Water Levels for Big Bear Lake

Mallard Bay January 2018

With the low lake level and the lack of precipitation, I thought it would be good to give you a quick update.  I’ve been hearing a lot of inaccurate comments about our lake.  Things like….”it hasn’t been this bad since the 1960’s!” (not true).  It doesn’t look good right now but we’ve been here before and the lake will come back.  It might take longer than we would like but it will fill up.

We’re currently 14′ 10″ from being full according to the the Big Bear Municipal Water District.    In 2004, we were 17′ from being full.  The following year the lake completely filled up.  In 1992, the lake was down 13′ and completely filled up in 1993.  So, while it is a little depressing to see we must realize that the lake level fluctuates from year to year based on the amount of precipitation we get and some years are going to be better than others.

You can go on the MWD’s website and view the lake level as well as the monthly precipitation measurements.  Below is an example of the chart they provide to the public.  Going all the way back to 1884, on average February is the wettest month of the year (7.40), followed by January (7.07) and March (6.20).  So let’s hope for a wet February!

 

 

Big Bear Dam not at risk

Big Bear Dam

Municipal Water District officials are not concerned about an event similar to Oroville happening in Big Bear.   Below is an article from Natalie Williams of the Big Bear Grizzly.

Big Bear Dam not at risk

Unlike the damage, flooding and evacuations at the Oroville Dam in Northern California, the dam on Big Bear Lake is in good shape.

“As far as dam safety and issues and concerns of flooding, we’re about half capacity right now, so we have a long ways to go, ” said Mike Stephenson, general manager of the Big Bear Municipal Water District.  As of February 1`, the dam was 13 feet, 4 inches from full.

Stephenson said the Big Bear Lake dam is not at risk of experiencing issues similar to the Oroville Dam in Northern California.  The problems with Oroville Dam began February 7 after a large hole emerged in a spillway after the region experienced heavy rains.  Evacuations for at least 188,000 followed February 12 after there were concerns of the spillway failing, according to The Mercury News.

The Big Bear dam can withstand an 8.3-plus earthquake and 3 feet of water over the top, Stephenson said.

When water is released from the Big Bear dam, it takes nine hours to travel from the Big Bear dam to the Seven Oaks dam.  “Seven Oaks is double the capacity of Big Bear and can never be more than half full, so it can take the entire Big Bear Lake and hold it behind it,” Stephenson said.  If there were a breach, Seven Oaks would be able to successfully capture the water.  There are a few campgrounds near the path of the water, which are unoccupied during the winter months, so Stephenson said there’s really no risk or danger.

“Our capabilities for release are incredible,” Stephenson said.  “And if we got into a situation where we saw an impending storm, and we’re a foot or two from full, we certainly would start a release, kind of like what Oroville is doing right now with what’s going on up there.”

To help with the safety, the MWD bolted some rocks to the side of cliffs near the dam and conducted a routing study a few years ago to see if there were erosion or overtopping concerns.

“The routing study, what it does is it kind of models the water going over the top of the dam and what potentially kind of erosion, like what happened in Oroville, could create,” Stephenson said.  “And there were no concerns.”

The east side of the dam has experienced some spalling, or erosion, of the concrete, but the MWD said it is damage caused to the original 1-foot archways.  In 2005-06 the MWD added a 2-foot thick dam behind that dam, so it is secure, Stephenson said.  “Our dam right now is a big blob of concrete, it’s 32 feet, it’s pretty damn strong, there’s no fear of it failing,” he said.

The MWD also has an operations plan from its engineer, Mike Rogers of Montgomery.  Watson and Harza, which instructs the district that if there is 12 inches of predicted precipitation and the dam is a foot from full, water needs to be released, Stephenson said.

“We have a pretty robust plan as far as any issue,” Stephenson said.  “It’s kind of funny the last conversation I had with reporters was drought, now we’re talking flood and the dam breaks.  And that’s how these things come.  Right now we’re actually hoping we get some of that rain up north.”

The MWD dam has approval from its engineer and experiences bi-annual inspections from the Division of Safety of Dams for the state of California, Stephenson said.  Right now, Stephenson still hopes to receive additional precipitation.

We’re certainly not out of the woods yet as far as drought and low lake level,” Stephenson said.

