Snow on the ground at sea level: Wild weather on Northern California coast

A home covered in snow
Morning snow seen from a home in Eureka, Calif., on Thursday.
(Max Garrison)

Snow turned the Northern California coastal town of Ferndale into a rare winter scene on Thursday.

Caroline Titus, the former owner of the Ferndale Enterprise in Humboldt County, said the snow wasn’t sticking on the asphalt, just blanketing the trees, houses, buildings and fields with photo-worthy precipitation.

And Titus said people were out and enjoying it.

“There’s lots of people building snowmen and snow-women,” she said. “Everybody’s out and about and checking it out, taking photos. It’s very rare.”


Forecasters predict the worst of the storms will hit Friday and Saturday, with heavy rains and snow expected, along with other ‘wild’ weather.

Feb. 24, 2023

She said she’d only seen this kind of snow once before, about 22 years ago. She’s been in Ferndale for 32 years.

“Maybe there was a light dusting in 2019,” she said. “But nothing like this.”

The frigid storm rolling through the state plunged snow levels across Northern California as it moved south. Snow fell on the peaks of Bay Area mountains and caused whiteout conditions around Lake Tahoe.

But on the North Coast, snow approached the Pacific Ocean.

“We had snow on the ground at sea level this morning, around less than half an inch,” said Kaito Figeira, 31, an Arcata resident.

“There wasn’t any snow sticking to the roads, but everything else had a good layer of snow on it.”

Winter storms are expected to bring snow to some Southern California areas. If it snows at your home, send us a photo and we may include it in our coverage.

Feb. 22, 2023

Figeira’s home, which is at an elevation of about 260 feet and some four miles from the coast, got closer to an inch of snow.

“I think most people have been excited about it, since this really is a rare occurrence for us on the coast,” said Figeira, who has lived in Arcata since 2019. “This is a first for me as a Humboldt County resident.”


She said rain and more snow were in the forecast for today and tonight.

“I certainly plan to stay inside next to a warm fireplace this evening,” she said.