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Crops fare well despite cold, windy weather

January 13, 2013 |  1:09 pm

Windy weather forecast
The weekend chill is giving way to cold, gusty winds followed by a slight warming trend in the days ahead, forecaster say -- good news for citrus farmers working to save crops.

A high wind watch is in effect for the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and mountain area through Sunday night, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. Winds of 20 to 40 mph, gusting to 60 mph, are expected with overnight lows in the lower 40s.

Long Beach, Pasadena and Woodland Hills will stay on the chillier side with overnight lows in the lower 30s, Seto said.

The mass of Arctic air over the region is moving out and will be replaced by a high-pressure ridge that will push daytime temps to the mid-60s by Wednesday, he said.

Ventura County citrus farmers made it through another cold night, apparently with little damage to citrus crops. Ojai grower Jim Churchill said he kept wind machines going all night to protect his orchards of Pixie tangerines and avocados.

At one point, the thermometer dropped to 27 degrees, Churchill said. But it didn't stay there long.

"Two mornings ago, it got to 25 degrees and that's dangerous,'' he said. He'll check his crops for damage later this week, but thinks he fared OK.

Other citrus growers exchanged tales of their own long nights at the Ojai farmers market Sunday, he said. They are welcoming the forecasted wind.

"When there's winds, it's not as cold,'' he said. "The real damage comes when it’s still.”

Camarillo dropped to 33 degrees overnight, matching a record low set in 1962, Seto said.


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-- Catherine Saillant

Photo: Steers stand and graze Friday in a snow-covered field near the Tejon Pass town of Lebec. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times