Coldest night yet Saturday night
One more night of mid-20s forecast
Despite Saturday night being the coldest night of the season so far, most citrus growers escape any serious damage to their crops.
California Citrus Mutual reported that for the third consecutive night, temperatures failed to reach predicted lows across citrus producing areas, stabilizing in much of the San Joaquin Valley in the upper-20s allowing for frost protection to be successful at preventing any damage to this season’s citrus crop.
While navel oranges can withstand lower temperatures, some mandarin growers may have suffered some crop loss, CCM reported. Mandarins are at risk at sustained temperatures below 31, while navel oranges can take temperatures below 27 right now.
Still, the cold nights have come at a dollar cost. Estimates are it cost $30 an hour to run wind machines and the machines have been busy the past several nights.
Growers will be busy again tonight as the fourth in a series of cold nights is expected. However, the forecast is a little more favorable. The National Weather Service has issued a freeze watch with forecast lows in the Orange Belt between 26 and 31 degrees.