February is coldest in Los Angeles in nearly 60 years

Lourdes DeZavalia, 15, with her mom, Veronica, visiting from Argentina, brave the cold at the Griffith Observatory on February 21, 2019, as a cold front passes through the Southland.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

If you’ve been shivering in Southern California lately, there’s a good reason.

This month is the coldest February in downtown Los Angeles in nearly 60 years, with the average high temperature at 60.6 degrees as of Sunday. That’s a full 8 degrees below the normal average temperature, the National Weather Service said in a news release announcing the record lows.

It hasn’t been this cold since 1962, when the average high temperature for the month in downtown L.A. was 59.8 degrees, the weather service said.


Several storm systems have ushered in the low temperatures, the latest of which brought rare snowfall to the Southland, including dustings in Malibu, Rancho Cucamonga and Pasadena.

“And you don’t get snow unless it’s very cold,” said Bonnie Bartling, a meteorologist with the weather service in Oxnard.

The year 1962 is also when it last snowed in downtown Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles Public Library archives.

“The highest temperature on any day this month so far in downtown Los Angeles has been 69 degrees,” the weather service said. “There has never been a February since records began in downtown Los Angeles in July 1877 during which the temperature has failed to reach the 70-degree mark.”

The low temperatures extend across southwestern California and are among the lowest recorded at many National Weather Service stations. Final numbers for areas surrounding downtown L.A. won’t be available until the end of the month.

But for the last four days of the month, average temperatures are expected to rise, even as more storms roll through the area this week, the weather service said.


Starting Tuesday, an initial storm will produce half an inch of rain or less in the Central Coast and areas south of Point Conception. A second storm brought by an atmospheric river will bring the potential for heavier rainfall near the end of the week.

Twitter: @r_valejandra