Oh, what a difference a year makes. Last winter, California was in the midst of a fourth-consecutive bad snow year with ski areas struggling to keep the lifts turning due to very little moisture and warm temperatures. And although this winter hasn't been record breaking in the Sierra, even an average amount of snowfall seems amazing to snow-starved California skiers. This week a series of storms will add to the snowpack as the year's first traditional El Niño weather pattern brings rain and flooding to cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Our advice? Whether you're in NorCal or SoCal, bail on the cities and head for the hills: there will be fresh snow in the mountains.