Home » southern california » The Snowcapped Mountains of L.A.

The Snowcapped Mountains of L.A.

The San Gabriel Mountains Seen from Altadena

This has been the coldest winter I can remember since I first moved to Southern California in 1966. It has been wet, too—but not quite the wettest. That honor belongs to several winters in the 1970s and early 1980s, and most particularly the winter of 2004-2005.

As I drove to the Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax, I saw the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains covered with a heavy mantle of snow. The mercury stood in the low 50s Fahrenheit (or low teens Celsius).

Southern California winters usually consist of periods of cold interspersed with several warm spells, where the temperature can go as high as the 80s and 90s Fahrenheit (or 30s Celsius). For the last few months, however, I have been wearing long-sleeves shirts, a wool vest or sweater, and a windbreaker. In December, my gas bill topped $365.00—a new record!

I feel sorry for tourists who come to L.A. to bask in the sunshine and spend some time tanning at the beach. They will likely encounter icy winds and blowing sand.

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