IT’S A SNOWY ONE
On the 2nd day, God decided Human Beings would need a Conversational Fallback.
So He created The Weather.
Ever since, we’ve been talking about it when there’s not much more to say. Because it’s the only thing that happens to everyone, always. And, it’s the only thing you can bring up anytime, anywhere.
At your nephew’s Christening: “Man, it’s sunny today. God Bless.”
At a funeral: “Rainy.”
At the Rite-Aid in the detergent aisle to a fellow dirty-clothed stranger: “How about that snowfall?”
My boss: “We need to cover the weather.”
So, here we are.
Out of the 53 years of Snowfall History chronicled on Mammoth Mountain’s website (‘69-70 to ‘22-23), this year already qualifies as the seventh deepest. 525 inches. And it’s only early March. The other season totals: 617.5 inches in 2016-17. 557.9 inches in 2009-10. 578.5 inches in 2005-6. 570.1 inches in 2004-5. 540.2 inches in ‘94-5. 546.3 inches in ‘82-3.
The record season: 2010-2011 at 668.5 inches.
A month by month comparison of the two:
October 2010-11: 10 inches.
October 2022-23: 0 inches.
Nov. 2010-11: 88 inches.
Nov. 2022-23: 61 inches.
Dec. 2010-11: 209 inches.
Dec. 2022-23: 116 inches.
Jan. 2010-11: 29 inches.
Jan. 2022-2023: 208 inches.
February 2010-11: 92 inches.
February 2022-23: 113 inches.
March 2010-11: 177.50 inches.
March 2022-23: 27″ so far.
April of 2010-11 clocked in 31 inches. May clocked in at 27.5 inches. June: 4.5 inches.
Seems like 2010-11 started off at a sprint, then stumbled, then got to March. Our winter’s been more like the first marathon you decide to run after college: start off slow. Get really into it. Tell all your friends how great your life is. Realize training for a marathon is hard. Question everything. Keep going because you told everyone the marathon you’re training for is nothing – your parents saw a lot of big marathons in their day, so you know what a real marathon is supposed to be like. Finally understand this marathon is one of the biggest marathons there’s been in a while. Eat a lot of energy goop. Hit the porta-potty. Shovel out your home.
This past storm brought Mammoth 65 to 68 inches of snow and miles upon miles of road closures. 395 was closed from Bishop to Bridgeport on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning. The sole window of travel: Sunday. CalTrans opened 395, and travelers were escorted southbound and northbound.
One slight hitch during this massive day of departure: a downed powerline on Meridian Blvd. the Mammoth Lakes Police Department had to shut down Meridian, which caused cars to stack up on Main Street. All the way to the Village. In gridlock traffic, waiting for their escorts. A spray-painted snowbank outside Country Liquor captured the sentiments of a few locals: “BUY A JOINT AND GO BACK TO LA.”
A lot of folks complained about the escort policy, but as Bill Sauser exoplained at the MLT Board meeting Wednesday, it’s a safety issue. He said a Caltrans driver was out of his rig helping someone and then had his vehicle hit, so … escorts slow people down – the good and bad drivers.
This reporter drove up from L.A. last Sunday, and let me tell you. An hour into the drive, There was snow in Santa Clarita. And then more snow. For the rest of the drive. I’m talking about piles in the streets of Lone Pine.
Some perspective on the scale of this storm: Snow Valley Mountain Resort in San Bernardino County got over 120 inches of snow. They suspended operations March 1st and 2nd.
Big Bear Mtn. closed March 1st after getting 106 inches of snow.
SoCal Highways were shut down, too, with the 5 closed through Tejon Pass last Friday.
As of Thursday, March 2, 900 Southern California Edison customers were without power in Mono County. SCE is working to restore power to those customers quickly and safely, but storm conditions continue to impede that effort.
Looking ahead, Saturday night will bring 3 to 5 more inches of snow to Mammoth Lakes. The Sunday forecast predicts 4 to 8 inches of snow accumulation.
Bishop is looking at a slight chance of snow as well – 10% chance on Saturday night; 20% chance on Sunday.