They just said Mammoth CA will be open till August. They broke their record by 2 feet, they've had 60 feet of snow.
Getting close to an ice-age if it doesn't melt. LOL Half the dams are 3 feet from the top.
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Old 05-30-19, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan
Crazy! Maybe they should open up the ski resorts like Hochkar Austria did a week ago. BTW Salt Lake City has bike lanes on the roads going up to the ski spots. (I'm not sure if bikes are included in the tire-chain regulations .)

https://www.euronews.com/2019/05/16/...st-time-in-may
They have. Breckenridge was open for Memorial Day. Purgatory (Durango) is open for weekends but hasn't set a closing date yet. Arapahoe Basin is usually open until late in June but they may make it to July 4 (and beyond) this year
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