In Big Bear, 2019 Winter Has Roared Onto The Mountaintop Like A Lion

As 2018 departed and 2019 began, winter descended upon the community of Big Bear in earnest.
The close-out of 2018 saw Big Bear buffeted with snow flurries. At sunrise on December 28, the temperature was 19 degrees. The warmest it got to be in Big Bear that day was 27 degrees Fahrenheit. By 11 p.m. that evening, the mercury had descended to 15 degrees. At midnight on New Year’s Eve in Big Bear Lake, the temperature dropped to 13 degrees Fahrenheit. Extremely high winds, with gusts of 35 to 45 miles per hour, produced a wind chill factor that brought that to a negative seven degrees. At 9:22 p.m on January 1, the temperature was 20 degrees. Today, January 4, it was 50 degrees and sunny at 3:44 p.m.
On differing days recently, the temperature swing has been more pronounced than on others. In cases where the outside air temperature reached 35 degrees or above, three degrees or more above freezing temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, ice would begin to melt, only to refreeze as night would fall.
Over the last week-and-a-half iced roads in Big Bear and its environs have resulted in at least 89 vehicles sliding uncontrollably, on some occasions into one another or into objects off the roadway. That problem has been most acute on a span of Highway 18, which descends into Lucerne Valley on the Mojave Desert side of the San Bernardino Mountains. At the Cushenberry Grade in Baldwin Lake, a SIG Alert was put into effect after the road was briefly shut down altogether on December 31 while several of the vehicles that had haphazardly slid were removed, and the road cindered.┬áJust before noon New Year’s Eve, Maple Lane in Big Bear City was temporarily closed after a California Division of Forestry fire engine and San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department patrol vehicle collided due to icy conditions. They were apparently attempting to reach the scene of another iced-road-induced mishap that occurred at 11:38 a.m. in which four vehicles impacted.
The recent cold though dry temperatures have permitted snow-making activity to take place at Big Bear Mountain Resorts, and its two major runs, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, with their combined 17 lifts. All roads are open, though a system arriving today is anticipated to bring a chance of showers over the weekend.
It is advised that those traveling in the mountains carry tire chains.

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