Temporary Relief – Recent Storms Aren’t Panacea for Drought

The quality of the video above isn’t very good…but I was out for a jog and was pleasantly surprised at how well the water was flowing out of Grout Creek (over in Fawnskin) back into Big Bear Lake.  I know some of us are a little jealous at how much snow Mammoth is getting (and Big Bear is not), but the rain is good for our lake and aquifers.  The article below was written by Kathy Portie and Natalie Williams of the Big Bear Grizzly last week.

Temporary Relief

Recent storms during Christmas and New Year’s holidays have added more than 7 inches to the level of Big Bear Lake.  But overall, the lake level remains low as Big Bear Valley enters its sixth year of drought.

Two snow storms at the end of December helped make the holiday successful from a business standpoint, but how did it impact the drought?

Not so much, according to officials from Big Bear Valley’s water districts.

“You could say it gives us a false sense of security,” said Jerry Griffiths, water superintendent for the Big Bear City Community Services District.  “We need a great January and February also, if we’re going to see any impacts at all.”

Big Bear, as with the state of California, has been in the midst of a drought for more than five years.  The last time Big Bear was faced with a drought of this magnitude was 2002-2005, Griffiths said.  He likes to use those numbers when calculating the impacts and needs involving the current drought.

“According to our office measurements, we had almost 4-and-a-half-inches of precipitation this last storm,” Griffiths said.  “That sounds like a lot.  But last year in January, we got 4-and-a-half, and it still didn’t (help). ”

Griffiths said his crew plans to measure well levels this week.  Based on November’s numbers, the CSD wells are 42 feet down. At the lowest point during the last major drought in 2004, that level was about 60 feet down, he said.  “That was pretty severe,” Griffiths.  “We go down about 5 feet a year.  If we don’t continue to get good precipitation, we could see it go down more.”

At the Big Bear Municipal Water District, which manages recreation and safety on Big Bear Lake, general manager Mike Stephenson said the two December storms did give a boost to the lake level.  “It’s come up 7-and-a-half inches this season since after Thanksgiving at the lowest point,” Stevenson said.  “That one rainstorm (before Christmas) brought it up the most.”

Stephenson said the last snow raised the lake about half an inch.  “And it’s going to go down in the ground, up in the air or into the lake,” he said.

The mountain resort sources it’s snowmaking water from the lake.  With the recent storms and overal warm weather, the mountain resorts haven’t pumped as much water from the lake as previous year, Stephenson said.

“In the last two weeks they only pumped like 40 acre feet or something.   It’s super minimal,” Stephenson said.  “Right now, the total is an inch of lake level, maybe.”

Sierra Orr, water conservation and public information specialist for the Big Bear Lake Department of Water, said the DWP has wells in multiple aquifers, so groundwater levels vary.

“While some well levels are in decline, recent calculations show that even with some wells offline and continued drought projections, the water supply is sufficient for more than three years,” Orr said.

It’s difficult to determine how much rain or snow Big Bear needs to offset the drought, Orr said.

“While every inch helps, it’s important for people to keep conserving, otherwise our aquifers won’t get a chance to recharge,” she said.  “Our most recent weather year precipitation total was still 5 inches below average, or 14 percent below average.”

Orr said it’s important that people continue to conserve as California enters into its sixth year of drought.  “Even if we are on the way out of the drought, California will have another one down the road,” Orr said.  “We as a state must adhere to the governor’s orders to make water conservation a California way of life.  We are happy to see the state has adopted many of the policies that Big Bear has had in place for over a decade, including the restrictions on runoff, washing off sidewalks or houses, and requiring property owners to fix leaks.”

In November, Governor Jerry Brown’s office released a public review draft report of an executive order to make conservation the California was of life.  The order contains four interrelated objectives including using water more wisely, eliminating water waste, strengthening local drought resilience, and improving agricultural water use efficiency and drought planning.

In the meantime, Big Bear water agencies keep their eyes to the sky. “We need lots more,” Stephenson said.  “This is just the beginning, this 7.5 inches.  We lost 3-and-a-half feet this summer, and we’re going on five years of that.”

Stephenson said the key to improving the lake level is to follow the snowfall with some rain.  The next few weather systems appear to be on the wetter side, Stephenson said.

“We’re certainly encouraged by the forecast,” Stephenson said.  “The one storm later in the week could be substantial with precipitation from the sky and that could be substantial.  We’re just wet, and we’re happy but there’s certainly a long ways to go.”

