Los Angeles’ First Snowstorm – 1932

The First Time It Snowed In Hollywood (and Los Angeles)

Hollywood First snowstorm ever Jan 15 1932Hollywood woke up early yesterday morning (Friday January 15)to welcome the first real snow storm in Southern California’s history. Judith Wood, Paramount screen player who is recovering from an automobile accident, forgot the doctor’s orders and dashed out into the storm shortly after five o’clock. (photo – Paramount, January 15 1932)

Los Angeles Times Jan 16 1932 (click to enlarge)

Los Angeles Times Jan, 16, 1932 photo coverage of storm (click to enlarge)

When you think of snow, you usually don’t think of Los Angeles. But 84 years ago today Los Angeles residents awoke and were shocked to discover a city covered in snow.

The surprise snowstorm began at 5:00 a.m. and continued for over two hours. The Los Angeles Times said it was “the first official snowfall recorded in the United States Weather Bureau’s fifty-four year existence in the city.”

Snow had fallen before in Los Angeles but never in measurable quantities. Claude Luce, a Los Angeles resident since 1875,  said he remembered one inch of snow falling in 1880.

At Pasadena Junior College, 500 students got into a snowball fight that ended in a riot with seven students being arrested by police for disturbing the peace. Two spectators were hurt and taken to the hospital; one being hit in the eye with a rock filled snowball.

It would take another 17 years for another snowstorm to hit Los Angeles on January 10 and 11, 1949 when snow blanketed the area and delighted children.

The next snowstorm would occur 13 years later on January 21, 1962 when as much as 3 inches of heavy, wet snow fell all over Los Angeles including Burbank, Studio City, Woodland Hills, North Hollywood.

5 thoughts on “Los Angeles’ First Snowstorm – 1932

  1. Pingback: What winter was like the year you were born - Local News 8

  2. Joan Michelson

    Thank you for helping me pinpoint the date of a photo of me with my uncle, brother, and sister by clarifying the snowstorm in Los Angeles on January 11 and 12, 1949. I was living on Woodman Avenue in Van Nuys. My dad awakened me in the middle of the night and carried me outside to see the falling snow. What a fond memory. Thank you, thank you!

    1. S.L. Aldridge

      In 1950 my family moved to Parthenia, which I think is in Reseda. The previous owners left us some photos of the yard filled with snow from the 1949 storm. I’m hoping I still have them… somewhere!


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