The winter storm of the past few days is over, leaving a thick coat of snow on the higher parts of the San Gabriel Mountains and a thin dusting on the lower parts, even the mountains behind the Hollywood Hills, still lingering though mid-morning.
By mid-afternoon, most of the snow in the second photo appeared to have melted, and the patches on Mt. Wilson (barely visible to the left in the first and third images) had mostly faded. The next ridge back was still thoroughly covered, though!
I left work just before sunset, to make sure I could get some photos of the reddish light glinting off of the still snow-covered mountains.
Seriously, it hasn’t snowed in the Los Angeles basin since 1962. We get snow in the mountains most years. And the San Fernando Valley apparently got a snowstorm in 1989. But the coast? Basically never.
From yesterday: the first significant snow in the mountains above Los Angeles this winter, courtesy of last week’s storm.
Unfortunately, it’s almost spring. The weather has already warmed up again. Last week I was wearing sweaters and a medium jacket. Today I’m back to short sleeves, and I had to put the jacket away on my lunchtime walk.
And there’s not much of that snow left today.
KQED has some great photos of snow in the Sierra Nevadas after the same storm. That’s more important, as California depends more on the Sierra snowpack for water during the summer.
They’re expecting another storm to come through next weekend. I guess we’ll see how much snow we get. And how long it sticks around.
Even in sunny Los Angeles, snowflakes symbolize Christmas and winter. It snows here, what, once every 100 years? (And we’re likely to wait even longer in the future.)
Update: The day before I posted this, KCET ran an article (with a photo gallery) on the history of snow in Los Angeles. It turns out it used to snow roughly once a decade…until 1962. It hasn’t snowed on the plain since. It snows in the higher mountains just about every year, and the San Fernando Valley (higher than the coastal plain) got a snowstorm in 1989. But the LA basin? Nothing in the last 54 years. Los Angeles is about 5°F warmer than it was a century ago. Half of that can be accounted for by the urban heat island effect. The rest is atmospheric warming.
Check out the KCET article – they’ve got some amazing pictures from LA snowfalls, mostly in the 1930s and 1940s.
Last week’s storms actually dropped snow in the San Gabriel Mountains that lasted more than a few hours! Clouds have hid them from view for the last few days, but this morning I could see snow behind the distant LA skyline, before the smog layer thickened too much to be able to tell.