Half Dome and clouds, Yosemite NP, CA, USA
Many people, including me, had high hopes for the snowstorm that came through Yosemite on Tuesday. The forecast called for six to twelve inches of snow, so it sounded like we would see some beautiful snow scenes, and maybe even get to photograph a clearing storm. And some moisture might help revive Horsetail Fall.
Around sunset on Tuesday it started snowing at my house in Mariposa — first lightly, then heavily. In no time we had three or four inches of snow, and eventually got six inches, which is a lot for our 2700-foot elevation.
But the storm looked very compact on radar, and the precipitation didn’t seem to be reaching Yosemite. I called my friend Kirk Keeler, who lives in Yosemite Valley, and he told me that they had received only half an inch of snow.
Wednesday morning Claudia and I cleared the snow off our car and drove up to Yosemite Valley. We found an inch or two of snow — not a lot, but enough to highlight every tree branch. I saw many beautiful scenes with trees etched in snow, including the pattern of cottonwood branches below.
The morning was clear, but later some evaporation clouds started to appear, and they kept building. By the end of the day all the cliffs were hidden by clouds. But between 4:00 to 4:30 in the afternoon Half Dome and the clouds put on a great show. Half Dome would vanish completely, then reappear, wrapped in clouds and speckled with sunlight. I made the photograph above just before Half Dome disappeared for good.