Yosemite partly reopens after blizzard brings as much as 45 inches of snow


A view of El Capitan as snow blanketed Yosemite National Park on Feb. 22.
(Tayfun Coskun / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Yosemite National Park partially reopened on Sunday following a heavy blizzard that dumped up to 45 inches of snow in some areas and caused strong winds resulting in fallen trees. The park reopened around noon, advising visitors to be prepared for winter camping. Although officials anticipated 6 to 12 inches of snow in Yosemite Valley, it received twice that amount, about 25 inches. According to meteorologist Carlos Molina, this storm brought two to four times more snow than usual.

High winds, reaching 50 to 60 mph, were the primary reason for the park's closure, posing risks to public safety. While clearer conditions are expected on Monday, more snow is forecasted for Tuesday, with an additional 3 to 6 inches expected. 

Another storm is expected by Wednesday, likely affecting Southern California more than the northern or central regions. However, clear conditions are anticipated by Thursday and Friday, with a low likelihood of the park closing again.

The partial reopening includes the historic Ahwahnee hotel, lodging, dining, and retail locations in Yosemite Valley. Visitors are advised to use Highway 41/Wawona Road and Highway 140/El Portal Road, and expect snowy conditions. Depending on weather conditions, certain roads and facilities like Big Oak Flat Road, Badger Pass Road, Hetch Hetchy Road, and Hodgdon Meadow Campground will reopen on Monday at noon, as announced on Yosemite National Park's Facebook page.

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