SAN DIEGO (AP) — Strawberry growers are covering their crops while San Diego zookeepers are turning on heaters for the chimpanzees as Southern California braces for a cold snap expected to drop temperatures to a six-year low.
The National Weather Service said Thursday that a low pressure trough sinking over San Diego County and parts of neighboring Orange County could keep nightly temperatures below freezing in coastal areas, the low deserts and inland valleys, threatening orange, avocado orchards and other sensitive plants.
The coldest nights were expected to hit Friday and Saturday.
The forecast also calls for a combination of astronomical high tides, high surf and strong winds that could bring minor flooding to low-lying areas of the Southern California coast. Snow was expected in the mountains.
The California Highway Patrol reopened the Grapevine section of Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles on Thursday, where snow briefly closed the roadway.
Several accidents and spinouts were reported in the mountain pass. The National Weather Service says the mountains could see snow levels down to 2,000 feet Thursday, while winds may gust to 60 mph there and up to 45 mph in valleys and coastal areas.