Pharos-Tribune

Breaking news

January 14, 2013

Bitter cold grips California

FRESNO, Calif. — As an unusual cold gripped the West Coast for the fifth day, some California citrus growers began to see damage on Monday while strong winds added to the misery of bundled-up city residents.

The extreme chill in the West comes as the Eastern U.S., from Atlanta to New York City, is seeing spring-like weather.

In the San Joaquin Valley, where farmers are fighting to protect about $1.5 billion worth of citrus fruit on their trees, Sunday temperatures dropped to 25 degrees in some areas and stayed low longer than previous nights.

Prolonged temperatures in the mid-20's or below cause damage to citrus crops.

"It was our coldest night to date," said Paul Story of Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual, an association of the state's 3,900 citrus growers. "I think mandarin growers are going to see a range of significant damage, enough that they will have to separate their crops."

Mandarins are more susceptible to cold than other citrus and start to freeze at about 32 degrees, Story said. Because many mandarin groves were planted in recent years as their popularity soared, they are grown in colder areas outside the traditional citrus belt — areas that saw some of the lowest temperatures overnight.

Other citrus crops saw little or minimal damage, Story said. This year's high sugar content in oranges helped protect the crops, he said, because sugar inhibits freezing and makes the fruit less susceptible to damage.

Throughout the valley, growers deployed wind machines to keep the warm air closer to the ground and irrigation to raise the temperature in the groves. But rows farthest away from the protection could be damaged, Story said. And farmers who do not have wind machines could lose crops.

Lindsey-based Robert LoBlue, who grows 1,000 acres of citrus, including mandarins, said wind machines were critical in his groves — but saving the crop doesn't come cheap. LoBlue runs one wind machine for every 10 acres and has to employ a crew to man them.

"We're very diligent, we run the wind and water all night," LoBlue said, "but we're spending thousands of dollars to protect these crops."

And farmers are on the hook for a fifth cold night: a freeze warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. Tuesday for central California.

In Southern California, strong winds helped to keep crops out of danger by keeping the cold from settling.

Temperatures in downtown Los Angeles plummeted to 34 degrees, breaking the previous record of 36 degrees set on Jan. 14, 2007.

Winds gusted to 41 mph in Riverside and Leo Carrillo State Beach west of Malibu, while 40 mph gusts kicked up dust and sand in the Blythe southeast desert area near the Arizona border.

Gusts reached 30 mph in Camarillo while Santa Ana and Van Nuys reported gusts to 26 mph.

Elsewhere Monday, it was 13 degrees in high desert Lancaster; 27 in Temecula; 29 in Claremont; 33 in Redondo Beach and Sacramento; 34 in Palm Springs; 36 in Van Nuys; and 40 in San Francisco.

In Angeles National Forest, where overnight temperatures have been dropping into the 20s, Arcadia hiker Danny Kim, 28, was found Sunday night after surviving 26 hours in the frigid West Fork wilderness. Kim was airlifted to a hospital for treatment of hypothermia.

The body of a homeless man was found just before dawn Monday on a Los Angeles Skid Row sidewalk, but it was unclear if the death was caused by the record cold. City News Service said the name of the man, who appeared to be in his late 50s, wasn't released.

In Beverly Hills, fans brought heavy coats and scarves as they waited along the red carpet hoping to catch glimpses of stars arriving for the Golden Globes ceremony Sunday evening. Some of the actors shivered but weren't complaining.

"I'd rather be nippy than boiling hot," said actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who arrived in a strapless dress. "No, I'm not wearing any leggings or long underwear."

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 marking one of its coldest stretches in years. Temperatures over the weekend dipped to 30 degrees at Sky Harbor International Airport and fell well below zero in mountainous Flagstaff.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Breaking news
  • UPDATED: Logansport HS teacher arrested on child seduction charge

    A Logansport High School teacher was arrested Thursday on a charge of child seduction.

    April 18, 2014

  • Cause of fire that killed 2 boys still unknown LAFAYETTE (AP) — A central Indiana sheriff says investigators are continuing to work on what led up to a house fire this month that killed 3-year old twin brothers. Tippecanoe County Sheriff Tracy Brown says county detectives and a state fire invest

    April 18, 2014

  • Board member asks for old Indiana school standards INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A State Board of Education member is calling for a proposed overhaul of Indiana's education standards to be ditched and that the state's old benchmarks be reinstated in classrooms this fall. Board member Andrea Neal said Friday t

    April 18, 2014

  • Murder Suicide Indiana [Duplicate] 2 Indianapolis officers dead in murder-suicide INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A suspended Indianapolis police sergeant and his police officer ex-wife died in an apparent murder-suicide, the city police chief said. Officers called to Officer Kimberlee Carmack's home in a neighborhood on the city's far west

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bloomington mayor vetoes preserve deer hunt plan BLOOMINGTON (AP) — The mayor of Bloomington has vetoed an ordinance that would allow sharpshooters to thin the deer heard at a city nature preserve. Mayor Mark Kruzan (kroo-ZAN') says he can't support the proposal and that he also opposed the start

    April 18, 2014

  • Southwest Airlines flight lands safely post-threat INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis airport spokesman says a Southwest Airlines flight has safely made an emergency landing after the airline received some kind of threat. Spokesman Carlo Bertolini says Southwest Flight 362 requested the emergency l

    April 18, 2014

  • Indiana reading test results steady from last year INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — New test results show the reading levels among Indiana's third graders made slight progress from last year. The Indiana Department of Education released data Thursday from the spring 2014 IREAD 3 test showing about 85 percent of

    April 17, 2014

  • Central Indiana county treasurer bonds from jail MUNCIE (AP) — A central Indiana county treasurer facing official misconduct charges is out of jail after a judge reduced his bond. A judge on Wednesday cut the bond amount for Delaware County Treasurer John Dorer from $400,000 to $50,000. Dorer poste

    April 17, 2014

  • 4 students taken to hospital after smoking spice COLUMBUS (AP) — Officials say central Indiana high school students were taken to a hospital after becoming ill from smoking the synthetic marijuana known as spice. Bartholomew Consolidated Schools spokesman Larry Perkinson says a boy went to the Col

    April 17, 2014

  • Indianapolis police trained to give overdose drug NDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis police and emergency responders are receiving training to deliver antidotes to overdoses of heroin and other narcotics. WISH-TV and WIBC-FM report Indianapolis emergency medical services crews this week are teaching In

    April 17, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.