Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Wee bit late

Webcam photo from Camp Muir (8/31/11)

Ok, a lot late, but the August reports are on-line at the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide, but they'll be replaced soon with the September reports at the same place. The news for August is two words, snow and wildflowers.

First, the snow. The snowpack was unusually high this year, the second highest in recorded history (since 1981) and the snowmelt was considerably later and slower to the point it will be the longest and latest snowmelt on record, the point where the highest snow site recorded zero on the Paradise gage, southeast of Jackson vistors center. The snowmelt lasted 98 days from May 23rd to August 29th.

This is only four days longer than I predicted but my guess was more an estimate based on the shape of the graph in July.

This in turn delayed the wildflowers, see map to the latest time in a long time, where they're blooming from about the 20th of August and likely through the Labor Day weekend in places where the last snow melted in the open and alpine meadows. This means you have about a week left.

After the Labor Day weekend, everything begins to change in the NP as several changes start the week after the holiday into the fall, which will be described in the September reports.

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