A rare dusting of snow fell in Malibu on Saturday, just one week after temperatures hit the 80s.
The surprise arrival of snow and hail in the LA County caused both delight to locals who pulled out sleds, and increased road traffic accidents.
Drivers along the Malibu Canyon Road posted photos and videos on social media of them getting out their cars in wonder and playing in the light powder in an area where temperatures in January don’t usually drop lower than 20F.
The photos were a sharp contrast to just days earlier when beach-goers enjoyed unexpected temperatures in the 80s.
On Saturday snow fell in Malibu, an unusual occurrence that prompted drivers to get out their cars to play by the side of the road, pictured on social media
Police warned drivers that it was ‘dangerous’ to ‘play’ in the snow
The surprise snowfall caused an increase in traffic accidents with reports of drivers skidding on ‘black ice’
Hail fell, as well as snow, in parts of the county. A jeep overturned, pictured, after skidding on the Malibu Canyon Road on Saturday afternoon
The Sheriff’s Department’s in Lost Hills station, pictured, were out to assist drivers. The department warned people to ‘drive slower than normal’
Drivers in California were not prepared to drive in slippery, icy conditions, in a county where January temperatures rarely fall lower than 20F
Officer Stephan Brandt, of the California Highway Patrol told The Los Angeles Times that his department had received a report of multiple drivers stopping and parking near the Malibu Canyon Tunnel, shortly after 5pm on January 23.
Brandt said drivers were ‘playing in the snow’ which he said was ‘dangerous’.
On social media, the CHP’s West Valley Division posted messages urging motorists to ‘stop driving like it’s not raining.’
Around 11:25am a sedan skidded over the highway on Kanan Dume Road, near Newton Canyon.
One person was airlifted to hospital, with condition unknown.
Just after 3.30pm a jeep overturned on Malibu Canyon Road.
There were no injuries and the vehicle was cleared about an hour later.
Lt. Gregory Evans, of the Sheriff’s Department’s Lost Hills station, said: ‘We’re asking that people drive slower than normal. There’s black ice out there and the road can be slippery.’
An Instagram video from seafood restaurant Neptune’s Net, located along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, received over 1,300 views with commentators in disbelief over the sight of the foreign white stuff.
Just a week earlier families had been pictured on Malibu Lagoon State Beach enjoying temperatures in the 80s, after Santa Ana winds brought particularly warm weather to the area, as well as increased risk of wild fires.
Shannon Burns, right, who is a mentor to four kindergarten student explorers from Everwild LA Westside, holds class at Malibu Lagoon State Beach on January 14, as temperatures got into the 80s.
Satchel Freiberger, 21, from the San Fernando Valley enjoys the beautiful weather after a surfing session at Malibu Lagoon State Beach on January 14.
This U-shaped jet stream trough may hold for a while and will guide a series of Pacific frontal systems into the West Coast over the next week or so. The next storm in this pipeline will spread across California into the Southwest through Tuesday.
Rain will be mostly light in the lower elevations as snowfall piles up from Sierra Nevada
Satellite images showed that more storms were on the way in the next couple weeks, but with no guarantees for snowfall in Malibu.
In February 2019 a light snow fell in LA and was immediately hash-tagged #snowmageddon.
The last measurable snow fell in downtown Los Angeles around 1949, according to the National Weather Service, who said that the February flakes would probably not change that.
The California city was not the only warm climate to get a dusting that month.
Snow also hit the city of Las Vegas, the first snow storm to reach the Nevada city in a decade.