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Temperatures to approach freezing in Pasadena and across Southern California

December 31, 2010 |  8:04 pm

Temperatures throughout Southern California are expected to approach freezing as revelers count down the hours to New Year's Day.

The Arctic air blowing into Pasadena could bring temperatures down as low as 35 degrees overnight, creating a rough night for revelers camping out on Colorado Boulevard in advance of the Rose Parade, said Bill Hoffer, spokesman for the National Weather Service office in Oxnard. A frost advisory will be in place after midnight for Pasadena, the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys, and the Santa Monica Mountains.

Downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, the Orange County coast and the Inland Empire will see lows in the 30s overnight, while the San Fernando Valley could see lows in the 20s.

"It could be mighty uncomfortable," Hoffer said. "It could affect some less hardy individuals."

Officials advised those camping outside to be on alert for hypothermia, an abnormal cooling of the body that can cause sleepiness and confusion. Babies and the elderly are most at risk.

The high in Pasadena on New Year's Day is expected to hit only 55 degrees.

The good news is that forecasters expect a slowly approaching storm to come too late to rain on the parade, which begins at 8 a.m., or the Rose Bowl, which begins at 2 p.m. If the storm does come, it will most likely arrive in Ventura County on Saturday night and in L.A. County sometime on Sunday, Hoffer said.

"It's also possible the system will stall ... out over the Pacific, and generate very little precipitation for Los Angeles County," Hoffer said.

The chance of rain could continue to loom over Southern California through midweek.

On Friday, Long Beach tied a 1982 record for the coldest Dec. 31: 35 degrees.

Another record for the month of December was set at Mammoth Mountain, which has had 208 inches of snowfall this month. The last record was 139.8 inches in December 1971. Records have been kept there for 41 years.

In the meantime, in New York City, snowless skies were expected for the ball drop in Times Square. The low overnight is expected to hit 36 -- about as cold as Pasadena.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II