As hot temperatures beat down on the central San Joaquin Valley, snow melt will push the Merced River to flood areas of Yosemite National Park early Saturday morning.
The National Weather Service in Hanford shared the prognosis Friday afternoon. As of 7 p.m. Friday, the river crest went down to 10.7 feet from 10.8. It is expected to reach 11 feet around midnight and into Saturday morning.
Although the river would likely have to rise to around 12.5 feet to force any major closures, the 11-foot level will cause some minor problems.
A flood warning remains in affect, as does a ban on rafting and flotation. Chapel Meadow in Yosemite Valley and Cook’s Meadow will overflow as long as the level remains near 9 feet. Part of the Lower Pines Campground floods near 9.5 feet, which could cause an evacuation of nearby Housekeeping Camp.
At 10 feet, the western portion of North Pines Campground at the east end of Yosemite Valley can flood. The water will top a swinging bridge near Chapel Meadow at 10.5 feet, while a sewage pumping station at North Pines will flood at 11.5 feet.
The river level is expected to lower as the weather cools off through the weekend.