Snow in Southern California

by | Feb 28, 2023









A powerful late-February 2023 storm brought blizzard warnings, cold rains, howling winds, and rare low-elevation snow to parts of southern California more accustomed to warmth and sun.

The Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9 acquired this image of snow blanketing much of the San Gabriel Mountains in areas north of Los Angeles on Feb. 26, 2023.

High-elevation areas saw blizzard conditions and large accumulations. A ski resort at an elevation of 7,000 feet recorded nearly 8 feet (2 meters) of snow, according to National Weather Service data. At lower elevations (5,000-6,000 feet), Mount Wilson, Lockwood Valley and Frazier Park saw between 1-3 feet.

Even low-elevation areas where snow is uncommon saw substantial accumulation. Two inches fell in La Crescenta (elevation 2,000 feet), a suburban community north of Los Angeles. Closer to sea level, Beverly Hills saw 6 inches of rain, and downtown Los Angeles saw 4 inches of rain.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.


October Issue 2023