There’s been a lot of talk about how often does it snow in Los Angeles, but few people actually know how much it actually does fall. In this article, we’ll talk about the average amount of snowfall in Los Angeles and some record-breaking events. For more information, read our Los Angeles snow facts. You’ll also learn how snow affects the city’s economy. The average snowfall in Los Angeles is only a couple inches a year, but a few inches can make the city look a little chilly.
Winter weather in Los Angeles
Although the weather is not particularly cold in Los Angeles, there are times when it is very muggy. A polar low in the Gulf of Alaska fails to bring much precipitable moisture southward to Los Angeles. Although Los Angeles generally receives twelve to fifteen inches of rainfall in a normal year, the extent of rainfall can vary greatly depending on the strength of the jet stream and the Gulf of Alaska low. Intermittent rainy periods are also possible if a well-developed series of cold fronts reaches the city.
While temperatures rarely dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the wind can make it seem like it is colder than it actually is. The coolest month of the year is December, which is usually accompanied by a heavy downpour. However, the difference between these temperatures is only a few degrees. Depending on your destination, you can plan your visit around the weather and take advantage of the many events and attractions available during the cold months.
The winters in Los Angeles are short, but still mild. The low temperatures are warm enough to wear a T-shirt. Average temperatures in winter are 13 to 14 degrees Celsius. High temperatures in January and February may reach 19 degrees. If you choose to visit the city during these times, you can enjoy the beaches in the Santa Monica area. If you’re planning a trip during the winter months, it’s wise to check the forecast and plan ahead.
While temperatures in the winter months in Los Angeles aren’t as cold as they are in the summer, they are generally still too cold for outdoor activities, such as hiking or cycling. While temperatures aren’t as cold as they would be in the mountains, temperatures can be comfortable in summer. This is also the peak tourist season in the city, so you can expect a warm summer and mild winters. If you plan to visit during this time of year, the best time to visit Los Angeles is in the summer.
Autumn is a short shoulder season, with temperatures staying in the mid-twenties into September. Then, in October and November, the temperatures drop to around 18 degrees, although highs remain warm. Only February 19 sees low temperatures below zero. The temperatures in December and January are at their lowest point in the winter. The highest average low temperature in Los Angeles is only 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the coldest day is December 25, it is still warmer than the hottest day.
Getting snow in Los Angeles
It’s not often that Southern Californians get to experience snow, but parts of the region did receive a small sprinkling Thursday. Northridge, Pasadena, and Malibu all got a dusting of snow. In fact, the last time Los Angeles got snow was in January 1962, when the city experienced a large snowfall in the high deserts and mountains. The majority of the snow melted quickly as it hit warm ground.
The weather in Southern California is not typically frosty, so the fact that snow fell in Pasadena and other cities was truly amazing. A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard said that the snow may have melted too quickly because it had to travel through a thin layer of above-freezing air. Although snowfall in Southern California is a rarity, it does occur regularly in the San Gabriel Mountains.
Even a few inches of snow make the news in Los Angeles. A little bit of snow will make the city look magical, and children will be thrilled to play in it. In addition to schools, Kidspace has snow days throughout the year, usually between Christmas and New Years. Snowfall in Los Angeles is also a great way to teach children how to drive in the snow. Luckily, the Los Angeles Times has a great article on snowfall in the city in 1950 that describes the snowy 13 January event in Oakland.
As of Thursday, 4/10ths of an inch of rain fell in Los Angeles. A winter weather advisory was issued by the NWS Los Angeles for Los Angeles County. This is only a warning for Los Angeles, and is not applicable to Santa Monica or the Santa Monica mountain range. Snowfall will likely reach a few feet above 5,000 feet and will be mostly melted by Wednesday. The weather will warm up for a few days in the region, but it’s unlikely to reach the same depths in Santa Monica and Antelope Valley as the rainy season.
