Commuters whose cars piled up in Beverly Glen Canyon today had no idea the dark smear on the road wasn't sprinkler water — it was black ice, not seen in decades by most Los Angeles urbanites. Residents of the San Fernando Valley were baffled today to see birds pecking at water in birdbaths — until the word “frozen” came to mind.

Sand and surf town Redondo Beach saw 33 degrees. Woodland Hills, 31. Everybody trying to catch a glimpse of movie stars at the Golden Globes last night froze their fannies off. Could it snow on Hollywood Boulevard next? In a record-low cold snap whipped by Santa Ana winds, the temps hit 34 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, matching a 1990 record.The human toll included a homeless man dead near Skid Row. Flora is getting slammed, with the feared decimation of thousands of bougainvillea and tropical plants. And more to come:

Credit: ctd2005

Credit: ctd2005

Weather forecasters are warning of continued icy temps and serious high winds, with gusts up to 58 mph in all of the surrounding mountains including the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area and the San Gabriels. The Santa Clarita Valley and Orange County beaches are going to get slammed with wind.

Most people in America think Los Angeles is a desert, which is not true. We get just enough rain to support thick stands of native trees and shrubs, and even Wikipedia explains:

Los Angeles has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb on the coast, Csa inland), and receives just enough annual precipitation to avoid Köppen's BSh (semi-arid climate) classification. Los Angeles has plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually

Which is why, sad to say, it is not going to snow in Los Angeles this week. There isn't a cloud in the sky. As usual.

January is traditionally the coldest month in Mediterranean L.A., with daytime warmth ranging from 59 to 73 °F, dropping to 55 on the city side and 45 °F on the Valley side at night.

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