Normally, it wouldn’t be safe to stand in the middle of North Bay Road in Lake Arrowhead, but things are different when you’re snowed in.
A sea of white surrounded Brian Cavazos as he stood plum in the center of the snow-filled road Saturday, flakes still falling.
“Today, with about 8 inches of snow unplowed, it is a safe place to walk,” Cavazos said.
The snow came as an unprecedented storm pummeled Southern California with rain, hail, and dustings to elevations just above 1,000 feet.
While the storm was on its way out Saturday night, up in Lake Arrowhead, a National Weather Service winter storm warning was still in effect until early Sunday morning, according to NWS meteorologist Adam Roser. And more snow — up to a 4-inch dusting — was in the forecast.
“We’ve been having a blast minus the shoveling. It’s a different environment when you can walk to a friend’s house, you can walk down the middle of main roads,” Cavazos said. “It’s a pain at times, but it’s also epic.”
With an abundance of snow, Cavazos said there were also ample supplies for gigantic snowmen, adding that his daughter and a friend built a snowman more than 4 feet tall.
After forty years of living in Lake Arrowhead, Cavazos explained that this week’s storm was one of the biggest he’d seen in the area and “one of the ages.”
With so much powder on the road, it seemed only appropriate to consider bringing out snowboards, he added.
“Not many people can say they’ve snowboarded down North Bay (Road)”, Cavazos said. “In fact, I may go to the house and grab (my snowboard) to accomplish that task.”
Nearby, Ginny Dunn had a similar idea — the 31-year resident of Lake Arrowhead busted out her cross-country skis to trek around the snow-covered streets.
In prior storms, Dunn said she’d tried to get around via her skis but the timing hadn’t worked out by the time roads were clear.
“Today is optimal, although I’m having to blaze my own trail,” Dunn said.
Dunn echoed Cavazos: the storm was unlike any they’d seen after multiple decades in Lake Arrowhead. And she intended to take “full advantage” of the weather, possibly with snow shoes later on as well.
“This is the most magnificent storm in the 31 years I’ve been here,” she said, skis in hand. “I’ve never seen this much snow come down, this long, this hard.”
Over the past four days, Lake Arrowhead got 36 inches of snow, Roser said— a generous dusting that still paled in comparison to some other places like the Mountain High resort in Wrightwood, which clocked in 81 inches over the same period. Big Bear’s Mountain Summit saw 57 inches; Mount Baldy, 37.
The winter wonderland in the mountains wasn’t set to last for much longer, though, according to Roser.
By Saturday evening, the snow was on its way out for San Bernardino and other Inland Empire mountain communities, he said. By then, some of the totals for the Southern California snowfall had even surpassed places on the East Coast.
“Areas in the Inland Empire near Fontana, Rialto, and Devore have now picked up more snow this winter than New York City and Philadelphia,” the NWS San Diego said in a tweet.
Source: Orange County Register