Baby, it’s cold outside: An Angeleno’s tale of woe


Photo credit: Mara Bridwell

Angelenos are annually faced with a unique winter experience due to lack of traditional weather conditions. One of the many joys of a Los Angeles winter are the beautiful sunsets.

Across the country, the winter season brings flurries of snow, mugs of hot chocolate and plenty of ski days, but Angelenos spend their winters a little differently. 

To many, it may seem that the weather in Southern California is a year-long summer, but to locals, a Los Angeles winter still brings colder, wetter temperatures, even if they aren’t as dramatic as the weather on the East Coast or in the Midwest

Although there may not be fresh snow as students head to school in the early morning hours, the 48-degree temperature is unbearable. How are people expected to leave their house in the morning with weather like that? Especially when dressed in a uniform skirt and short-sleeved shirt! Because cold weather in Los Angeles is a rarity, many people are unequipped for the freezing morning temperatures the winter months bring. We might actually have to WEAR A COAT. What are we, Minnesotans? 

Although Angelenos may not have to worry about getting their cars stuck in the snow or drive cautiously due to the dangers of black ice, the winter season still greatly interferes with daily activities. With average temperatures of 60-something degrees each winter day, typical outdoor Californian activities like swimming or heading to the beach are not viable options, leaving many without their routine morning surf or afternoon tanning session. Even a daily hot yoga class doesn’t make up for the lost time in the sun.  

The winter temperatures also make drinking iced coffee, one of Angelenos’ favorite activities, much more uncomfortable than usual. Drinking a freezing iced almond milk latte or iced oat milk matcha latte on a cold day may seem like a questionable choice, but many are willing to risk the pain for their favorite drink. The cold winter weather surely does not stop hordes of Archer girls from purchasing their daily iced drinks from Belwood. I mean, hot coffee is so 2012.

While summer continues to be Angeleno’s favorite season, not all aspects of LA winter are disappointing as they provide perfect opportunities to show off your wintery activities on Instagram and other social media platforms. One spot where Angelenos participate in a traditional winter activity is ICE, an ice skating rink in Santa Monica which is set up from November through January every year. This location creates the perfect setting for an Instagram post that is sure to make all of your followers jealous of the winter wonderland you seem to be enjoying. But after the pictures are taken, it’s time to leave the rink because what Angeleno actually knows how to ice skate? And don’t even get me started on those rental skates.

If you can’t even stand up on the ice rink, luckily, every hour in various malls and shopping centers, snow miraculously falls from the sky, filling everyone with joy and also creating another Insta-worthy opportunity. And unlike real snow, the fake snow doesn’t freeze you to death or even get you wet at all. 

Last, but surely not least, each winter evening, the skies are painted with some of the most vibrant and magical sunsets Los Angeles will ever see. So even though you may have to bundle up in your warmest parkas and sweatpants, it’s definitely worth the stunning photos you will get.  

But when winter fades into the earliest signs of spring, Angelenos are more than ready to return to their shorts-wearing, iced coffee drinking and beach-going lifestyle. I mean, you don’t live in Los Angeles for the seasons, do you?