Tire chain conditions were finally lifted around 2 p.m. Wednesday on Highways 330 and 18, as snowplows were finally able to clear roads and removed dozens of vehicles abandoned during the storm.
"The roads were real fun," said Big Bear Lake resident Rick Walker sarcastically. "We get a lot of people from out of town that don't know how to drive in the snow and it really makes it hectic."
After a relatively dry January, the snow came at the perfect time for operators of ski and snowboard resorts. Snow Valley spokesperson Dave Miller said they prefer when storms come in mid-week, especially if a holiday weekend is right around the corner.
"The timing is perfect," said Miller. "We love to have midweek storms, because all of us who drive on the roads know when the roads are clear, it makes it a much better drive for us."
The storm dropped 8.5 inches of snow at Lake Arrowhead resort and 12 inches at the nearby community of Twin Peaks.
To the north, a high school soccer match was played in snowfall in the desert community of Hesperia.
The wintry blast arrived just days after Southern California baked in summerlike weather. The system was initially expected to have little moisture.
There were 190 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes and another 165 in the clouds across Southern California, the National Weather Service said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.