Snow and graupel fall on LA and Disneyland during California storm

Hail, light snow and graupel reached parts of southern counties including Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego and Riverside.

Most winters, the rest of the country might be envious of the weather in Southern California — where locals enjoy Christmas with perfect weather and the misery of shoveling snow is non-existent for city dwellers. But this year, even Angelenos aren’t immune to the snow, as white spots surround the Hollywood sign and graupel reaches the happiest place on earth.

@ivanmoomoo A California Miracle #disneyland #disney #disneyparks #social #anaheim #la #losangeles #snow ♬ original sound – Dula Peep

“Right now we have very cold low pressure moving over Southern California…bringing these scattered showers requires a very low snow level in the area,” a National Weather Service meteorologist told SFGATE.

Snow at Disneyland is rare. In 1987, the park only closed for the second time in 24 years due to snow closer to Los Angeles, as the storm brought rain and high winds to the park due to its low elevation, according to a report by Southern California Public Radio. Today’s Disney fans, however, aren’t being greeted with snow or even hail — but graupel.

The NWS says you can tell graupel and hail apart because you can crush the former in your hands. It requires cold temperatures near the ground because supercooled water droplets attach to snowflakes, creating an icy coating, according to the San Francisco Chronicle (the Chronicle and SFGATE are both owned by Hearst but have separate newsrooms) . While snow and graupel require cold temperatures near the ground, hail does not. Instead, hail develops when updrafts send ice pellets into the cold air aloft.

“It’s not weird for Southern California to have really cold storms like this every once in a while with low snow levels. I mean, it doesn’t happen every time, but this is not unheard of,” the meteorologist told SFGATE. “I wouldn’t call it a rare event per se; it was uncommon, but…it’s happened before, and it will happen again.”

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