Does It Snow In Pasadena? All About Pasadena Climate

Pasadena, known for its beautiful gardens, iconic architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, is a city located in Southern California. With its pleasant Mediterranean climate and mild winters, many residents and visitors often wonder if snowfall is possible in this region. 

Let’s get into the winter weather patterns of Pasadena and explore whether snow is a common occurrence. Let’s uncover the truth behind the question, “Does it snow in Pasadena?”

Does It Snow in Pasadena?

Although snowfall is uncommon, there have been a few instances throughout history where Pasadena witnessed a light dusting of snow. One notable event occurred on January 11, 1949, when a brief snow shower surprised residents. 

Does It Snow In Pasadena?

Snowflakes gently fell from the sky, delighting the locals who gathered to experience this rare phenomenon. Additionally, in February 1989 and January 2007, Pasadena experienced light snow showers, creating a picturesque winter landscape for a brief period.

The Geography And Climate Of Pasadena

Pasadena experiences a Mediterranean climate characterized by mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. This climate type is typical of coastal areas in Southern California. 

Pasadena’s geographical location plays a crucial role in determining its winter weather patterns. These mountains act as a barrier, preventing the cold air masses from reaching Pasadena and ultimately inhibiting the formation of snowfall. As a result, snow is a relatively infrequent occurrence in the region.

  • Geography of Pasadena

Pasadena is located in Los Angeles County, Southern California. It is nestled in the San Gabriel Valley, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and breathtaking natural beauty. The city is bordered by the San Gabriel Mountains to the north. 

These mountains, including the prominent Mount Wilson, rise majestically, reaching heights of over 5,000 feet. The San Gabriel Mountains not only enhance the scenic beauty of Pasadena but also play a crucial role in shaping its climate.

  • Climate of Pasadena

Pasadena experiences a Mediterranean climate, which is influenced by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. This climate type is characterized by mild, wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers. 

The combination of oceanic and mountain influences creates a pleasant and temperate climate throughout the year.

Pacific Ocean and Marine Influence On Pasadena Climate

Another key factor influencing Pasadena’s winter weather is its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The presence of the Pacific Ocean significantly moderates temperatures, keeping them relatively mild throughout the year. 

The ocean acts as a heat reservoir, preventing extreme temperature variations and minimizing the chances of snowfall. The marine influence is particularly pronounced during winter, ensuring Pasadena remains snow-free.

Rainfall vs. Snowfall

While snowfall is rare in Pasadena, rainfall is a common feature of its winter weather. The city experiences most of its precipitation during the winter months, typically between November and March. 

However, the precipitation primarily manifests as rainfall rather than snowfall. Pasadena receives an average annual rainfall of around 20 inches, contributing to its lush greenery and vibrant flora.

When Did It Last Snow In Pasadena?

The last recorded snowfall in Pasadena occurred on January 11, 1949. It was a brief snow shower that surprised the residents of the city. Since then, there have been a few instances of light snow showers in February 1989 and January 2007, but significant snow events remain rare in Pasadena.

Nearby Snow Destinations

While Pasadena may not receive substantial snowfall, snow enthusiasts need not despair. Southern California is home to various mountainous regions that provide ample opportunities for winter activities. 

Just a short drive away from Pasadena, the San Gabriel Mountains offer beautiful snow-capped peaks during the winter months. Mountain resorts such as Mount Baldy and Mountain High provide skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports, ensuring that snow lovers can still indulge in their favorite pastimes within close proximity to Pasadena.

Pasadena’s Winter Attractions

Despite the absence of significant snowfall, Pasadena is not devoid of winter attractions and festive celebrations. The city embraces the holiday spirit with various events, including the annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day. 

This renowned parade features intricately designed floats adorned with colorful flowers, captivating spectators. Additionally, Pasadena’s Old Town district boasts charming holiday decorations, unique boutiques, and cozy cafes that create a festive atmosphere during the winter months.


Does it snow in Pasadena? Snowfall in Pasadena is rare due to its Mediterranean climate, geographical location, and marine influence. While the city enjoys mild winters and an abundance of sunshine, it primarily experiences rainfall rather than snowfall during the winter months. 

However, nearby mountainous regions offer snow-filled destinations for those seeking winter activities. Whether you’re a snow lover or simply enjoy the mild winters, Pasadena’s charm and festive spirit make it an enticing destination year-round.

Frequently Asked Questions: Does It Snow in Pasadena?

Q: Does it snow in Pasadena?

A: Snowfall in Pasadena is a rare occurrence. Due to its Mediterranean climate, geographical location, and the influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean, snow is infrequent in the region. However, there have been a few instances in history where Pasadena experienced light snow showers.

Q: How often does it snow in Pasadena?

A: Snowfall in Pasadena is extremely rare. The city mostly experiences mild winters with minimal chances of snow. While specific data on the frequency of snowfall is limited, it can be said that significant snow events are uncommon in Pasadena.

Q: What are the average winter temperatures in Pasadena?

A: During the winter months, which typically span from December to February, average temperatures in Pasadena range from the mid-40s to the low 70s Fahrenheit (7-23 degrees Celsius). The city enjoys relatively mild winter temperatures compared to many other regions in the United States.

Q: Does it actually snow in California?

A: It does snow in California in some regions. While Californian weather has a reputation of being always sunny and never too cold, different regions such as the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges and Big Bear Lake experience a ‘snow season’ in winter.

Q: Is Pasadena hotter than Los Angeles?

A: Pasadena is a city located northeast of Los Angeles at 260 meters (855 ft). The area’s climate is more distant from the ocean and, therefore, warmer in summer.

Q: Does it snow in South Pasadena?

A: The average weather and temperature during this season is between 73.1°F (22.8°C) and 66.4°F (19.1°C). On average, it rains or snows a small amount: 3 to 5 times per month.