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California farmers struggle against cold

Freezing weather felt all across state

LOS ANGELES – Residents remained bundled up and growers in the Central Valley again took measures to protect their citrus crops Sunday, as California’s cold snap entered its fourth night.

Alerts predicting freezing temperatures and frost were becoming familiar in much of the state, with new high wind warnings in place for the mountains around Los Angeles beginning early today.

Farmers hoped for another night of successful crop protection, as they ran wind machines and water to shield their fruit.

Spokesman Paul Story of California Citrus Mutual, a growers trade association, said so far most orange and lemon crops probably avoided significant damage despite temperatures early Sunday in the high 20s.

“For the navel oranges, that’s not cold enough to do a measurable amount of damage,” Story said.

He said more sensitive mandarin oranges may have suffered some minimal damage.

In the Los Angeles area, famously torrid Woodland Hills, which usually makes news for its triple-digit temperatures, hit a low of 30 degrees Sunday morning. That was warm compared to Lancaster in north Los Angeles County, which hit 15 degrees.

Temperatures reached the low 20s in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Meanwhile, in the Sierra Nevada mountains, temperatures plunged below zero overnight, and after a day in the 20s, another subzero night was expected.

In San Diego, zookeepers offered extra heat and shelter for some animals.

The cold air was flowing east into neighboring Arizona, where metropolitan Phoenix was approaching the halfway point in a four-day cold snap that’s expected to mark the coolest stretch the area has seen since 1988. Temperatures late Saturday dipped to 30 degrees at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Low temperatures across Arizona included 23 at Tucson International Airport and 7 below in Flagstaff.


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