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#35873 - 04/18/14 08:42 AM How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July
Sam Das Offline


Registered: 04/17/14
Posts: 41
Loc: California, USA
Is the weather at end of July going to be too hot? I don't mind the cold, but prefer not to be hiking in 80-90 degrees sun.

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#35874 - 04/18/14 08:58 AM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: Sam Das]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
This is the middle of the monsoon season, so that surprise thunderstorms can be more of a consideration than the heat.
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#35875 - 04/18/14 09:06 AM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: Sam Das]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1032
Loc: Madison, WI
The mountain is 14,500 feet high. There is such a thing called the Lapse Rate which will make it quite comfortable up high even if it is hot down low.

It's on average about 15-20 degrees Celsius cooler on the top of Whitney than in Lone Pine. So if it's 40 C in the valley, which is normal for that time of year, it'll be at best 20C on the summit, but usually cooler. That's below 70F, just to save you from exploding head syndrome with this metric stuff.

In short: July means temps from 100+ in Lone Pine to about 50-55 on the summit in the shade, possibly in the 30s or below at night. And when a storm rolls in, you'll wish you had have brought some extra layers.

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#35876 - 04/18/14 09:33 AM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: Fishmonger]
Sam Das Offline


Registered: 04/17/14
Posts: 41
Loc: California, USA
What would temperature around Whitney Portal be like? I plan to start at 1am from trailhead. I have permit for July 26th.

What temperature to expect between trailhead to Trail camp (night time/early morning hike).

What temperature to expect at trail camp around 11-2pm.

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#35879 - 04/18/14 09:56 AM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: Sam Das]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
See the California Water Resource Board Cottonwood Lake Real Time Reporting Station. Click the earlier link and change the URL to a series of dates to get historical temperature information.

With that said, a cold front moving through will make for some extremely cold nights.

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#35880 - 04/18/14 09:59 AM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: Sam Das]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7673
Loc: Fresno, CA
The possibility of cold will be what you need to deal with.

Whitney Portal is 8,300' elevation. It can get up to 80 there, but that's about it. Heat will not be your problem.

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#35882 - 04/18/14 10:26 AM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: Steve C]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 544
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
The lapse rate referred to by fishmonger is the ADIABATIC LAPSE RATE. It is a good rule of thumb to use for your intended purpose, but not a "rule of law" since it assumes certain things remain constant, which they never do. There are also several variables that change this lapse rate. Google it to find out more. Having said that, the "average adiabatic lapse rate" is 3.3F/1000 feet. So, for ease of calculations, Lone Pine is ~ 3500', the portal is ~ 8,500', and the summit is ~14,500'. At 1:00 AM temp in Lone Pine is "likely" 70, so temp at Portal is "likely" 70 - 3.3*5 = 53.5F. I will leave it to you to estimate the duration of your hike in order to estimate the temp at the summit, but as others have said you will not likely be hot.

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#35886 - 04/18/14 01:17 PM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: Fishmonger]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
The mountain is 14,500 feet high. There is such a thing called the Lapse Rate which will make it quite comfortable up high even if it is hot down low.

It's on average about 15-20 degrees Celsius cooler on the top of Whitney than in Lone Pine. So if it's 40 C in the valley, which is normal for that time of year, it'll be at best 20C on the summit, but usually cooler. That's below 70F, just to save you from exploding head syndrome with this metric stuff.

In short: July means temps from 100+ in Lone Pine to about 50-55 on the summit in the shade, possibly in the 30s or below at night. And when a storm rolls in, you'll wish you had have brought some extra layers.


The coldest summer night I have ever spent in the Sierra was at 9,600' after a front moved through.

With that said, I have hiked a lot in that time frame in the Sierra. It's comfortable mostly but if you get caught in a storm...God have mercy on your soul. Wind, hail, sideways rain, snow, slushballs, lightning all followed by a 30* F drop in temperature. If you are not prepared, it will be miserable.


Edited by wbtravis (04/18/14 01:23 PM)

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#35887 - 04/18/14 02:36 PM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: wbtravis]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 562
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Did an August hike up the MR a couple of years back, great temperatures, very comfortable. Then the clouds moved in and the hike down the main trail was hail and rain for nearly 6 miles. Extremely cold. So, what's the weather going to be like? Anything it wants to be, and as said earlier, Monsoon season, which was long last Summer.
That said, July 26 is a good date.
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#35902 - 04/19/14 06:57 AM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: quillansculpture]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1032
Loc: Madison, WI
July 19 2009, just above Lone Pine Lake on the Mt. Whitney Trail



the trail was a river and then it filled with hail. Temps dropped enough for fleece jackets, hard shells, warm hats, and this is just above 10,000 feet. Before we got caught in this storm on our way down, we saw a lot of hikers heading up late in the day. Easily 100+ people were high above Trail Camp at that point in time, many wearing just shorts & T-short and a water bottle as their only gear.

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#35911 - 04/19/14 05:21 PM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: Fishmonger]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
I agree with everything above, but to add a bit of perspective - not every year is a monsoon year, as they only occur occasionally. The southern Sierra is notoriously stable, to the point where some experienced hikers don't carry a tent during July during a stable year. However, know before you go whether it's a monsoon year, and get be on top of weather forecasts right up until you hit the trail. Given the nature of the trail, it's sometimes impossible to see a storm cell coming much in advanve unless you're above Trail Crest, at 13,600. So, if there's a chance of storms in the forecast, be very cautious.

In a typical year, the odds are rather good the weather will cooperate at the end of July.

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#35914 - 04/19/14 09:31 PM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: KevinR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7673
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: KevinR
...know before you go whether it's a monsoon year, and get be on top of weather forecasts right up until you hit the trail. Given the nature of the trail, it's sometimes impossible to see a storm cell coming much in advance unless you're above Trail Crest, at 13,600. So, if there's a chance of storms in the forecast, be very cautious.

In a typical year, the odds are rather good the weather will cooperate at the end of July.

What Kevin said. I boldfaced the most important part. Years past, I would often watch forecasts right up to leaving home, and carry the tent in the car. At the trailhead, viewing the lack or presence of any clouds, AND aware of the forecasts, we would leave the tent in the car for a quick one or two night trip.

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#35918 - 04/20/14 08:54 AM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Steve,

I have had too many perfect forecasts walking out the door that were not so perfect when I got to the Sierra, very few the other way. I spent 4 days in rain when only rain in the forecast was the evening before we entered.

For the most part we are answering the questions of hiking or Sierra neophytes, not experienced folks. I tailor my answers that way. So, if they carry a few extra pounds of this or that, it better than carrying too few and they start living in interesting times.

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#36215 - 05/02/14 09:05 PM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: wbtravis]
Sam Das Offline


Registered: 04/17/14
Posts: 41
Loc: California, USA
So with all the rains in late July, I'm I better off to go in late June where it may be cooler in Lone Pine Campground, Whitney Portal, and perhaps I don't have to deal much with rains/storm in July/August?

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#36219 - 05/02/14 11:57 PM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: Sam Das]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7673
Loc: Fresno, CA
Sam, there really isn't any period that is free of rain. But rain at Whitney Portal is infrequent. It CAN really dump, but there will be rain in the forecast before you go. You just need to take gear that will keep you dry just in case.

If the mountain is having clear skies and nothing is forecast then you can go with a minimum. My minimum is a plastic emergency bivy or parka. But if there is a possibility of rain, better gear would be a good idea.

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#36227 - 05/04/14 08:40 AM Re: How is Whitney Daytime weather in end of July [Re: Sam Das]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Sam,

One day in mid-June, I read the NWS forecast for the Mt. Whitney area...no rain for days. As I was head down the PCT from Cirque Peak out on the horizon were rain clouds that according to forecast should not have been there. They dumped a goodly amount of rain on us.

The only thing predictable about the Sierra weather is its unpredictability.

Go, when you plan to go. Bring the right clothing and go as far as Mother Nature and your clothing allow you to go.

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