• View of Half Dome and Washington Column in Yosemite Valley

    Yosemite

    National Park California

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Tioga Road is Closed for the Winter

    The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) is closed due to snow; it usually reopens in late May or June. You can check on current road conditions by calling 209/372-0200 (press 1 then 1). More »

Roadside Naturalist: Effects of the Mono Winds

September 08, 2012 Posted by: BW - Mather District Volunteer Interpretive Ranger

Effects of the Mono Winds

Downed trees caused by Mono Winds near Mono Pass Trailhead

August 30, 2012
Tioga Road near Mono Pass Trailhead

Dramatic evidence of the regional phenomenon known as the Mono Winds can be seen just off the Tioga road near the Mono Pass Trailhead. Numerous trees are down in this area, having been blown down last winter. When a high pressure system is over the Great Basin, the clockwise movement of air pushes up and over the Sierra and picks up speed as it rushes down the western slopes. The rugged topography funnels some of that air, further increasing the speed and intensifying localized effects. The Mono Winds can easily reach 50 mph and in extreme cases exceed 100 mph. It is likely that the wind that knocked these trees down was funneled by the Tioga pass and continued down the Tioga road. Most of the downed trees are near the road and lying parallel with the road. The weather patterns that cause the Mono Winds occur from October to April but are most common in December and January. 
 

roadside naturalist




Post A Comment

Submit Comment

Did You Know?

Visitor crossing Tioga Road near trailhead

The Tioga Road is the highest trans-sierra route in California, crossing Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet in elevation. More...