Meanwhile the state’s water agencies are anticipating new regulations, Orr said.  “We expect the California Water Commission will likely approve a new slate of policies  and regulations at their meeting Jan. 19,” Orr said.  “If that’s the case, we have a lot of work ahead of us.  The way we use and manage water is becoming top of mind, and we think that’s a good thing.”

Newsletter of the Big Bear Municipal Water District (Fall/Winter 2016)

Bathymetry Chart (Lake Levels)
Bathymetry Chart (Lake Levels)

Below is a quick article provided by the Big Bear Municipal Water District regarding the lake levels in Big Bear Lake through their most recent Newsletter called Lake Views.  With the obvious low lake level being on everyone’s mind I thought it was timely, informative, and worthy of sharing.

DROUGHT

The history of fluctuating lake levels changes daily depending on who you ask and how many times the story has been told.  Currently there are few reliable sources of information but here are some facts to put it in perspective.

Over the last 114 years, the State of California Department of Water Resources has been collecting and storing historical data regarding rain and snow fall along with inflow to California lakes.  Rain and snowfall data has also been collected at the Bear Valley Dam, specifically since 1909.  What we do know is that Big Bear Lake is just over one hundred years old and has filled only eleven times.  In-between those full years we have had varying conditions, depending on precipitation.

In recent years (which is as far as most can remember) Big Bear Lake filled in 2011 and the District had to release what would have spilled over the top of the Dam.  Just shy of 10,000 acre feet of water, the equivalent of 1/7th of the total volume of the Lake, ran straight into the ocean.  That amount of water would fill approximately 5,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Since early Spring 2012 to date, the Lake has dropped due to evaporation to 16’3″ down from full.  This is the quickest mother nature has taken from the Lake with evaporation and not given back with valley precipitation in recorded history; an alarming number considering there is no end in sight.

The Lake was in a similar situation in 2004 and on October 17th it started to rain at 3:45 in the afternoon.  It continued to rain and snow until the following Spring.  The Lake was sitting at 4′ down from full in May of 2005 and then filled to capacity in 2006.  We have been here before, and we will be here again.

Unfortunately, weather predictions tend to feel like darts and don’t always hit the board and surely not the bullseye.  Farmer’s almanac says get out the snow shovels while the ocean is cooling more towards a La Nina pattern.  The winter of 2015-2016 was touted as a monster El Nino which had everyone tuning up the snow blower.  Northern California and the State Water Project benefited greatly while lakes in the south remained dry.  Interesting fact:  Big Bear Lake has never filled and spilled during an El Nino event but has twice filled during a La Nina year.

The next rumor to squash is that we have a secret pipe to fill the Lake  or we let all the water out for people to make Kool-Aid.  Precipitation that falls within our 72 square mile watershed is the only way water is added to the Lake or aquifer.  Only about 42 square miles of that watershed contributes to Big Bear Lake with the balance flowing towards Baldwin Lake.  The division in the watershed is right around well…Division Drive.  The east portion of the watershed has significantly less precipitation than the west end of the watershed.

What Mother Nature doesn’t deliver in any given year, the District has made an agreement to minimize the effect on our Lake with a negotiated water purchase from Valley Municipal Water District (a water wholesaler) who would purchase from the state water project and deliver straight to Big Bear Valley Mutual Water Company (the owner of the water in Big Bear Lake).  This agreement is what we now refer to as the In-Lieu Water Agreement.  This contract is very complicated; however, the short explanation is the District buys water (over a million dollars annually) in-lieu of releasing water from the Lake.

The idea was to protect the local economy from suffering from the drastic Lake level draw-downs experienced in the 1950’s and 60’s.  Today, as this is written, the Lake would be below 25′ down without this agreement.

Stand by because we have been here before and we will experience this again, maybe the next edition of the Lake Views newsletter will have us writing about flooding and what to do with all the water.  The Lake level cycle in the Big Bear Valley is to be continued…

MWD Prepares for EL Nino Season

Stranded Dock off of Gibralter Road
Many private docks around Big Bear Lake are either stranded or nearly stranded because of the falling lake level.  The Municipal Water District encourages dock owners to secure their docks for the Winter in case of a significant El Nino event.

