Was there really snow in the Los Angeles area? The National Weather Service says yes. However, some of what people saw is actually called “graupel.” It melted fast, though.
This was a classic California response to the snow:
“Correct, that is snow! Lots of confusion today. If precip bounces it contains ice – call it sleet or small hail. If precip in flakes it’s snow, white balls are melted flakes called graupel. #CAwx #LArain #CAstorm,” the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles office wrote on February 21, 2019. The Los Angeles Times described graupel as “snowflakes slightly melted and bunched together.”
The NWS was responding to a woman’s tweet that said, “#Snow in #ThousandOaks?! Students from Century HS, the medical department, and ESL all emerged from clasrooms to marvel at this unexpected phenomenon. #CAwx.” Here’s that video:
The Los Angeles Times reports, though, that snow did fall in “Malibu, Pasadena, West Hollywood, Northridge, San Bernardino, Thousand Oaks and other unexpected places.” Two freeways closed as a result. The Times noted that the storm system came down from Alberta, Canada and was also responsible for snow that hit Las Vegas.
According to NBC News, the last time “measurable snow” fell in downtown Los Angeles was 1949. It last snowed in 1962, the Times reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
Other People Posted Videos & Photos of the L.A. Snowfall
“IT’S SNOWING IN PASADENA! Now I know how my husband who grew up in Chicago feels! #lasnowpocalypse #snowpocalyose2019,” wrote one woman on Twitter.
Some people were just baffled.
NWS Los Angeles also wrote: “Here’s the satellite view of our snow, sleet, hail storm. Center of the low is located near the CA/NV border. Shower activity will quickly diminish around sunset this evening. #CAwx #LArain.”
The Los Angeles Police Department wrote on Twitter, “No need to panic Los Angeles — the LAPD is on snow watch. Plus, one flurry of #LASnow doesn’t equal ‘Snowmaggedon.'”
Even some celebrities got into the game.
The Rose Bowl did too.
People couldn’t believe their eyes. It was snowing in Pasadena!
It freaked some people out.
Some of what people were seeing is called “graupel,” a soft hail.
By nightfall, the NWS was warning of looming freezing conditions.
“Good Morning from 1 of our coldest patrol stations!” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department wrote on the morning of February 21. “Last night #LASD @PalmdaleSheriff got a little bit of snow. No big deal 30 degrees or 110 degrees, Deputies grab a hoop & patrol. We will be testing for Deputy Sheriff Trainee in #AV411 this weeknd #Palmdale #ThursdayMotivation.”
People shared “proof” on social media.
Climate change was on some people’s minds. “I used to wish it would snow in Los Angeles just ONCE when I first moved here and got homesick in the winter. Today it finally happened and lolol climate change is terrifying,” wrote one woman on Twitter.
One man tried to calm everyone down. “Hey Los Angeles, let’s relax. Everyone looks pretty dumb freaking out over snow that isn’t even snow when it hits the floor,” he wrote on Twitter.
You want to see snow? Come to Wisconsin.