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Freeze could bring record lows across Southland tonight

January 12, 2013 |  3:56 pm

Icicles hang from lemons.

People should bundle up across Southern California: Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing in some parts of the region, with Saturday night predicted to be the chilliest.

Temperatures could drop to 32 degrees from the ocean to downtown Los Angeles. Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley could see the mid-20s.

“We’re not used to this around here,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. “This is outside our comfort zone as wimpy Southern Californians.”

Crops and other sensitive vegetation could be killed by the cold. The area hasn’t seen such low temperatures since 2007, said Bonnie Bartling, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service.

In Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, temperatures could drop to the mid-20s. Single digits are expected in the mountains and in the Antelope Valley, according to the weather service.

Orange and San Diego counties could see lows from 27 to 35 degrees, and parts of the Inland Empire could drop to as low as 21 degrees.

Wind advisories also are in effect, with gusts as fast as 60 mph expected in some areas.

Patzert said the low temperatures have been brought on by a high-pressure system pulling air straight from the Arctic.

“This is definitely a polar outbreak,” he said, adding that records could be broken in some places.

He instructed people to bring pets inside and to cover plants and pipes.

“Tonight’s the night to bundle up with your honey,” he said.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Icicles hang from a lemon tree at a citrus farm in Moorpark. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times