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Southern California cold snap breaks record but not at Rose Parade

Southern California cold snap breaks record but not at Rose Parade
It wasn't quite freezing at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, though this young paradegoer's poster said it was. (Marisa Gerber / Los Angeles Times)

A cold front from Canada brought snow and chilling winds to Southern California, but forecasters said it only brought one record-setting temperature Thursday — and it wasn't at the Rose Parade.

There was a record low recorded at Los Angeles International Airport, according to Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service. The temperature at LAX dropped to 36 degrees, breaking the Jan. 1 record of 38 set in 1972.

And despite concerns that the 126th Rose Parade might be the coldest since 1952 -- when the thermometer dropped to a brisk 32 degrees in Pasadena -- Seto said the weather on New Year's Day wasn't as chilly as anticipated.

The official low in Pasadena on Thursday was 36, Seto said.

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Extreme cold weather blasted the Southland this week, bringing freezing temperatures, snow at lower-than-normal elevations and powerful winds that left two people dead on Catalina Island.

The front also brought heavy snow to mountain areas, stranding hundreds of drivers.

Freezing temperatures were reported overnight in numerous locations. According to the weather service, temperatures were in the 30s in  Long Beach, Van Nuys, Fullerton, Riverside and Burbank. Lancaster was an icy 16 degrees.

Seto said temperatures Thursday were expected to rise to about 60 degrees, kicking off a warming trend later this week that should bring temperatures back to normal.

Follow @katemather for more Southern California news.

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