Taste of winter brings snow to tram, surprises visitors

First Winter Storm hits the Valley.

PALM SPRINGS, Cailf. - An early winter storm covered the San Jacinto mountains with snow and brought rain drizzles to the valley floor.  The chilly weather and snow came as a complete shock for many visitors the the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, some who dressed for the norm this time of year.  "It was pretty cold, like 28 degrees," said Booth Harrison, who was visiting from Bakersfield, California.  "It was snowing, the snow was pretty slick."

The abnormal conditions brought wind and cloudy, gray skies that put a damper on the tram ride for one group of tourists from London, England.  "We took the cable car trip to the top of the mountain, and we saw absolutely nothing because of the mist," said John Merrick. 

On the valley floor, some rain fell and temperatures dropped far below the average this time of year. "I looked at the temperature last week and it said 93 and I thought okay, we're going to run into some summer weather," said John Vizcaino, who was visiting from Modesto.  "Wow, it's a surprise." 

Though many chose to stay out of the rain, others took the abnormal conditions in stride, huddling under umbrellas, walking on rain-soaked streets and not even some wet weather could keep people away from a photo with the Marilyn statue.   "You know, we're enjoying it anyway," said Vizcaino.  "This is nice.  I mean maybe in the middle of the winter, we wouldn't be enjoying it, but yeah, it's a pleasant surprise." 

While visitors dealt with a less than perfect day in the valley, Joseph Fabrizio spoke for many of the people who call the desert home.   "Somebody was like, why don't you stay inside?" said Fabrizio.  "I said, I'm from the desert, rain is a blessing."

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