Weather on Mt Whitney
varies greatly during the year and can certainly be unpredictable at times. Temperatures at the lower elevations are generally warm. At higher elevations in the night, even in the summer months temperatures can fall below freezing. Typical winter temperatures above 9,500 feet range from -14 degrees F to 12 degrees at night and from 15 - 50 degrees F during the day.
Ninety five percent of total precipitation (which includes both rain and snow) falls between the months of October and May, with more than half falling in January, February, and March. The frequency of summer showers increase at higher elevations and correspondingly there are more cloudy days. But even though these thundershowers are of short duration they are still a danger to the hiker/climber on the summit or high ridges on Mt Whitney and other Sierra Peaks. That being said, if you detect a thunderstorm developing, vacate the summit and high ridges at once. The
first recorded fatality on Mt Whitney was due to lightning.
Snow is one of the most spectacular features in the Sierra Nevada
(the second snowiest mountain range on the continent) but due to the fact that Mt Whitney resides in the southern portion of the Sierra Nevada, it does not get nearly the amount of snow pack that the Palisade
or Mammoth Lakes region do.
Quick summary of Mt Whitney weather and road access for the next 7 days:
Mostly sunny and clear along with cold temperatures for the next seven days on Mt Whitney. The Whitney Portal
is closed and will most likely stay closed as storms continue to roll in. This will add an extra 4 miles of hiking to get to the trailhead
Latest Trail Conditions as of 1/11:
The Mt Whitney Trail
is well under snow at this point. Heavy snow from Trail Camp
to Trail Crest
and beyond. Any summit attempt will require snowshoes, crampons, ice ax, and a good amount of winter mountaineering experience. The Quota Period
has now ended as of November 1st, so permits are there for the asking.