For those who can’t travel to a nearby mountain, a trip to Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains is the closest place to get snow in Los Angeles. The resort’s scenic chairlift will take you to the top of the mountain, where you can enjoy a hearty meal and a view of the snowy peaks. Afterwards, head down to a tubing park for an afternoon of fun and excitement.
Record-breaking snowfall in Los Angeles
On Jan. 10, 1949, Los Angeles got a record-breaking snowfall. Normally, the lowlands don’t reach freezing temperatures, so snowfall is rare. But if temperatures drop to 32 degrees, measurable snow can form. The snow covered the beach cities from Santa Monica to Laguna, and the lows dipped into the 20s. This was the first time the city had seen snow for nearly three consecutive days.
The city received just a trace of snow during a storm on Jan. 21. The storm was heavier in the San Fernando Valley and Santa Monica Mountains, and the 101 freeway was a slushy skid zone through the Cahuenga Pass. Sepulveda Boulevard and Topanga Canyon roads were closed until plows arrived, while Richard Nixon attended the Sunland-Tujunga March of Dimes parade.
Other parts of the region are set to receive rain or snow. Central and northern California are expected to see between 0.50 and one inch of rain. By the end of the week, Southern California will be hit with freezing levels. Downtown Los Angeles will reach low 40s in the evening on Saturday and Sunday. That’s not bad considering that the city gets six inches of rain during the first two months of the year. Hopefully, the recent record-breaking warmth will finally end this week.
A blizzard has always been a possibility in L.A., but a prolonged snow drought seems unprecedented. But Angelenos can count on a wintry sight at least once in their lives. For now, it’s a cold, dry winter. And if the snow continues to fall, the city will be even more barren than it was a century ago. It will be one to remember.
While the snowstorm may have been real, it still created a significant amount of headaches. It affected the movie industry, forcing the production of “Bronson Caves” to shut down because the temperature was too low. Meanwhile, it trapped motorists in Laurel Canyon and closed parts of PCH. In the eastern part of the county, rare snow flurries continued. But, the worst of the snow storm is yet to come.
Average snowfall in Los Angeles
Winter months are usually the wettest in Los Angeles, followed by June and July. During the rest of the year, the city experiences less than one inch of snow. Winters are mostly dry, but the rainy season lasts for just a couple of months. Average rainfall is approximately 15 inches per year. Regardless of weather, California residents should pack warm clothes. The city’s relative humidity is about sixty percent.
The mountains of the Los Angeles basin do receive measurable snow, but these are very rare. In fact, the snow rarely falls above 7,000 feet by the end of April. Some peaks stay covered in snow into the summer, but they aren’t common. For this reason, most residents can enjoy the snowy weather without worrying about the lack of snowfall. And if you’re in the South Bay, you’ll have a chance to get out and play on the beaches.
Despite its relatively mild climate, Los Angeles experiences significant seasonal variation in rainfall. Winter months have more precipitation, whereas autumn and spring are drier. From October to February, the city experiences the most rainfall and driest conditions. The wettest month is February, with 3.3 inches on average. But summers are also dry, with only one month having less rain than the other. If you’re looking for information on rainfall in Los Angeles, be sure to check out our comprehensive Los Angeles weather page.
Although snow is rare in Los Angeles, it is possible to get a few inches in a winter. During this time, the Atacama Desert is considered the driest place on earth. The average snowfall in Los Angeles is fifteen to twenty inches. That’s about as much as LA gets in a year. A dry winter in Los Angeles can be a bit unpredictable and chilly – you never know when you’ll get a little rain or snow.
Winter temperatures in Los Angeles average in the lower 70s. January’s lows are only two degrees Celsius and the highs are ninety-four degrees Fahrenheit. During the wet season, rain and snowfall are rare in Los Angeles, with only two days of rainfall exceeding 0.5 inches per month. While winters in Los Angeles are warm, they are not cold. Typical temperatures in December range from fifteen to twenty-four degrees.