First snow falling at ski resorts in Southern California and Mammoth

Snow falling Wednesday morning at Snow Valley Mountain Resort in Running Springs, Calif.
(Snow Valley Mountain Resort)

Winter may not officially be here, but snow is falling at ski resorts from Southern California to Mammoth Lakes and the Lake Tahoe area. The first snow of the season brought several inches to L.A.-area resorts. Farther north, Mammoth Mountain picked up an inch of new snow with the promise of more on the way.

Lightning strikes in Santa Monica and Seal Beach prompt closure of the beaches and piers. Other areas see rain, hail and, in higher elevations, snow.

In Southern California and Mammoth, the modest amount of fresh powder isn’t enough to cause skiers to rejoice, but cold temperatures mean resorts will be able to make and maintain snow on their slopes. In the Lake Tahoe area, Mt. Rose received 7 inches of fresh snow, prompting the resort to start daily operations Friday.

Snow Valley Mountain Resort reports 4 inches at the base, 6 inches at the summit and counting at the Running Springs resort in the San Bernardino Mountains (check out the webcam). Up to 18 inches is forecast, according to the resort, which tentatively plans to open Nov. 27.


PHOTOS: First storm of the season rolls through the Southland

Mountain High resort near Wrightwood also received 2 to 3 inches of snow overnight with more expected Wednesday. The resort’s website says there’s a “50% chance we will open sometime this weekend.”

Big Bear resort in Big Bear Lake on its website declared: “The wait is over — Mother Nature has arrived and brought the first snowfall of the ... winter season.” The resort says it’s expecting more snow before it tapers off Friday. It plans to open sister resorts Snow Summit on Nov. 28 and Bear Mountain on Nov. 29.

Meanwhile, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is open with machine-groomed runs. It reports a foot of snow at the main lodge and 14 inches at McCoy Station; no beginner runs have yet opened, according to the resort’s website.