Anza sees excessive snow totals following holiday storms

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Lenticular clouds indicate high winds following a snow storm in Anza in December. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

Anza Valley residents can’t seem to stop commenting on the exceptional snowfall accumulations in December, and certain areas received more than a foot of snow from two significant storms.

Officially, Anza experiences an average of just over 5 inches of snow each winter. This number indicates that some years receive less and some more of the white stuff, and it seems that 2019-2020 will be above the average mark.

According to records kept from 1943-2005, average precipitation received in the Anza Valley is 12.79 inches per year, with average snowfall totals recorded at 5.8 inches.

The storms caused business and school closures, traffic snarls and slippery road and driveway conditions. Many residents learned how to apply tire chains for the first time, while many others remained home.

“It covered the entire valley and it was beautiful,” Jill Holt said, who was able to stay home and avoid much of the fray.

Snowmen were built, show angels created and sleds and toboggans taken out and dusted off for fun and games. Pictures of the snowy landscapes and mountains flooded social media.

Much of the snow fell from the 3,000 foot elevation on up. The greatest amounts were recorded above 7,000 feet.

Dalton Severns, who keeps locals informed of current weather conditions with his Hemet Valley Storm Chaser Facebook page, encouraged the sharing of his videos of the snowfall in Idyllwild on Facebook groups like Anza Accurate Emergency Alerts. Residents used this information to plan their days during the storms.

The wet nature of the flurries caused snow to settle on tree branches and weigh them to the point of breaking, and the cracking of trees could be heard until the snow melted off.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at dsieker@reedermedia.com.