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  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

    A sign reminds customers to use a frost cover to protect plants from the cold at Green Acres Nursery on Monday, January 14, 2013 in Sacramento, Calif.

  • Gary Kazanjian / AP

    A little muddy in the rain, oranges at B. Hardin Ranches are picked before an upcoming cold front hits the west coast Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in Ivanhoe, Calif.

Hard freeze warning issued for Sacramento, valley, foothills

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 - 7:18 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 - 6:16 pm

Expect the coldest morning temperatures of the season tonight as lows drop to 28 degrees in Sacramento, with widespread frost after 4 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

A hard freeze warning is in effect from Redding south into the Central Valley and foothills overnight and again Thursday night. Overnight low temperatures will be well below freezing as a very cold airmass originating in western Canada moves into Northern California. Locations include Stockton, Modesto, Sacramento and Chico.

Temperatures could damage crops and kill sensitive vegetation, and harm pets and livestock. Burst pipes are another possible danger.

Thursday’s high is predicted at a mere 48 degrees.

A cold Canadian air mass produced temperatures at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday of 30 degrees in Orangevale, 32 in Sacramento near Cal Expo, 29 in Auburn, 30 in Wilton near Elk Grove, 32 in Rocklin, 29 in Folsom, 33 in Antelope and 39 in Davis.

The National Weather Service predicts that clear skies and lighter winds on Thursday will produce the coldest temperatures of the season, with valley lows in the 20s.

Some spots in the Sierra Nevada could see single-digit readings.

Another cold weather system is expected to head toward the region Friday and continue into Saturday. This system will pack more precipitation, which means more snow for the mountains and difficult travel on trans-Sierra highways.

The upcoming Friday-into-Saturday storm also has the potential of dusting the foothills with some snow and bringing a few flakes to the northern portion of the Sacramento Valley, according to the NWS.

Saturday night’s overnight low is expected to be a bone-chilling 27 degrees in Sacramento.

For tips on dealing with the cold snap:

Tips for home safety in winter's cold

Prepare your home, plants and pets

Keep your pets safe.

Read more: Cold snap felt across Rockies, Midwest too

Mountain mandarins ‘chill’ while awaiting visitors

Customized forecast for your area on

Ski reports for Northern California resorts on

Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

Read more articles by Bill Lindelof

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