Mountain Musings


March miracle strikes the mountain


With the paltry amounts of rain and snow we’ve has so far this year, we could be looking at another dry summer… unless we get a March Miracle. Last week’s storms weren’t exactly a miracle, but I believe it could still happen.


“If only you believe like I believe, baby, we’d get by. All we gotta do baby, baby, baby, oh, baby is get a little faith in you, baby, baby. Oh, I’ve been so many places, I’ve seen some things, yes I have. I know love is the answer, yes, it is, keeps holding the world together, yeah. Ain’t nothing better.” (“Miracles – Jefferson Starship – 1975)


What was a miracle was the snowstorm we got on March 3 that had the Rim High School football team practicing in the midst of a snowstorm, which, according to Coach Joseph Jurado, had never before happened in March snow.


“Hey, there was some fun stuff. Snowball fights, players sliding around in the snow,” the coach said.


March Miracles are not unheard of around here and they actually occur about once every five to 10 years.


According to the National Weather Service, the last March snowstorm of any significance was in 2006, when the local mountains got three feet and it snowed in Redlands.


The March Miracle before that in 1998 brought one to two feet of snow to this area, followed by another three feet a week later. One I recall clearly in 1991 left our area with four to five feet of heavy, wet snow that dropped trees across roads and power lines. Power was out in some areas for nearly a week and school was canceled. As if that wasn’t bad enough, another three feet of snow that fell a week later resulted in an avalanche that trapped 100 motorists on Highway 18 near Big Bear.


Another humdinger in 1986 brought three feet of heavy snow, not to mention a tree into the side of the stately Motley Manor. Before that, two feet fell in March of 1976 and two to three feet in 1964. NWS’ records for this area are sketchy before 1964 and don’t mention any significant March snowstorms before then. However, there is mention of several feet of snow blanketing the San Bernardino Valley in March of 1848, which killed several thousand head of cattle. Then there was the storm in March 1938 that brought us 32 inches of rain and filled Lake Gregory in three days.


I always keep an ample supply of beer in the fridge for emergencies. But the strangest thing I’ve discovered in the freezer is a mysterious foil-wrapped package. Upon opening it, I found a completely frozen grey squirrel…makes me wonder what happened to all the other squirrels around here.


“It’s like having every dream I ever wanted come true, I picked up your vibes. You know, it opened up my eyes, but I’m still dreamin’, yeah. Oh, if you believe like I believe, baby, we’d get by.”


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott