End to Sacramento area’s hard freeze expected this week

The Sacramento area faces two more days of freezing cold before the weather returns to more seasonal temperatures, the National Weather Service reported Sunday.

“Once the hard freeze is over, we’re right where we should be,” said Johnnie Powell, meteorologist for the NWS in Sacramento. “It’s not Honolulu,” Powell said. “It’s Sacramento.”

A hard-freeze warning remains in effect through Wednesday morning, thanks to a cold front from Canada.

Sunday’s low in downtown Sacramento was 28 degrees, just one degree above the record set in 2009 on that date.

Today is expected to be sunny and chilly, with a low of 26 degrees in early morning. The daytime high is forecast at 48. Look for a near repeat on Tuesday, with temperatures only a few degrees warmer.

The hard freeze will end Wednesday as daytime temperatures climb to about 53 degrees, according to the NWS.

Look for daytime highs in mid-50s starting Thursday, with lows in the mid-30s.

“It will not get really warm until we get some rain,” said Powell. When it’s sunny, the lack of cloud cover can add to the chill, he said.

While the recent cold snap may have caught some people by surprise, it’s been relatively short compared with the record set at the end of 1990.

From Dec. 20, 1990, to Jan. 1, 1991, temperatures dipped to 32 degrees or below for 13 straight days.

The current cold spell is relatively brief in comparison, with only three nights at or below freezing.

“Thirteen days in a row – it’s hard to beat that,” said Powell. “We just have short memories, that’s all.”