Yes, Sometimes It Does Snow in Los Angeles—Here’s Proof

California dreamin’ of a White Christmas.

It was 1989, and I was a sophomore in high school. I remember being awakened in the middle of the night by my dad. “It’s snowing … you don’t want to miss this.” I sprung out of bed, threw on a blanket and ran to the front door where my entire family stood with gaping mouths. It was indeed … snowing. Enough to cover our freshly mowed green lawn. The whiteness of it all glistened brightly despite the winter darkness. Our dog looked mystified. My younger brother threw on a parka and built a 5-inch snowman. It might as well have been a blizzard.

For most people this would not be reason for a 3 a.m. wake up call. But this was Los Angeles. And it NEVER snows here.

Well, not never. Although that February miracle was the only one I’ve experienced so far in my lifetime, it’s not the only time sunny Los Angeles was dusted with unexpected powder. LA Curbed wonderfully captures both memories and photographs from snowfalls in 1932, 1949, 1962 and my 1989 brush with a winter wonderland.

From 1932 …

“Snowmen arose like magic on a thousand lawns. Sleds, brought out from the East and almost museum pieces in many garages, were given their first West Coast workout by enthusiastic children. There was a great rush for camera film and many stores soon were out of photo supplies…. Children slid down terraces or dodged slush flung from the wheels of automobiles…. Orange trees, golden with fruit, bent low in many yards with the extra burden of snow. Banana plants, their heavy leaves covered with white, were near breaking… Santa Monica children made snowmen and waged snow battles on their own front yard.”

You can read more stories about those Los Angeles snow days here.

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