SoCal weather is returning to normal

Residents of the Foothills experienced temperatures as low as 27 degrees when a cold front hit the Southland over the past several days, but temperatures are expected to hit the mid-70s as the week draws to a close.

While frigid, it definitely hasn't been the coldest January on record, said Bill Patzert, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist.


"This is not the coldest ever, for sure," he said. "For wimpy Southern Californians, it's a shocker."

The winter season has been relatively dry, with the region receiving only about 60% of its normal rainfall, Patzert said.


Globally, last year was among the 10 hottest years on record. Patzert said global warming has heated up the planet for the past half century. "We're living in a warmer world."

A Descanso Gardens official reported that some of their tropical plants and succulents sustained frost damage.

"The tendency is for us to always get frost, but this is particularly bad," said Rachel Young, Descanso's garden manager. She added that this has been the worst frost experienced at the botanical showplace in the past five years.

She said the practice is to leave the damaged material on the plant to prevent further exposure to frigid temperatures and to protect the stems.


But there are some plants that prefer nippy conditions, she said.

"Right now, we're planting tulip bulbs, and they like cold temperatures, so it's actually good that it's cold," said Young.

Ski resort Mt. Waterman, located about 34 miles north of La Cañada Flintridge, needs at least two feet of snow to drop before they can open for business. They've had about 6 to 8 inches since Friday.

"The storms are coming," said Beth Metcalf, the resort's ticket sales manager. "We need at least two feet, if not more. We're just hoping and praying."

The resort did not receive enough snow to open last winter season.

"If we're dry again this season, it'll be bad," said Metcalf, whose older brothers, Rick and Brien Metcalf, co-own the resort with fellow La Cañada High School graduates Roberto Martinez and Craig Stewart.

The resort sold several Groupon tickets last year, leading to a slew of complaints on its Facebook page from disgruntled residents who couldn't hit the slopes in December. Metcalf said that all Groupon vouchers sold last year will be valid when the hill opens.

Mt. Waterman doesn't have the funds or resources to make any snow, so local skiers and snowboarders must rely on the weather.


Metcalf said the snow they received last week was scattered, with some rocks still showing, but she remains optimistic that a storm will hit soon. "We're always positive on the hill, no matter what."

Follow Tiffany Kelly on Google+ and on Twitter: @LATiffanyKelly.