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Local mountains see first major snowfall of season

Coachella Valley rain was accompanied by 6 inches of snow at top of Mt. San Jacinto

First major snowfall of the season for local mountains

PALM SPRINGS, Cali. -  It's that time of year again. Rain covers the valley and a new attraction draws visitors to the top of the tram, the first measurable snow of the season.
     Tom Snyder is a Palm Springs local and frequents the tramway. "It's going to come sooner or later, that cooling down. The 80 degree weather was great, I loved it. But, you know it's December, you have to expect a little cool down, and snow in the mountains. So, I love it."
     However, it's not just locals taking the eleven minute ride to the wintry haven.
     The Goh family is visiting from Singapore, and is very happy to be able to catch the first snow. "It's quite an experience because where we come from we don't see snow at all, in fact it's hot all year round. So this is quite an experience for us, it's quite a novelty and...I don't know it's just fun, making snow balls, throwing them at my brother and sisters," Mercus Goh told us.
     The first inch fell early Thursday morning, officially ending the annual first snow guessing contest. Ten people each won four tram passes, with more than 900 people entering the contest, including two from Australia.
     The snow didn't stop falling after just one inch though. By mid afternoon, the area around the mountain station had picked up more than six inches, with several more inches on the way.
     The trams public affairs manager Lena Zimmerschied filled us in on when we can expect winter activities to begin. "For the adventure center to open we generally need one to two feet of snow up at the top. And then we determine whether or not it's good enough snow for like, snow shoes, cross country skiing, you're always welcome to bring your own sled up to the top as long as it's made of plastic and not inflatable. So, there's plenty of places for kids to play."
     The cold temperatures will stick around and chances for additional snow will linger through next week. So it looks like everyone will soon have plenty of opportunities to enjoy a white Christmas on top of the tram.

     You can find details about the tramway on their webpage at

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