Weather in the Foothills

“There’s a certain magic that comes with the very first snow. For when the first snow is also a Christmas snow, well, something wonderful is bound to happen.”

~ Frosty the Snowman


A “White Christmas” may be more than a Hollywood dream for us based on forecasts from the National Weather Service. Snow levels around 5000 ft. but possibly lowering to 3500-4000 on Christmas.

Snow and Christmas often go together. There is no snow or ice in the Christmas story. However, snow does fall in Israel. Bethlehem and Jerusalem are located on a range of hills at an elevation of about 1,600 feet. Sharing a similar climate and elevation as La Crescenta, wintertime gets pretty cold. Even though the Bible makes no mention of snow, Jesus likely played in or walked through the snow during his lifetime.

As Christianity spread northwards, its celebrations blended with those of existing pagan ones. For example, Christmas blended with the winter solstice festivals in Europe.  During the Victorian Era, in the late 1800s, the “traditional” Christmas of Europe was born. Climate played a role as England was in a mini ice age beginning around 1550 into the 1800s. During this time in London, winter fairs were held on the frozen River Thames!

One of the main reasons the Victorians put snow and Christmas together was the book “A Christmas Carol” written in 1843 by Charles Dickens. When Dickens was a child, Britain had very heavy snowfall around Christmas, so into his works fell lots of snow and ice!

Snow and ice also became popular in Victorian times because Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, was German and had fond memories of his childhood in a place much colder than England. The prince also brought the first Christmas tree to the castle. Christmas cards also started in Victorian times with pictures of snow scenes. So continue our dreams of a snowy Christmastime.

Meteorologists express uncertainty in the weather forecast for the days leading to Christmas. There will be cold temperatures, rain and snow along the San Gabriel Mountains. Like Santa Claus, who you know is there, exact timing is “up in the air.”

May the season of miracles fill you with peace.

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!


Sue Kilpatrick is a Crescenta Valley resident and Official Skywarn Spotter
for the National Weather Service.
Reach her at