Data Tracker

Five pictures of Yosemite's Half Dome that capture California's historic drought

By Phillip Reese -

Snow in California's Sierra Nevada range typically reaches its greatest depths in late March, covering peaks like Yosemite's famed Half Dome.

But this is the fourth consecutive year of drought in California. Earlier this month, state officials reported that the Sierra snowpack, which much of California relies on for water, is just five percent of its normal depth.

At Yosemite, Half Dome is generally quilted with snow by this time of year. The iconic peak stands roughly 9,000 feet tall -- and is today virtually snow free, with no big snow storms in the forecast for the remainder of the month.

These images, taken by a Yosemite Conservancy webcam, show Half Dome on March 19 of each year from 2011 to 2015.

March 19, 2011 - Before Drought


March 19, 2012 - First Year of Drought


March 19, 2013 - Second Year of Drought


March 17, 2014 - Third Year of Drought


March 19, 2015 - Fourth Year of Drought

Note: The Yosemite Conservancy uses donations to maintain this and other webcams. Go here to donate to the Conservancy. | To see time lapse movies of Half Dome going back nearly a decade, check out | March 17th photo used for 2014 due to lack of image for March 19 of that year.