The drought over the last several years has definitely impacted Big Bear Lake…let’s hope the lake fills up this Winter!  Article written by Kathie Portie of the Big Bear Grizzly.

The lake rose 12 feet during the last El Niño event in 2005. Ten years later, employees of the Big Bear Municipal Water District are still finding pieces of runaway docks.

Because of the drought prior to El Niño’s arrival, many of the docks were sitting on dry land before the winter. Winter storms caused several docks to float away, many of them crashing against the shoreline and breaking into pieces.

“We had 96 tons of unidentifiable dock chunks (picked up) after the winter,” MWD General Manager Mike Stephenson said. “People were saying ‘where are our docks.’ They were blowing to the east and breaking up. People lost their stuff.”

This time around, with predictions of a strong El Niño in the air, the MWD is being more proactive, Stephenson said. “You can definitely expect at least an average fill, which is about 2 feet,” he said.

The MWD encourages dock owners to take necessary steps to secure their docks prior to the upcoming winter season. The owners of licensed docks can store their docks in a variety of ways—move the dock out of the water and above the high water line on property owned by the licensee, or store the dock with any commercial marina authorized by the MWD to store docks.

Another option is to securely anchor the dock offshore in the vicinity of the licensed property no more than 100 feet from the water line or within the center line of a bay or cove. The dock cannot interfere with adjacent properties or navigation channels.

Stephenson said one of the simplest ways to protect the dock is to keep the dock poles from sliding out of the sleeve brackets. This way, he said, the poles stay with the dock if it drifts away. “The poles will hit the ground and keep the dock from hitting the shoreline and breaking up,” Stephenson said. “That’s where the value is. Last time, the docks slid off the poles and then broke up when they hit the shore. We’re still running around pulling up dock poles from the last time.”

Ways to secure the poles to the dock include using a straight bolt, a U clamp or a bolted collar.

During the TroutfesT weekend, Stephenson said a Lake Patrol boat found one such pole, which caused quite a bit of damage to the boat’s propeller.

MWD Image

Lower Lake Level Changes Launch Ramp Late Season Schedule

 

East Boat Launch Ramp
East Boat Launch Ramp

A quick but informative article from Kathy Portie of the Big Bear Grizzly.

There’s another casualty of the California drought, and it’s right here in Big Bear. The Carol Morrison Public Launch Ramp, locally known as the East Ramp, will close to trailered boat launching beginning Oct. 5.

The East Ramp usually stays open later in the season, but the low lake level on the east end of Big Bear Lake has made launching boats from trailers more difficult. The shoreline will still be accessible for hand-launch vessels such as kayaks from Oct. 5 to Nov. 2 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. The parking lot will remain open during the same time period for vehicle parking.

To make up for the loss of the East Ramp during the late season, the Big Bear Municipal Water District will keep the Duane Boyer Public Launch Ramp, or West Ramp, open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily from Oct. 5 to Nov. 30.

“We hoped to push it to the October TroutfesT and we’ve made it,” MWD General Manager Mike Stephenson said. “It’s not a big impact this time of the season. We had 15 boats on Sunday and today (Sept. 22) there wasn’t a single trailer in the parking lot when I went by. We can accommodate pretty much what we get in a weekend with the one ramp.”

The East Ramp is closed for the winter from Nov. 3 through March 31. The West Ramp closes for the winter on Dec. 1 and remains closed through March 31.

“We’ll keep the East Ramp staffed until it gets cold,” Stephenson said. “People can still use the rest room, and the fishing pier and the pedal path. And people can hand-carry launch.”

The East Ramp is located at 41911 North Shore Drive, a quarter-mile west of Stanfield Cutoff. The West Ramp is at 38925 North Shore Drive, 1.5 miles west of Fawnskin.

For more information on boating on Big Bear Lake, visit www.bbbmwd.com.

 

Warm Winter Affecting Lake Levels in Big Bear Lake

Grout Bay january 3 2014

Here’s a quick article from Katherine Davis-Young of the Big Bear Grizzly regarding the lack of precipitation this Winter…not a big surprise, but it’s definitely a concern heading into the Summer boating season.

Water Woes

Warm Winter Leaves Lake Levels Low for Summer

Water in Big Bear Lake evaporated as much this February as it does in an average June, according to Big Bear Municipal Water District General Manager Mike Stephenson. That’s something Stephenson, who has worked for the district since 1996, has not seen before.

