Big Bear weather picture, April 8, 2020

A light dusting of snow covers the ground and picnic table in the Woodland Trail parking lot the morning of April 7. More snow is expected over the next two days with the potential for a storm total of up to a foot or more.

April’s big snow started with a dusting throughout most of Big Bear Valley April 6. It’s not over yet.

With Big Bear Valley residents hunkered down due to COVID-19, the threat of snow brings concerns of visitors heading to the mountains for snow play. The city of Big Bear Lake has strongly discouraged visitors from traveling to the mountains for snow play activities.

Traveling for snow play is not an essential activity.

Both ski resorts are closed and both commercial snow play areas are closed in Big Bear. All public parking lots and on-street public parking within the city limits are closed. The Aspen Glen Picnic Area is also closed by US Forest Service order as are all developed recreation facilities on the San Bernardino National Forest.

Monday brought more wind than snow as totals included about a quarter-inch of rain before the precipitation turned to snow in the afternoon. About 4 to 8 inches of snow fell at resort level with 3 to 4 inches in Sugarloaf. The rest of the Valley saw a dusting to an inch or two of the white stuff. Further west, Mountain High recorded 18 inches of snow on Monday.

“Big Bear has been a little more on the edge of the storm so far,” said meteorologist Stefanie Sullivan of the National Weather Service in San Diego. “It’s on the drier side of the mountain. Running Springs, for example, got 9 inches.”

Sullivan said most of Big Bear’s snow is expected to fall Tuesday night through Wednesday, April 8. A winter storm warning remains in effect until 5 a.m. Thursday, April 9, above 5,000 feet. “By the time the storm is over Big Bear will probably get another 8 to 12 inches,” Sullivan said.

In addition to the winter storm warning, Big Bear is under a flash flood watch through Wednesday. The storm system is expected to move out by Friday night with sunny skies returning by Saturday, April 11.

Sullivan said it is difficult to say what is in store through much of April for Big Bear in terms of weather. There is a pattern over the west that could continue to bring light precipitation. There is no sign of a warm, dry pattern developing at this time, Sullivan said.

“Most of the storms look like they will stay to the north,” she said.

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