Does It Snow in Solvang? Solvang sits at elevation in the Santa Ynez Valley, protected by mountains to its north and south and by hills to the northwest and west.
It is seasonal and much of winter from early December through to the second week of March is cold, wet and cloudy. But, does it snow in Solvang California?
Many people want to know more about this snow mystery. So, let’s find the answer to, “Does it ever snow in Solvang California?
No, it doesn’t snow in Solvang or only so very lightly that there’s not enough to measure.
More about the Climate of Solvang, CA
Solvang in Santa Barbara Country, California is known for its lack of snow.
It gets the least of all the US states, and typically there is none for several years in a row. The whole region basks in a sunny Mediterranean climate with warm days and nights all year long.
On average, Solvang only sees temperatures of less than 10oC/50oF for 68 days a year.
The coldest period is through December with nighttime lows of 49oF (9.44oC). But, with the winter daytime highs reaching 62oF (17oC) temperatures feel quite balmy year round.
Here is a bit more about the average temperature in Solvang throughout the year:
Fact: Solvang, CA gets frosty but the only official form of precipitation is rain, most of it falling in February.
Does it Snow in Solvang?
Although the US average for snow is 28 inches, with 287 sunny days a year, the average snowfall in the valley around Solvang is officially zero.
Still, on average, the area has precipitation for 42 days each year, and some do fall as hail and snow.
But, it is just not enough to meet the required 0.01 inches to be officially recorded.
It is a detail that has not stopped Solvang from being named the most Christmassy town in California.
How much Snow Does Solvang Get Each Year?
On average only one day a year has any chance of snow.
Sometime around mid-December, the likelihood of snow increases to 11%.
Although snowflakes might be forming high in the clouds over the mountains, few flakes will survive the journey through warmer layers of the atmosphere to reach the ground in the valley.
It has never been enough to lie and accumulate. It has not ever been deep enough or lasted long enough to be recorded by the local weather stations.
The Effect of Low Temperature
It does not get much snow mainly because the temperature does not get too low for snow to form.
Here is a bit about the highest and lowest temperatures throughout the year:
|Month||Avg Low Temp||Avg. High Temp|
|Feb||42 F||64.9 F|
|Mar||44.5 F||66.5 F|
|Apr||45.4 F||66.9 F|
|May||48.7 F||67 F|
|Jun||52.1 F||68.4 F|
|Jul||55.1 F||70.5 F|
|Aug||55 F||71.5 F|
|Sep||53.6 F||73.6 F|
|Oct||50.3 F||73.7 F|
|Nov||43.9 F||70 F|
|Dec||40.2 F||63.8 F|
Fact: Temperatures in Solvang only occasionally fall below freezing and conditions are seldom right for deep snowfall.
Finding Snow in Solvang, California
Despite its Christmassy appeal, in Solvang near the bottom of a steep valley, no one place has a higher chance of snow than another.
It is only slightly warmer in the town, thanks to human activity.
Although there could be localized pockets of cold in less inhabited areas there is only ever a light dusting wherever it falls.
Snowfall in Nearby Areas
The nearby Santa Ynez peaks see a lot more snow, 36 inches and get twice as much rain as 40 inches, but it only snows one year in three.
It is quite like the Pacific’s El Nino cycle.
Near the valley floor, it is not enough to make the log books but conditions are different 4000 ft up among peaks of the Santa Ynez Mountains.
And you will likely see the same on its fellow transverse ranges the San Rafel and Sierra Madre, pushed up by tectonic action.
Finding Snow Around Solvang
Santa Barbara County, in California is unique.
It is one of the very few places where visitors can surf the warm waters of the Pacific and enjoy snowy mountain slopes all in one day.
The Santa Ynez Mountains are a stone’s throw away but in the cooler months of winter there are other snow opportunities close by:
|Camino Cielo Ski Area||The South Coast, includes La Cumbre Peak the highest elevation in the Santa Ynez Mountains overlooking Solvang. 36 inches on the Santa Ynez peaks isn’t unusual.|
|Mount Baldy||Moderate snowfall, around 36 inches annually, with 13 -15 inches falling December to January. On average 6 snow days per year. It’ll be at its deepest in February and March at 11 to 12 inches.|
|Mountain High Ski Resort||Big Pines near Wrightwood, CA. Three resorts at 6,600, 7,000 and 7,200ft. 70 inches of snow and 13 snow days on average from November to March, with the heaviest falls in December and January.|
How are Winters in Solvang?
Winters in Solvang tend to be mild although often cloudy and wet, particularly in early in the first months of the year.
It very rarely experiences weather extremes and during December, although the nights are cold, they are not too cold to be out in.
The day time temperatures are often described as very comfortable which adds to the town’s appeal as a Christmas destination.
Why is Snow Fall so Rare in Solvang, California?
Snowfall is rare in Solvang for several reasons. For instance:
Solvang lies just 20 miles or so from the Pacific coast and like the rest of California lies within a zone of prevailing westerlies.
However, the progress of the winds is tempered by the barrier created by the hills and the mountains. They deflect the winds so that the winter storms they bring track further south.
The westerlies also bring warm, equatorial waters along the California coastline in a fast moving current creating the warm ambient temperatures of the coastal areas.
Solvang is sunny for most of the year. It is how the town got its Danish name. But it is also humid because of the ocean.
Even when temperatures fall to zero, too much warm moisture is already in the air. It is humid along the coast for the greater part of the year.
Solvang, with its milder daytime temperatures and its position in a valley, sees humidity levels increase from moderate to high over the winter.
Fact: On the rare occasions it does snow, the humidity melts it fast although most melts when it is still high in the atmosphere falling through layers at warmer temperatures.
Solvang is at a low elevation on a lifted valley floor 505ft above sea level.
High enough for its residents to feel cooling sea breezes but too low, warm and humid for conditions needed for reliable snow.
Its very rare dustings are the remnants of cold air masses that have been pushed off or over the tops of the mountains.
Fact: Because of the warmer wetter temperatures over the 2.4 square miles of the town, most snowflakes falling there will be raindrops long before they reach the ground.
Best Time to Visit Solvang and Things to Do
In terms of weather, the best time to visit Solvang is from May 14th to Oct 28th.
However, no matter when you plan your trip, you will never run out of options to have a great time in Solvang.
|Wine tasting and tours||Santa Barbara wine valley has many wineries and tasting rooms where you can try award-winning wines and vineyard tours.|
|Go holiday shopping||Shop for Danish-inspired gifts, handmade goods, and local crafts in Solvang’s lovely streets.|
|Solvang Julefest||Celebrate Solvang’s Julefest with a tree lighting ceremony, parades, and Danish holiday customs.|
|Solvang Ice Skating Rink||Enjoy yourself at the outdoor ice skating rink, which is great for people with all skill levels.|
Does it snow in Solvang? No, it does not snow in Solvang, California. The area has nice, warm weather all year round.
Even though Solvang may look like a Christmas wonderland and sometimes gets a few snowflakes, the official record shows that it never actually snows there.
And even if it does, the chances of the snow sticking around and piling up are very low. If you want to find snow nearby, you can check out the Santa Ynez Mountains nearby.
However, Solvang itself does not get any snow.