Big Bear Lake Snowfall Totals & Snowstorm Averages





This page pulls together information on when, how much and how often Big Bear Lake, California has snow.

There are data and descriptions of how many days it snows and the total amount of snowfall that Big Bear Lake usually gets. There are also monthly and yearly counts of the days that the resort town normally has heavy snowstorms. Plus there's information on when Big Bear Lake can expect the first and last snowfalls of the season.

All the numbers are averages, based on weather data gathered from 1981 to 2010 at Big Bear Lake, a mountain town in the San Bernardino National Forest of southern California.

How Often it Snows in Big Bear Lake

This first table lists monthly and yearly totals for amount of snow and how many days it snows at least 0.1 inches (0.25 centimetres).

Average total snowfall and days with fresh snow in Big Bear Lake
Days   Inches Centi­metres
3.9 January 15.8 40.1
3.3 February 15.2 38.6
3.3 March 13.5 34.3
1.4 April 3.7 9.4
0.3 May 0.5 1.3
0.1 June 0.0 0.0
0.3 October 1.2 3.0
1.4 November 4.3 10.9
3.2 December 11.5 29.2
17.2 Year 65.7 166.9

These averages don't show how much the snowfall in Big Bear Lake varies from year to year.

In December, for instance, one in four years totals over 17.4 inches of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive no more than four inches for the month.

Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 25.2 inches, while the lightest years get less than 6.6 inches.

New snow for February ranges from over 23.7 inches in heavy snowfall years to under 2.6 inches in light years.

When Big Bear Lake Has Its First & Last Snowfalls

The first snowfall of winter for Big Bear Lake can arrive as early as October or as late as December. Most commonly, the snow starts flying in November. But once every four years or so, November sees no snow.

The season's last snowfall for the ski resort town usually happens in April, although some fresh snow can arrive in May or even June. About one in four Aprils get no new snow.

Big Bear Lake is normally free of snow every year from July to September.

How Many Snowstorms Big Bear Lake Gets

Most days of snowfall in Big Bear Lake leave at least an inch of fresh snow. For eight days a year on average, the amount of new snow totals three inches or more.

Snowstorms of over five inches a day normally occur four or five times a year. Typically one or two of these storms are major blizzards that dump ten inches or more. Snow events this severe can descend on the town anytime from November to April.

Number of days per month and year on average in Big Bear Lake with a total snowfall of at least 1, 3, 5 or 10 inches
1 inch
2.5 cm
3 inches
7.6 cm
  5 inches
12.7 cm
10 inches
25.4 cm
3.4 2.3 January 1.3 0.5
2.9 1.8 February 0.9 0.4
3.0 1.8 March 1.1 0.3
1.1 0.3 April 0.2 0.1
0.2 0.0 May 0.0 0.0
0.2 0.0 October 0.0 0.0
1.3 0.6 November 0.1 0.1
2.7 1.6 December 0.8 0.2
14.8 8.4 Year 4.4 1.6
Reference

National Climatic Data Center. NOAA's 1981-2010 Climate Normals.

California Snowfall
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