LOS ANGELES (AP) — Winds up to 50 mph added to California's big chill misery on Monday as farmers struggled to save their citrus crops from sub-freezing temperatures and residents bundled up in record cold.
Temperatures in downtown Los Angeles plummeted to 34 degrees overnight, breaking the previous record of 36 degrees set on Jan. 14, 2007.
Elsewhere Monday, it was 13 degrees in high desert Lancaster; 25 degrees in Fresno; 27 in Temecula; 29 in Claremont; 33 in Redondo Beach and Sacramento; 34 in Palm Springs; 36 in Van Nuys; and 40 in San Francisco.
In Angeles National Forest, where overnight temperatures have been dropping into the 20s, Arcadia hiker Danny Kim, 28, was found Sunday night after surviving 26 hours in the frigid West Fork wilderness. Kim was airlifted to a hospital for treatment of hypothermia.
The body of a homeless man was found just before dawn Monday on a Los Angeles Skid Row sidewalk, but it was unclear if the death was caused by the record cold. City News Service said the name of the man, who appeared to be in his late 50s, wasn't released
Santa Ana winds have now joined the weeklong cold siege, raking the usual areas below mountain passes, including Fontana, the San Fernando Valley, Riverside, Chino Hills and the Oxnard Plain in Ventura County.
The winds helped to keep most Southern California crops out of danger by keeping the cold from settling.
But temperatures dipping into the 20s threatened mandarin oranges in the San Joaquin Valley. Mandarins can only withstand 32 degree temperatures.
Growers have been running irrigation water and turning on wind machines to ward off the cold.
"It's the coldest so far," said Alyssa Houtdy of Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual, an association of the state's 3,900 citrus growers.
The citrus mutual's president, Joel Nelsen, said the wind helped in Southern California areas, but the cold got to dangerous levels Monday in the San Joaquin Valley. He said there is $1.5 billion worth of citrus on the trees.
"We're expecting some damage to border rows, those rows that are farthest away from protection," Nelsen said. "They had the sprinklers and wind machines going all night. The wind machines keep the warmer air closer to the ground."
Farmers were still assessing their crops.
"We came out better than what we expected," Delano grower Doug Carman told the Fresno Bee (http://bit.ly/TVduLi ). Carman's Paramount Citrus farms about 30,000 acres of clementine mandarins, navel and Valencia oranges, lemons and other citrus varieties
In Beverly Hills, fans brought heavy coats and scarves as they waited along the red carpet hoping to catch glimpses of stars arriving for the Golden Globes ceremony Sunday evening. Some of the actors shivered but weren't complaining.
"I'd rather be nippy than boiling hot," said actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who arrived in a strapless dress. "No, I'm not wearing any leggings or long underwear."
In San Diego, zookeepers offered extra heat and shelter for some animals.
The cold air was flowing east into neighboring Arizona, where metropolitan Phoenix was marking one of its coldest stretches in years. Temperatures over the weekend dipped to 30 degrees at Sky Harbor International Airport and fell well below zero in mountainous Flagstaff.
- Natural Phenomena
- Nature & Environment