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.
I was expecting to see more snow on the San Gabriel mountains after yesterday’s storm, but was kind of disappointed…until it became clear that the bulk of the snow was on another mountain range. Saddleback was bright white, visible shining as far away as Carson as we made our way toward Orange County. Snow not only reached further down the slopes than usual, but even the mountains to the south were dusted with white, which has never happened in my memory. (If I have my bearings right, they’re just west of Lake Elsinore.)
Since we were going to the Irvine Spectrum on our way to our evening plans, I figured I’d try to match some scenic views from years past before we headed into the mall to take the kiddo to the ice skating rink and Ferris Wheel.
The rain on Friday dropped the annual light dusting of snow on Saddleback. I caught glimpses of it while out walking with J on Saturday, but the peaks were still shrouded in clouds. Sunday, however, the sky was almost completely clear.
I kind of wish that sign wasn’t in the middle there, but my Photoshop (well, Gimp) skills aren’t quite up to it. Maybe I’ll give it a shot with context-aware fill at some point.
It was awfully hazy toward the north, though, and you can see the San Gabriels are fading into the haze toward the left of the frame.
These were taken at the same spot as the loooong snowy panorama from January 2008, the Misty Mountains from December of the same year, and the cloud window panorama from January 2010. (I should really just come up with something to tag all the photos I’ve taken there.)
On my drive to work this morning, a gap in the clouds left this amazing view of the San Gabriels covered in snow from the last week’s worth of storms, lit up by the rising sun. By the time I made it up to Los Angeles, clouds had blocked the view, and I didn’t see any mountains for the rest of the day.
Yesterday morning on my way to work, I looked over and saw the San Gabriel Mountains practically glowing with the morning light of the sun. A layer of cloud blocked the sun where I was, making the distant peaks look that much brighter. I stopped at a spot where I knew I’d have a good view of the mountain range.
It turned out to be a really interesting view, as you can see from the panorama below.
District Mountain Panorama
By lunchtime, the sky above was mostly clear, and clouds were bunched up against the mountains, completely blocking them. I was indoors most of the morning, but it seemed as if the cloud layer had just blown northward until it hit the mountains, then stopped.
Click on either image to go to its Flickr page.
Side Note: Stitching
Since Canon’s PhotoStitch no longer works on Snow Leopard, I’ve tried out Hugin again. It’s come a long way since I first tried to use it and spent hours just getting a panorama to break up spectacularly and went hunting for PhotoStitch on the disc that came with the camera! I can’t get it to automatically detect control points on Fedora, but it does a surprisingly good job even when I’ve only marked around 10 or so. The ability to customize things like which pieces appear in front of others, or which projection to use, has turned out to be useful as well.