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 lightening.
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.
Mt Whitney weather in a nutshell for the next 7 days:
After a bit of weather on Friday the forecast is for mostly sunny and clear through the weekend and into next week on Mt Whitney. Below freezing temperatures at night above 11,000 ft, but in the 40s and 50s during the day. The Whitney Portal
Road is open and clear.
Latest Trail Conditions as of 5/13:
Trail is mostly snow free. Snow is more significant at higher elevations, and on steep north facing slopes. There is a very small amount of snow below Outpost Camp
, and intermittent snow from Mirror Lake to near Trail Camp
(11,000' to 12,000'). There are larger and more frequent patches of snow starting near Trail Camp (which will create some postholing conditions due to the warmer temperatures during the day), but hikers are able to locate and follow the trail all the way to the summit
of Mt. Whitney. The trail crosses some steep slopes, and may be icy, so crampons and ice axes are recommended. Outpost Camp is snow free, and the creek is flowing. Trail Camp is partially snow covered, the lake has partially melted and its outlet stream is flowing.