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Rare hail storm hits California’s Huntington Beach

In a rare sight for beachgoers, Huntington Beach in California was hit with a storm Monday that left the beach in a blanket of hail.

Residents nearby woke up to about an inch of hail, which transformed the beach into a winter wonderland, MyFOXLA reported.

Huntington Beach today. Photo: @alschaben

A photo posted by US Blanks (@usblanks) on

National Weather Service meteorologist James Thomas told MyFOXLA the storm was caused by the arrival of a low-pressure cold system in the south.

Marine Safety Lt. Mike Beuerlein said the hail drew massive crowds, many of whom took part in the celebration.

“It absolutely looked like Christmas morning,” Beuerlein said in an interview with MyFOXLA. “There were snowball fights on the beach.”

No filter. Just hail at the beach. #huntingtonbeach

A photo posted by @oatmealjoe on

Beuerlein said the storm was not all fun and games, though.

“It lasted for more than half an hour where it was coming down hard,” Beuerlein said. “It got real dark and there was some lightning.”

Every couple years, Southern California gets hit with a weather system such as this one that causes hail, Thomas said. Unlike this instance, the snow does not usually “stick” on the beach.


A video posted by @oatmealjoe on

Huntington Beach was not the only California area to experience strange weather; Mission Viejo also reported pea-sized hail the same morning.