Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow down to 500 feet?

San Gabriel Valley ca. 1890
Pasadena Cal: C.J. Randall
Courtesy of the California History Room, California State Library, Sacramento

The San Gabriel Mountains, our city's dominant scenic assets, are spectacular when snow capped. But, what if it snowed in the city too? I just heard on the radio that the snow level tomorrow might get down to 1,000 - 1,500 feet. Then, I read where snow might go down to 500 feet elevation.

This from Accuweather: "Snow is on tap for even some valleys of the L.A. Basin this weekend.... Saturday is when rain showers in the L.A. Basin are expected to start mixing with and changing to snow at elevations down to 1,000 to 1,500 feet. However, in a heavier shower Saturday afternoon or evening, snow could fall all the way down to areas at 500 feet in elevation, including some valleys."

So what is Pasadena's elevation? Well, the elevation at City Hall is 864 feet above sea level. But, elevations on the city's north-western and north-eastern edges exceed 1,000 feet. Will we get snow?

Update 8:20 am Saturday morning:   Heavy rain last night and this morning, but no sign of snow.  For now, mountains are covered in clouds.  We have intermittent sun.  Cable was down until moments ago.

From this morning's LA Times:  "The storm was expected to pass into Southern California around sunrise Saturday, bringing snow to levels as low as 1,500 feet. Snowflakes could fall on the the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Antelope and the Santa Clarita valleys, and in the higher elevations on the northern edge of the San Fernando Valley...  As for foothill communities like La Crescenta and Altadena, "absolutely, they'll be getting some snow for sure, at least a dusting of it," [meteorologist Curt] Kaplan said.

Update 9:30 am:    Had a blast of hail about an hour ago.  Usually the hail melts away when it hits the ground, but this stuff is staying and we have white drifts of hail around the yard and on the roof.  Being southern Californians, we naturally ran around outside while the hail fell.  I saw neighbors doing the same.   The white on the ground look like snow, but alas is hail. 


Gina said...

I am ridiculously excited at the possibility of snow. I may even pull an all-nighter on Saturday night to watch for it.

Michael Coppess said...

Agree Gina! When I took our daughter to bed tonight, I said, "Maybe when you wake up tomorrow there will be snow." Pretty exciting.

Petrea said...

Some of my neighbors took their kids up to Altadena to play in the snow on Saturday. Did you go?

Michael Coppess said...

Down here in East Pas the best we did was play in the hail. It was fun looking out for the snow though. For a moment, I really thought it would.

Cafe Pasadena said...

I actually enjoyed your online weather report more than the ones I hear on TV.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

this came from art critic for the LA times Christopher Knight.
The weekend before last, I took a late afternoon hike up a fire road in Sylmar. Ran into a family descending. Two small girls, a chihauhua and shepherd with a bad hip. Said they had hiked up to the snow and were on their way down. Must have been very low.

Michael Coppess said...

Thanks CP and PA. I was on the phone with someone in Nebraska and thought I'd talk some weather. I told them we got hail and were out walking around in it. They thought I was nuts. Midwest hail apparently can be baseball sized and do serious damage. Our hail is maybe the size of a small pea. Even when we get hail our weather is still wimpy.