Snow storm 25th-26th December 2019

Please continue to check this page for periodic storm updates throughout the next 48 hours.

Sunset from San Jacinto Peak, 26th December 2019.

UPDATED @ 1820 Thursday 26th

Despite a few minor flurries in the late afternoon, San Jacinto Peak did not add any signficant new snow to the update below. The clouds largely cleared near dusk, producing a spectacular, if frigid, sunset. I recorded a short video, available here on YouTube.

UPDATED @ 1320 Thursday 26th

It continues to snow off-and-on lightly in the high country, with San Jacinto Peak having added about three more inches today, for a storm total of right around 15″. A good snowfall, but well below most projections. Grand total at the Peak is about four feet, but with enormous variation due to drifting (although it is now almost calm).

Snowfall has been similarly light in Idyllwild, where an additional 1.5″ today takes the storm total to 7″ (at 5550′), closer to, but still below, most forecasts.

UPDATED @ 0905 Thursday 26th

A howling south-east gale in the high country overnight produced about 8-10″ of fresh snowfall at San Jacinto Peak. Massive drifting has obliterated all tracks, certainly at least above about 8000′.

On the east side the snow level is down to 4500′ elevation on Skyline Trail, with a dusting as low as 2500′ in Andreas Canyon (Maynard Mine). Clouds are starting to break over Palm Springs. (Many thanks to Florian Boyd for that information.)

In Idyllwild at 5550′ elevation another 4.5″ of snow fell overnight, for a current storm total of 5.5″ there (many thanks to Anne King for that information).

UPDATED @ 1645 Wednesday 25th

Off-and-on light snow overnight resulted in a fresh inch in Idyllwild, and a white Christmas (the third in the last four years). Further snow today added up to another 1.75″ (at 5550′ elevation).

I snowshoed to San Jacinto Peak again today, in a mix of blue sky and blizzard conditions. Most of my broken trails from yesterday were gone, filled in with fresh snow and spindrift from the strong winds. An additional 2″ snow was on Devil’s Slide Trail and at Saddle Junction, with a consistent 3″ everywhere above 9000′. Later this afternoon the Peak was right at the top of the cloud, and the sun put in a couple of brief appearances. Temperatures were very similar to yesterday, with a windchill of -11°F (-24°C) from a harsh SW wind gusting to 29.8 mph.