Flurries at the Hollywood sign: ‘A very rare event’

A man with gray hair and wearing a plaid shirt holds a snowball in one hand.
Jeff Zarrinnam takes a selfie while holding a snowball with the Hollywood sign in the background.
(Jeff Zarrinnam / Hollywood Sign Trust)

Jeff Zarrinnam was born in Hollywood and lives within a mile of the iconic sign.

On Thursday, for the first time in his life, the 59-year-old chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust was able to make a snowball near the world-renowned landmark.

“I’ve seen everything,” he said, but “it was quite a surprise this morning” to find snow outside his house.

The rare weather phenomenon is due to a “highly dynamic” weather system that is expected to bring heavy rain, strong winds, thunderstorms and potential flooding to areas in and around Los Angeles.

Jeff Zarrinnam takes a selfie holding a snowball with the Hollywood sign in the background
Snow near the Hollywood sign is “a very rare event,” said Jeff Zarrinnam, so he was excited to capture it.
(Jeff Zarrinnam / Hollywood Sign Trust)

Zarrinnam snapped a photo of a snowball with the sign in the background. “It’s a very rare event,” he said, so he was excited to capture it.

Though he hadn’t been to the sign to confirm, he guessed that snow had fallen around the landmark in the hills above his house .

“If I’m below it, then of course there was snow up there as well,” Zarrinnam said.

The National Weather Service later confirmed that white stuff did indeed fall on the Hollywood sign. “After a little investigating ... we are confident in saying snow or graupel fell on Mt. Lee (where the Hollywood sign sits) this morning around 9:15 am,” the weather service tweeted .

As to whether it was snow or graupel — soft hail — meterologist Lisa Phillips, with the NWS in Oxnard, said she couldn’t confirm without seeing it in person.

“It’s possible,” she said of Zarrinnman’s snowball, as “it may have been cold enough” for snow and the elevation was high enough.


The sign sits at 1,578 feet, just above the 1,500-foot line at which the National Weather Service expected to see snow during the storm bringing frigid temperatures to Southern California.

No matter what you call it, Zarrinnam noted that it melted quickly in the sun: “You have to be quick” to get a photo, he said.