Here’s a sentence we never thought we’d write: It’s snowing. And no, we don’t just mean on the county’s tallest peaks—we’re talking snowflakes falling right by the beach in Malibu.
At 12:50pm on Thursday, Los Angeles County Fire Air Operations tweeted that it was snowing in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu at an elevation of about 1,500 feet.
But the flurries didn’t seem to be confined to just the mountains; photos and videos shared from the city’s beachfront also showed snow—or something like it—falling. Angelenos can never quite agree what’s smog, fog or haze, so we’re sure there’ll be plenty of disagreement over whether what we’re seeing here is snow, sleet, graupel or hail. But we’ll just say this: It sure doesn’t look like the regular rain we’re (occasionally) used to.
Malibu wasn’t the only spot to receive a dusting, as parts of the Simi Valley, Inland Empire and Pasadena also reported snow.
Snowfall above 5,000 feet has been a relatively frequent occurrence this winter (and even during drier ones), but lower elevation snow is a rarity. The L.A. Basin last had a dusting in 1962, with considerable snow last dumped in 1949. It doesn’t seem like today’s storm will bring totals like that, but there is a chance—albeit a slight one—that the Hollywood Hills could see snow today. The National Weather Service says snow above 1,000 feet will be possible this afternoon—which puts landmarks like the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Observatory in the potential path of a dusting.