July is here! Celebrate your right to raft!Posted July 1, 2011 by Gregg Armstrong, Co-Founder
Hello again everyone,
It’s been another wild week of weather in 2011… a good example is the freak cold rain storm that dumped two inches onto a water logged soil left over from late melting winter snow! All of this occurring at the end of June, only a few days from July. Go figure.
On Wednesday, the Merced doubled in flow from 6k to 12k in less than 24 hours! The Tuolumne did the same thing. The North Stan tripled in flow in half the time and reached 4k by 8am and 6k by noon. We canceled the trip of 9 we had scheduled that day… we are very capable to handle a variety of flows and conditions but are wise enough to know this was not something we needed to take part in.
Not sure what a river looks like at high flows? One of our guests took a headcam on a high water Tuolumne trip last week… (thanks Chuck!)[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0O_IMyz-kE&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]
Flows are beginning to subside now that the rain has passed. Temperatures are rising and by the weekend it will be in the mid to high 90’s on most of our rivers. The 2011 melt will resume. We are past peak flows on all rivers (unless more freak storms arrive), so steady flows should be the norm with a gradual decrease occurring on all rivers. Keep in mind that rivers are at the bottom of the canyons and gravity feeds these rivers through aquifers we never see. A late melt like this plus a late storm add up to a lot of water seepage heading down through the ground until it reaches the rivers. This produces a steady flow that lasts for several weeks.
As you can see from the chart below, we still have enough water content in the snow above the runs to keep rivers acting more like spring than summer for the next two weeks. By mid July we will see “normal” late spring early summer flows through the rest of the month. You can also check out our River Flows page for real-time flow information.
We rarely get the opportunity to run rivers in the heat of summer when they are flowing like the middle of spring. 2011 is an unusual year to enjoy rafting at it’s best when weather in California is at it’s best as well.
Hope to see you all on the water!