Several cities in California were subjected to shockingly low temperatures last night. There is more to come with Friday's storm. That storm is expected to bring rain, snow in the Sierras and possibly a layer of the white stuff on the valley floor. According to a Dec. 5 Sacramento Bee article, Thursdays low dipped to 29 degrees F in the state Capitol. The previous record was 32 degrees.
Stockton saw a new record low of 23 degrees, shattering the previous record of 27. The entire state had new lows, some shattering records that have held for a century or longer.
As California is one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the world, the greatest fears are that an extended freeze could damage the citrus crops in the south state as well as stone fruit trees in the northern valley and foothills. According to a Dec. 5 Accuweather article, the current freeze is not expected to do the damage that was done in the last devastating freeze of 1990. That freeze not only damaged winter crops, it caused lasting damage to trees.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
Thursday afternoon is actually pleasant, with full sunshine, light winds and 49 degree highs.
Friday will see a change from a 50 degree high transitioning to very light rain by late afternoon. The light rain will continue through the night, with temperatures dropping to around 37 degrees. Overnight, an 80 percent chance of showers will decrease to 30 percent by late Saturday morning.
The storm will clear out on Saturday and temperatures will drop deeply during the night, perhaps as low as the twenties.
After Saturday, expect daytime highs in the 40s or 50s, clear skies and light winds.
The overnight lows, however, will remain in the twenties and low thirties well into next week.
MAJOR TIPS FOR DEALING WITH A FREEZE
1. Get out the blankets and tarps. After watering important outdoor plants, cover them through the night.
2. Wrap the pipes and keep the taps on a low drip to prevent a solid freeze during the night.
3. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let the warm air circulate around pipes.
4. Make sure that carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are functional and the batteries are fresh.
5. Exercise extreme caution when driving at night. Look out for black ice.