Southern California's greatest snow occurred on this date. Fifteen inches blanketed San Bernardino, and even San Diego reported a trace of snow. According to the “History of Riverside, California” by Edgar Wallace Holmes, Jan. 11,1882 was a beautiful day. But the temperature dropped that night, it became overcast and snow began falling around daybreak. The snow fell all day on Jan. 12th and into the next day. By the 14th, Riverside and San Bernardino counties were totally snow-covered. The bitter winter weather extended up and down California and brought snow to all kinds of places that saw it very rarely, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. In Riverside, snow fell to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. So much snow blew into area canals that they became blocked in places and severe breaks occurred. Only a minor amount of damage occurred to the citrus fruit still on the trees, as the snow acted as an insulator. However, many trees were damaged when the weight of the snow, combined with the weight of the fruit, and that caused branches to break and trees to split. The city of San Bernardino, being at a higher elevation than Riverside, got more snow. The city had an estimated 12 to 15 inches. All transport came to a halt in the region for a week in what went into the history books as the greatest snowfall ever seen, before or since in Southern California.
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