Cold snap brings record low temperatures to some Southern California cities

Marco Martinez Morales snaps a photo with his son, Marco Jr. as they frolic on a snowy roadside near Mt. Baldy.
Marco Martinez Morales snaps a photo with his son, Marco Jr. as they frolic on a snowy roadside near Mt. Baldy.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Southern Californians awoke Thursday to some record-setting low temperatures as a winter cold snap lingered in the region.

“We certainly had an abnormally cold morning to start the day,” said Brian Adams, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego.

From northern Los Angeles County through San Diego, cities hit history-making low temperatures Thursday, weather experts said, though some of the records still need to be triple-checked before they are official. The cold snap comes as residents struggle with unusually high heating bills because of a spike in naturl gas prices.


In Los Angeles County, Lancaster set a new record low for the date Thursday morning, dropping to 18 degrees — three degrees below the previous record, set in 2006, said Mike Wofford, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oxnard. Palmdale almost hit a new low at 21 degrees early Thursday, one degree higher than the current record, Wofford said.

In Orange County, Fullerton recorded its lowest temperature — 39 degrees — for the date
since 1998, when the weather service began tracking that location, Adams said.

Clouds drift over Point Vicente on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Clouds drift over Point Vicente on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Cold and windy weather has buffeted Southern California in recent days.
(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

Oceanside and Ramona in San Diego County also set new record lows, hitting 32 and 21 degrees, respectively, early Thursday, Adams said. That’s two degrees lower than Oceanside’s previous record for the date, set in 2008, and four degrees below Ramona’s prior record, set in 1990, he said.

Poway may have tied a prior record set in 1903 at 29 degrees, he said.

The cold weather has been “all associated with this low pressure system that came through,” Wofford said. “It didn’t really bring much precipitation to L.A. proper, but it brought a lot of cold air in.”

Those kind of systems can take a few days to move out, he said, but this one is likely to result in fewer drastic lows over the next few days.

“We’re going to be not quite as cold the next couple nights because we have some cloud cover coming in that acts kind of like a blanket,” Wofford said.


A winter storm heading for Los Angeles on Tuesday evening prompts a high surf advisory and a cold weather alert for L.A. County.

Feb. 14, 2023

Thursday’s records in Orange and San Deigo counties will be made official later in the day.

Fullerton and San Jacinto both tied records Wednesday, Adams said, with Fullerton dropping to 39 degrees — tying the previous recorded low from 2009 — and San Jacinto dropping to 31 degrees, tying its record set in 1989 .

In the mountains, Thursday morning also brought some “single-digit windchill readings,” Adams said.

The windchill in Big Bear dropped the temperatures to feel like 5 degrees, Adams said. Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs were also below 10 degrees with the windchill at about 7 and 9 degrees, respectively.

“This will certainly be the coldest morning for the rest of the week,” Adams said. Over the next few days the region will see warming, he said, but “purely in a relative sense.”

He said the next few mornings will continue to warm up by about 3 to 5 degrees in some spots, but nothing drastic.