More than a foot of fresh snow fell during a late-winter storm on the weekend of March 17 and 18, 2012 at Mountain High ski resort in Wrightwood, Calif. NBC4's Jacob Rascon interviews one of the first snowboarders to line up Sunday morning.
Snowboarders and skiers hit the slopes on Sunday at Mountain High in Wrightwood where more than a foot of new-fallen snow and freshly-groomed slopes awaited.
The “March Miracle” arrived just in time for thrill-seekers to squeak in one more day of runs this season down the meandering slopes of one of Southern California’s most popular destinations.
“I’m stoked because it’s the first actual powder day of the whole season,” said snowboarder Jamie, one of the first people to line up at the lifts. “All the trails are finally open. … Perfect.”
Southern California ski resorts were thanking the snow gods. Two other popular resorts, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit in San Bernardino County, saw up to 27 inches.
As Jamie and the masses made their way down the slopes, more than 20,000 people took part in the Honda LA Marathon.
Many feared it'd be a wet marathon like it was last year, as a late-winter storm dropped on Saturday about an inch of rain in the lower elevations, as much as two inches in the foothills and more than a foot of snow on the highest peaks.
The rain-slicked roads contributed to a more than sevenfold increase in LA County freeway crashes, the CHP reported. And 911 dispatchers fielded nearly 5,000 help calls.
Power was knocked out to more than 13,000 Southern California Edison customers on Saturday.
That number dropped on Sunday to 5,400.
A falling tree in Corona took down some power lines along Temescal Canyon Road near Lawson Road on Saturday, prompting authorities to close it in both directions while repairs were made.
In the Cajon Pass, fog, rain and snow flurries in the upper reaches caused fender benders and hydroplaning. The wet weather was blamed for three successive crashes in the same location on state Route 79 in southern Beaumont.
Two CHP officers at the scene of the two previous crashes narrowly avoided a vehicle that crashed into a patrol car.
A chance of showers will continue into the evening. Snow levels could fall to around 2,500 feet.
On the coast, a surf advisory remained until 3 a.m. Monday, with waves possibly reaching nine feet.
A winter weather advisory was in effect above 2,500 feet. A wind advisory was in effect until 9 p.m. Sunday.
Westerly winds of 15-25 mph are predicted for the lower elevations, with gusts up to 40 mph. Gusts across mountain peaks could hit 55 mph.
Cold air filling in behind the front will keep temperatures well below normal. Overnight lows will range between the upper 20s in the high country to the upper 30s in and around Riverside.
Forecasters predict that by the time spring arrives Tuesday, Southern California could see partly cloudy skies and highs near 70 degrees.