Wondering weather does it snow in Los Angeles? A simple answer is: rarely. The Mediterranean type climate of the city gives rise to warm weather conditions. This is because it has close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. It is only 93m above the sea level, which makes the possibility of snowfall very unlikely.
Los Angeles is located in the southern part of California and weather rarely touches freezing point. Keep in mind that the mountains near Los Angeles like San Gabriel Mountains and the Santa Monica Mountains do receive snowfall. People who love such kind of weather tend to visit these mountains during the snow season.
When did it last snow in Los Angeles?
The last time it snowed in LA was on February 26, 2023. Since 2000, it has snowed four times in the city. The snowfall is very mild which just vanishes after a couple of minutes. It snowed in Los Angeles in 1882, 1913, 1918, 1919, 1922, 1935, 1939, 1942, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1957, 1962, 1987, 1989, 2007, and 2023.
- Snow in Los Angeles 2023 was marked by thunderstorms and heavy rains in the city. The nearby mountains were covered in snow blankets.
- Snow in Los Angeles 2018 resulted in 4 to 8 inches of fresh snow in Big Bear and 2 inches in Mountain High Resort in Wrightwood.
- Snow in Los Angeles 1989 resulted in a blizzard, which caused closure of schools and disrupted day to day life. This resulted in 10 deaths and many injuries.
Here is an image of snow warning issued in 1989
Well, keep in mind that this record is about Los Angeles City and not the nearby mountains.
What part of Los Angeles has snow?
The regions with higher elevations, particularly the surrounding mountain regions, experience snowfall in winter. These mountain areas include San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Monica Mountains, and San Bernardino Mountains.
San Gabriel Mountains are located to the northeast of Los Angeles and reach an altitude of 10,064 feet. The east of LA has the San Bernardino Mountains reaching an elevation of 11, 503 feet. To the west of LA are the Santa Monica Mountains with 3,111 feet height.
Climate of Los Angeles
The climate in Los Angeles is characterized by warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.
Winters in Los Angeles are from December to February. The average temperature during this time period ranges from 67.4 and 72.4 degrees Fahrenheit to 48.2 and 54.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
The summers are usually warm and dry and range from June to August. The temperature can reach as high as 73.7 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as 58.1 to 65.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rainfall in Los Angeles can be experienced during the winter season, from November to April. Almost 15 inches of rainfall is recorded in the city annually.
Santa Ana Winds
These winds blow during the winter months from the inland areas towards the coast. They are hot and dusty winds and can contribute to wildfires in the region.
This cool and moist layer of air moves from the coastal regions to the inland areas. Marine layer normally takes place during the summer months and can cause temperature to cool down a bit.
Snowfall comparison between cities: Portland and Los Angeles
Portland, Oregon has a relatively mild climate due to its proximity with the Pacific Ocean. Los Angeles, California can be considered warmer as compared to Portland due to its Mediterranean type climate. On average, Portland receives 4.3 inches of snowfall annually. This is greater than the one recorded in LA as there are just light showers here. Some winters see little or no snowfall in LA and that is why Portland can be considered snowier than LA.
Winter activities in Los Angeles
Does Los Angeles snow in winter? Well, Los Angeles does have surrounding mountainous regions where it snows in winter. Skiing activities and other snow related activities are prevalent during this time of the year.
Skiing and snowboarding
The mountains surrounding LA are covered with a snow blanket, which gives rise to skiing activities in the region. The Snow Summit Ski Resort present in the San Bernardino Mountains is a great place for such activities. Also, the Snow Valley Mountain Resort present in the San Bernardino National Forest in Running Springs offers skiing activities in the winter season.
There are slopes of varying kinds, catering to the needs of people with different skills levels.
Snowshoeing and winter hiking
Mount Baldy and Angeles National Forest located in San Gabriel Mountains are great places for winter hiking and snowshoeing. This is a great way of enjoying the scenic landscapes present around. Also, you can enjoy solitude in places which are otherwise crowded with people in summers.
Ice Skating is one of the best ways to enjoy your time in the winter season. Both outdoor and indoor ice skating rinks are present in the city, which are popular tourist destinations.
Some of the famous outdoor rinks include Pershing Square in downtown LA and ICE Santa Monica and the indoor ones are Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo and Pickwick Ice in Burbank.
Winter festivals and events
Going to winter festivals or events is also a fun way to enjoy your time in the city. Some of these festivals include Holiday Ice Rinks in Pershing Square and Santa Monica, Enchanted Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens etc.
The coastal areas in Los Angeles also offer whale watching activities. All you have to do is take a boat from Long Beach port or Newport Beach and witness the annual migration of gray whales.
Didn’t get the answer to does it snow in Los Angeles? Make sure you check the local weather reports to get predictions about LA’s weather and possibilities of snow in near future. Not only this, these predictions can also be used as a school closure predictor or a rain day calculator for school.