If you think it's colder than usual, it's not your imagination.
The National Weather Service today reported that a hard freeze warning has been issue for Monday morning for the valley from Redding south to Modesto, meaning that lows are equal to or below 28 degrees for at three hours.
Lows in downtown Sacramento dipped to about 27 degrees on Saturday night and more of the same is expected for tonight. Lows in valley ranged from upper 10s to the low 20s. Normal low for this time of year is around 40 degrees.
NWS forecaster Drew Peterson said the temperatures will warm slightly each day as the week progresses.
That's nothing if you live in Chester or Burney.
Peterson said the temps in those (ice) bergs fell to 8 below zero in Burney overnight and 7 below in Chester.
"We have a weather spotter in Burney and he said it's the coldest it has been in 25 years," Peterson said.
There are plenty of reasons for the icy temps.
The valleys tend to feel more of the cold than the foothills, Peterson said, since the cold rolls down mountainsides and hangs around the valley floor.
Added to that is the lack of a cloud cover, allowing any warm air to escape into the atmosphere. It also tends to be colder where there's not much air movement, Peterson said. That's why it often seems colder in rural areas than, say, downtown Sacramento.
The backdrop to all this is the extremely cold air coming through the Pacific Northwest from Canada, resulting in what the weather mavens call an "amplified high pressure ridge off the coast." That has produced much of the cold near the coasts of California, Oregon and Nevada.
Those low-low temps in Burney and Chester are particularly cold because of their geography.
Burney is at the base of Burney Mountain some 50 miles east of Redding. Chester is in the Lake Almanor Basin.
Auburn, by contrast, is forecast tonight for a comparatively milder 27 degrees.
Look for highs in the Sacramento today to peak at around 50 degrees, Peterson said.
In the Sacramento region, he said, "We'll probably start seeing overnight lows trend up Tuesday and Wednesday and reach above freezing by the end of the week."