Storm updates 23rd-24th December 2021

The second significant storm (and fourth overall) of winter 2021/22 is currently impacting the San Jacinto mountains.

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

UPDATE @ 0705 on Friday 24th

Rainfall storm total in Idyllwild (at 5550ft) by 0700 this morning was a very impressive 3.47 inches.

San Jacinto Peak now has a storm total of about 13 inches of fresh snow, on top of about 8in from last week. Strong winds mean that the snow is heavily drifted.

Long Valley (8600ft) has added 5-6 inches, for a current total depth of 9-10in.

UPDATE @ 2010 on Thursday 23rd

San Jacinto Peak has gained about six inches of snow so far today, with perhaps another foot expected overnight. Long Valley (8600ft) had over an inch of rain (which helped remove 1-2 inches of snow) before it turned to snow, with about two inches accumulating so far. In Idyllwild rainfall has reached 1.2in, with at least that much expected again overnight.

UPDATE @ 1755 on Thursday 23rd

About five inches of snow have fallen so far at San Jacinto Peak. The rain has finally turned to snow in Long Valley, with about an inch accumulating there. Rainfall in Idyllwild surpassed an inch for today at 1650.

UPDATE @ 1540 on Thursday 23rd

As discussed below, this warm system is so far producing rain, rather than snow, at all but the highest elevations. Snow Creek at 6800ft on the north face currently leads the way with 1.2in already. Various sites in Pine Cove (around 6000ft) have passed one inch, while even at Long Valley at 8600ft, it continues to fall as rain (0.8in).

UPDATE @ 1340 on Thursday 23rd

In Idyllwild at 5550ft it started drizzling at about 0400. By 1330 storm total rainfall was already 0.85in.

My ascent to San Jacinto Peak this morning was a soggy, postholing one, with drizzle alternating with light rain all the way to the Peak. There was a little snow mixed in by 10,200ft, but it was not until 1230 that it finally turned completely to snow. It is already accumulating steadily at about an inch per hour.

In Long Valley (8600ft) it has rained about 0.6in this morning, and it remains just above freezing with no snow accumulation so far today.

It was so mild this morning (45°F at Humber Park!) that a lot of snow was melting below 9000ft. Devil’s Slide Trail – that had 90% snow/ice cover on Monday – was 75% clear this morning. It remained remarkably mild all the way up into the high country, where snow that was pleasantly compacted on Monday now had the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Hoping with undue optimism that it would be cold enough higher up for the snow to be firm, I nevertheless had to finally put on snowshoes at 10,000ft to finish my ascent without constant postholing.

Wellman Divide (9700ft) in the rain just after 1110 this morning, 23rd December 2021. Only about three inches of snow from the storm on 14th December remained.

Thank you fellow hikers for taking the time to read this. While all labor and time is volunteered, the San Jacinto Trail Report completely depends on small private donations to cover operating costs. Every year seems to have its challenges and 2021 has been no exception, so every contribution, no matter how small, is truly valuable. If you have found this Report useful, please consider visiting the Donate page. Thank you for your support.

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