Rain, hail, lightning and even “thundersnow” were reported across Southern California on Tuesday, Feb. 15, as the region saw a significant drop in temperatures — as much as 30 degrees in some places — amid a winter storm, meteorologists said.
Reports of pea-sized hail started earlier in the day throughout Ventura County and moved east through Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire in the afternoon, said Rich Thompson, meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles office. About an inch of hail accumulation was recorded in Pasadena along with some reports of hail in Burbank, Thompson said. Hail was observed elsewhere, including in Upland and Yorba Linda.
Late in the afternoon, LA County beaches were closed due to lightning with lifeguards “clearing the water and advising patrons on the beach to seek shelter immediately.”
These roofs are not supposed to be white! pic.twitter.com/GngoHaFO1A
— Daniel Tedford (@dgtedford) February 16, 2022
Solid downpour of small hail in Upland currently pic.twitter.com/BIYALa2RIQ
— Quinn Wilson (@qrwriter) February 16, 2022
Isolated thunderstorms worked their way through Los Angeles County from Point Mugu to the San Gabriel Valley in the afternoon, Thompson said. This band of storms brought thunder and “brief heavy rain,” he said.
In the San Bernardino County mountains, “thundersnow” was reported, according to Elizabeth Schenk, meteorologist for the NWS’ San Diego office. Thundersnow is described as a rare weather phenomenon in which thunder and lightning are accompanied predominantly by snow rather than rain, according to the NWS.
Snowfall was reported as low as 3,100 feet in the San Bernardino County mountains and accumulation of “a couple of inches” was observed at higher elevations, Schenk said. No snow was reported throughout the Los Angeles County mountains, however, there was a potential for snow throughout the evening at higher elevations, Thompson said.
In the San Gabriel Mountains, .3 inches of rainfall was recorded at one meter north of Glendora and San Dimas, according to the NWS’ Los Angeles Office. In the Inland Empire, recorded rainfall ranged from one one-hundredth of an inch to about a quarter-inch, Schenk said.
Temperatures ranged from the upper-50s to mid-60s throughout Los Angeles County, about a 15 degree drop from high temperatures Monday, Thompson said. In the Inland Empire, similar high temperatures were observed and some were 15 to 30 degrees lower than marks recorded on Monday, Schenk said.
The storm was expected to pass through the region Tuesday night and bring warmer weather on Wednesday, Feb. 16, Schenk said. Santa Ana wind conditions were expected to return to the region Wednesday evening into Thursday, she said.