Chilly conditions begin Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day in Southern California began with a chill.
According to the National Weather Service, many high desert, mountain and even some inland valley spots recorded temperatures below freezing Thursday. It was slightly warmer in the L.A. Basin. Downtown L.A. recorded 43 degrees. Santa Ana recorded 38.
The weather service warned residents to protect sensitive outdoor plants and crops, and to keep pets and animals indoors or in a barn.
Jay Van Rein, a spokesman for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, said that based on the forecast, there were concerns about citrus crops, particularly in the Central Valley from Fresno to Kern counties. Three years ago, record cold temperatures destroyed most of the oranges still hanging on trees.
But Vanrein said this cold snap was not expected to be nearly as severe.
"There are freezing temperatures forecast, but for a much smaller range of time and a smaller range of geography," he said. "There may be some losses, but if this follows the forecast, most of the growers should be able to take measures to protect their crops and minimize their losses."
For downtown Los Angeles, Monday's high temperature was 9 degrees below average. On Tuesday, when the temperature dipped to 61 degrees, it was 6 degrees below average, said Bill Patzert, a climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. Low temperatures in the Los Angeles basin have hovered around 40.
Photo: George Saliba shovels snow from California 39 at Angeles Crest Highway into his truck earlier this week to deliver a Thanksgiving surprise to his grandchildren. Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times