The San Joaquin Valley’s cold snap continued Monday, with bone-chilling daytime highs hovering in the mid-40s – well below seasonal norms, the National Weather Service said. A gradual warming trend is expected to raise daytime temperatures closer to normal by Thursday.
Fresno and Hanford both reported a high Monday of just 45 degrees, and overnight lows remained stuck in the mid-30s in many areas. Daytime highs normally run about 53 degrees at this time of year.
The Valley’s citrus industry dodged a hard freeze that was feared during recent cold nights. Temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley dipped to the high 20s and low 30s, ideal for most types of citrus for short periods.
As a precaution, some growers ran wind machines and flooded orchards, which raise temperatures a few degrees to protect trees during a hard freeze, according to the California Citrus Mutual, a trade association of growers.
In Southern California, temperatures plunged to freezing or near-freezing in many parts early Monday and forecasters said the cold snap would continue.
Burbank and Van Nuys chilled to 31 degrees while downtown Los Angeles dipped to 37.
In the high desert Antelope Valley, Palmdale was just 20 degrees while Ojai in Ventura County was 25. Temperatures throughout Orange, San Diego and inland counties also were in the 30s and low 40s. Apple Valley in the San Bernardino County desert was just 17 degrees.
Frost advisories for a wide swath of the region and a freeze warning in the interior of Ventura County were in effect until midmorning. The National Weather Service said another round of such advisories would be issued for Monday night as skies cleared after the passing of a brief front that dropped scattered showers.
Christina Verjan, a coordinator with First to Serve Inc., which operates four cold weather shelters for the homeless around the Los Angeles area, said Monday that the organization had exceeded capacity at two of its locations. She said there were about twice as many people seeking shelter in recent days compared to a typical week this time of the year.
Verjan attributed the spike to the recent cold weather and a rise in the homeless population. People who are not able to get a bed at one of the two full shelters were being diverted to other locations. More beds are expected to open in January.
“The calls have definitely increased,” she said.