Little Boy Delivered Record Snow In California

epic winter at Big Bear Mountain Resort Image appears courtesy: Big Bear Mountain Resort - Photo taken April 1st 2024

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Embracing the age-old saying ‘Better late than never,’ the 2023-24 ski season at Big Bear in Southern California has proven to be a testament to these words. What began with a sluggish start has quickly transformed into one of the most memorable winters in recent memory. In fact, it will go down as the second snowiest season on record since the resorts began formal tracking.

Record Bad Start

Slow doesn’t even begin to describe the start of the 2023-24 ski season. Back in early January, much of North America, including Big Bear, found itself mirroring some of the bleakest winter starts on record. A meager three inches had fallen by December 31st—practically non-existent.

El Niño Was Fashionably Late

snowboarder slashing deep powder at Big Bear Mountain Resort record big bear ski season
Snowboarder enjoying the DEEP days of early February 2024 – Image appears courtesy: Big Bear Mountain Resort

How did it go from misery to all-time greatness? It all started in early February when a series of cold storms swept in with force. Nearly a foot of snow fell across February 2nd – 3rd alone. Then, within a span of just 72 hours starting on February 6th, they were hit with a whopping 70+ inches. The storms persisted throughout February, making it the snowiest month since at least 2000. The powder train kept chugging along into March, and even in April, they were blessed with another foot of snow from a passing storm.

Statistically On Track

Southern California tops our list of favored regions during El Niño winters and for good reason. On average, they receive 126% more snowfall than normal, and this season is right on track. Snow Valley has received 199 inches, while both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain aren’t far behind with 174 inches each.

How Does It Rank?

If you’re curious about how the 2023-24 season compares to other notable El Niño winters, let’s take a look. The closest comparison comes from the 2009-10 season, which ranked as the 7th strongest El Niño in the past 50 years. That year, they received 158 inches of snowfall.

Not Just El Niño

Interestingly, the other standout seasons with significant snowfall were during La Niña events. The 2022-23 season stands out as a banner winter, with a remarkable 243 inches blanketing Big Bear’s resorts. Another notable winter occurred in 2016-17, delivering 162 inches of snowfall.

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