“I’ve seen the levels off, but not this much in a February,” Stephenson said. “February was extremely hot, warm, windy and dry. The evaporation just went crazy.”

During an average February, about 200 acre-feet of water will evaporate from the lake. This year, it was closer to 1,200, Stephenson said.

“It was scary because when you start getting summer-like evaporation in the winter, you say ‘jeez, where are we going to end up this year,’” Stephenson said.

The lake is about 11 feet down from full, and Stephenson expects it could dip about 3 feet lower throughout summer and fall if there are no major weather events to bring more water into the lake. Big Bear Lake did receive more precipitation this November, December and January than the previous winter, according to National Weather Service records, but the lake level is still lower than it was at this time last year.

“Just because you receive precipitation, it doesn’t mean it will make it to the lake,” Stephenson said, adding that the past three years have had among the lowest amounts of inflow into the lake for any three-year period on record.

The lake fared a little better in March than February, Stephenson said. Cooler temperatures and a little snow helped slow the rate of evaporation. Lake levels steadied for a few days as snow melted, though they are beginning to decline again. Stephenson doesn’t expect to see much more runoff making it into the lake without more precipitation.

“There’s nothing left in the watershed,” Stephenson said. “(The rain and snow that fell this winter) already pretty much went into the ground or it’s already in the lake.” He added that the unmelted snow still on Big Bear’s ski slopes is “not enough to matter.”

Right now it would take more than 9 billion gallons of water to fill the lake, Stephenson said.

Even in the worst drought in California history, things could be worse. Stephenson said last year the MWD spent more than $1.2 million on its agreement to buy water for Bear Valley Mutual Water Company rather than releasing water from the lake to the company. That has prevented the lake levels from falling much lower. “Without that agreement we’d be in really, really big trouble right now,” Stephenson said.

Stephenson also pointed out that, the lake has been lower than its current level in years past, and the local economy has made do.

“I’m actually not nervous. The lake will recreate wonderfully, the launch ramp will be in full operation, the marinas aren’t going to suffer a lot,” Stephenson said.

Serena Saunders, of Captain John’s Fawn Harbor & Marina, said she will likely have to move docks out farther, but she plans to just keep following the water. “That’s really the only thing we can do,” Saunders said. “It’s tough, but it’s a cycle that’s happened in Big Bear before and we’ve made it through. We’ll still be open and ready for business. This summer will be just as fun as any other summer,” she said.

Leo McCarthy, general manager and harbor master at Pine Knot Marina, said the business will definitely be making adjustments, but said, “It’s a crapshoot, you never know what the weather will bring.”

Stephenson estimates it would take about two more dry years before the lake dipped 17 feet below full, like it did in 2004. Until that happens, he said he’ll stay optimistic.

“There’s still a lot of lake out there,” he said.

1st Quarter Big Bear Lakefront Update

As we look at sales in 2015 I think it’s important to take a look at the fluctuating water levels along Big Bear Lake.  I believe this is having an impact in the number of sales (or lack thereof) along the lakefront in Big Bear.

Big Bear Lake Levels

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 4.22.26 PM

As you can tell from the graph above,  we are currently at the lowest level in about a decade (purple line).  The measurement as of March 9th, 2015 was 61’5” at Big Bear Dam.  That’s 10’10” below full!

But I wouldn’t fret.  If you look at 2005 (blue line), our lake level went up from 59.86 feet, to 70.07 feet in just 6 months….so  eventually it will go back up and it might only take one good wet season.  It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen this year but I think we can all agree that it would be nice to get some precipitation and fill up the lake.

Now let’s talk about sales in 2015.  Right now we have 14 lakefront homes currently on the market.  We have 2 closed sales in the first quarter of 2015, and we have 3 pending sales.  With such low inventory and low water levels I anticipate fewer sales in 2015.  The buyers are out there, but they seem to be on the fence…waiting for the “right” property to come on the market.

Big Bear Lakefront Home at                                  39274 Waterview                                                   (Sale #1 in 2015)39274 Waterview

I really liked the open living room on this one.  Huge native stone fireplace and there was nice lake views from every room.  The one drawback was the access in and out off of Waterview.  It’s a shared driveway where the neighbors share the cost of plowing.  Difficult to maneuver even a mid-sized SUV in and out.   Below are the statistics of this lakefront sale.

