Storm updates 12th-13th March 2020

Please continue to check this page for periodic storm updates. The next full trail update will likely be in the afternoon of Saturday 14th.

UPDATED 13th March @ 1130

Current snow and PCT conditions are discussed in this video recorded earlier this morning at Saddle Junction/PCT Mile 179.8 (8100′).

Fresh snow depth at Saddle Junction is 5.5″, with 2″ at Humber Park (6500′). The gate at Humber Park remains open (for now). Settled snow level is at about 6200′.

On Devil’s Slide Trail it snowed and/or rained on us throughout the morning. It has rained in Idyllwild since 0800 today, getting heavier in the past hour. Total rainfall by 0700 in the past 24 hours was an impressive 1.69″ rain, plus 0.5″ snow.

The high country is currently above the cloud (>9000′ on the west side, >8500′ on the east side).

UPDATED 12th March @ 1815

Precipitation largely stopped at all elevations at about 1645. The 0.5″ of slush that fell in Idyllwild did not last long before it resumed raining. Long Valley (8600′) added 5-6″ of fresh snow today.

Current snow level is at about 6500′. Consequently the entire PCT from about Mile 157 to 194 is now snow-covered. Depth of fresh snow is only a couple of inches for much of that section, but may be 4-6″ in areas between Mile 172 and 191.

UPDATED 12th March @ 1610

Multiple news outlets in the Coachella Valley are reporting that the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will be closed until at least the end of March due to the coronavirus crisis. Just in time for the biggest snow depths of the winter….

UPDATED 12th March @ 1505

Heavy rain in Idyllwild – a useful 1.2″ in eight hours – turned to sleety wet snow half-an-hour ago and has started to accumulate above 5500′.

Rainfall doubled in the past two hours in Long Valley (8600′), from under an inch to nearly two inches. It has recently also turned to snow, with about 4-5″ fresh accumulation today.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway has apparently closed for the day due to lightning.

UPDATED 12th March @ 1250

I recently returned from a hike to the PCT at Mile 181 via Devil’s Slide Trail. Snow dusted early this morning down to about 7400′, but by mid morning had turned to heavy rain.

Fresh snowfall at Saddle Junction (8100′) was nearly one inch, but had largely melted and turned to slush by the time I descended. Rainfall was heavy up to 9000′ on the west and south sides of the mountain, and it is currently raining in Long Valley (8600′) on the east side also.

Thunderstorms started in Idyllwild about an hour ago, and since 0700 this morning there has been 0.6″ of rain at 5550′ elevation.

UPDATED 12th March @ 0630

Off-and-on light rainfall started in Idyllwild at 0530, with light snowfall starting to accumulate in Long Valley (8600′) at about 1″.

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