Snow and small fire accompany thunder and lightning

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Snow, or as some say sleet or hail, fell on the Hill early Friday, Nov 21. The amount of rain and snow was not nearly sufficient to reduce the effects of the current drought.          Photo by Cheryl Basye

Snow, or as some say sleet or hail, fell on the Hill early Friday, Nov 21. The amount of rain and snow was not nearly sufficient to reduce the effects of the current drought. Photo by Cheryl Basye

The sleep of many Hill residents was interrupted by the boisterous thunderstorm early Friday morning, Nov. 21. About 4 a.m., bolts of lightning and clashes of thunder filled the local sky.

However, drought relief was not part of the weather message. During the storm, the U.S. Forest Service recorded about 0.25 inches of rain at the Keenwild Ranger Station. On the northern edge of the mountain, about 1.34 inches were recorded at the Vista Grande Station. According to the National Weather Service, this area received the greatest amount of rain.

Surprisingly, the rain turned to snow in most areas. In town, less than half an inch of snow fell, but George Tate recorded an inch of snow in Pine Cove after nearly three-quarters of an inch of rain fell there. The Town Crier’s annual Snow Guessing Contest is still on.

The lightning did ignite several small fires, according to the Forest Service. Four were sighted on Nov. 21. Three of those were near San Jacinto Peak. The Forest Service described all as single snag with 5-foot-by-5-foot ground fires.

Another small fire was seen Saturday and a sixth fire was seen and had grown to 1.5 acres Monday. That was near Coon Creek Cabin campground north of Interstate 10 in the San Bernardino National Forest. The Forest Service had sent firefighters to the scene.

The inclement weather also caused the cancellation of Idyllwild School’s annual Turkey Bowl — a football contest between faculty and students. A new date has not been determined.

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