Information Regarding this Lakefront Home Sale at 39274 Waterview

List Price: $1,290,000
Sales Price: $1,255,000
List Price to Sales Price Ratio: 97%
Days On Market: 371
Sold Price per Square Foot: $440.66
Sale Date: 2/20/2015

Photos of this Lakefront Home at             39274 Waterview

2140081_3 2140081_5 2140081_4 2140081_6 2140081_7 2140081_8 39274 Waterview

Big Bear Lakefront Home at                         39537 Lake Drive                                                      (Sale #2 in 2015)

39537 Lake Drive

This property was all about the outdoor living.  It had a beautiful lush lawn running down to the lake.  Nicely landscaped with a spa on the back patio.  I image that’s what the new owners fell in love with this lakefront property.

The inside of the home was a very “unique” floor plan…meaning it didn’t flow like your newer constructions of today with the massive great rooms.  This was a little more choppy.  The seller did make some nice upgrades.  New roof, new interior, new bathrooms, new kitchen and cork flooring.

Information Regarding this Lakefront Home Sale at 39537 Lake Drive

List Price: $1,350,000
Sales Price: $1,295,000
List Price to Sales Price Ratio: 96%
Days On Market: 174
Sold Price per Square Foot: $522.18
Sale Date: 3/13/2015

Photos of this Lakefront Home at             39537 Lake Drive

2142104_3 2142104_4 2142104_5 2142104_8 2142104_7 2142104_6 2142104_2

If you’re in the market for a lakefront home in Big Bear, feel free to contact me.  I’m a full time real estate agent that has been studying the lakefront market for more than a decade and am passionate about helping my clients.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Water Conservation in Big Bear (even during an Ice Bucket Challenge)

Ice Bucket
Ice Bucket

I read an article in the LA Times this morning (click here to view) about some sort of controversy regarding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in our drought-plagued state of California.  I don’t really see the controversy.  I’m sure many of you have participated in the challenge (including myself) and I think it has created tremendous awareness of ALS so in my mind, the benefits definitely outweigh the negative consequences of wasting a bucket of water.

Personally, I don’t think we’re wasting water any more than we normally do in our daily lives, but in an attempt to be politically correct, I’m going to post some water conservation tips that were mailed out by our local Department of Water and Power. Yes, the lake is down a little over 10′ (10′ 3” as of August 18th) and fire danger is high in the mountains of Southern California…..so it doesn’t hurt to be conscientious. 🙂

THE FOLLOWING WATER USE REGULATIONS ARE CURRENTLY IN PLACE IN THE BIG BEAR VALLEY:

  • **No outdoor watering between 9:00am and 6:00pm, April 1st through November 1st.
  • **Follow an odd/even schedule.  If your address ends in an odd number, water on odd calendar dates and even addresses may water on even calendar dates.
  • **No hose washing of paved area or any other surface including patios, buildings and structures.
  • **Water shall not run off properties onto streets.
  • Automatic shut-off nozzles are required on all hand-held hoses.
  • **Washing of vehicles, trailers, or boats must be done with a bucket & hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle.
  • All water leaks must be repaired once detected.
  • All irrigation systems must be shut off and winterized November 1st through April 1st.
  • Landscape plans are required to be submitted to the DWP (Department of Water and Power) for approval prior to installation of any turf or landscapes over 1,000 square feet.
  • Turf installations are limited to 1,000 square feet.  If you already have turf, you may install additional turf for a total of 1,000 square feet (existing and new).
  • **Water features must use re-circulating systems.

** These regulations are also part of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) emergency water conservation regulations that went into effect on July 29th, 2014.  For more information on indoor/outdoor conservation tips, please visit www.swrcb.ca.gov

 

 

Weather in the Mountains

map

I’ll admit, I jinxed the ski resorts this year when I purchased ski passes.  We haven’t had any snow to speak of!  But this week’s precipitation will definitely improve the lake level. So far moderate rain falling in Big Bear with just about a 1/2 inch since midnight but they say it will turn to snow later this afternoon.  Make sure to check with CalTrans before driving up….I had an appraiser who canceled an appointment this morning due to rock/mudslides around the Arctic Circle area.