Sierra Teeth-Chatter: Early Snow for Mammoth

One more heat blast is due for SoCal, but the mountains are chillin'.

THREE-DIGIT TEMPERATURES... and October aren't quite as cozy, nor classic, as say ice cream and cake or peanut butter and jelly. We want our first full month of fall to involve some knee socks and knit caps and, if possible, a few leaf piles and cups of piping hot apple cider. We're not looking for icy drinks or swimsuits or sprays that keep sweating at bay, as those are the items of summertime, not autumn.

And yet, as is tradition, October around Southern California leans hot. True, once Halloween arrives it'll stay nice-to-cool through the time of June Gloom, but that doesn't solve our cider-scarves situation when we want it solved. Parts of the San Fernando Valley are due to top 100 degrees over the second weekend in October, but there are places, within a half day's drive, that are observing the traditional rules of October very nicely. Look to the Sierra, where fall is settling in, and observe Mammoth Mountain, which received a frosty snowfall with the arrival of the month. An Oct. 5 post from the ski destination revealed that "we celebrated 20 degree weather and an inch of snow at the top." Even if you can't make it up before this first wave of snow goes, you can picture it, to cool off, when the heat returns to Southern California.

AND YOU CAN START YOUR SNOW PLANS, which can officially begin at the resort on Nov. 11. Oh, that's not to say that there isn't stuff going down around the Sierra ahead of the opening day -- fall colors are going big around Convict Lake and the Bishop area -- but if you want some flakes action, to deter the perspiration-making temperatures you faced around SoCal in October, look to November and even December, when the resort will be in full hum. It's always nice to see snow hit the mountains while we down at the lower elevations weather the very last bit of our late-pushing summer. Keep the fan on high and daydream of snowball fights, SoCalers.

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