Increased Snowmelt at Yosemite Creates Stunning Waterfalls and Increased Flood Risk

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Increased Snowmelt at Yosemite Creates Stunning Waterfalls and Increased Flood Risk

A heavy winter snowfall and subsequent melt at Yosemite National Park has created rushing waterfalls larger and more powerful than in years past.

The grand display is drawing in troves of visitors, making for a busy spring season. However, with all the natural beauty caused by the snowmelt, there’s also increased flooding risks throughout the park. We’re not only seeing bigger waterfalls but also larger and more powerful streams, which also pose a risk that’s higher than it’s been in about a decade.

Yosemite officials say that the snowpacks on the park’s mountains were about 200 percent larger than normal this year. Earlier in May, the Merced River was only 6 inches away from being labeled an official flood, and there’s still more snowmelt to come. According to park officials, there’s still about 20 feet of snowpacks on the mountains that will melt as the season continues to warm.

If you’re visiting Yosemite keep an eye out for flood warnings and road closures. Park officials also warn visitors to avoid the high waters.

Main and lead photo by Basheer Tome/Flickr CC BY 2.0


Madison Gable is a freelance writer based out of Athens, Georgia.

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