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Low temperatures in SCV expected through rest of week

Posted: December 4, 2013 7:19 p.m.
Updated: December 4, 2013 7:20 p.m.

Widespread hard freezes are expected tonight and Thursday night as frigid weather hits the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas, including coastal plains that are usually immune to frosty conditions, National Weather Service forecasters said.

Meteorologists issued a frost advisory and hazardous weather outlook for the area and forecast lows tonight and Thursday night of 31 degrees in Saugus.

An 80 percent chance of rain was forecast Friday night and Saturday.

But Richard Green of Green Landscape Nursery said low temperatures can vary widely within the Santa Clarita Valley due to micro climates. The frost warning means local residents should take precautions to protect sensitive plants, he said.

Damage to plants depends on how low the temperature goes, how long it stays below freezing, whether there’s wind or cloud cover, as well as the natural protection of the plant itself, he said.

“The tropical-type plants are the ones most exposed,” he said, citing azaleas, poinsettias and begonias, as well as all tropical fruit trees — especially avocados. “A lot of other plants, they close up at night or have a lesser leaf surface.”

Green says he sometimes drives through Valencia and then heads home to his residence in Wildwood Canyon in Newhall, noting an 11-degree temperature difference depending on location within the valley.

He advised residents to cover any sensitive plants — starting with a layer of bark on the ground to protect their roots. A frost tarp on top of the plants is good protection for their leaves and branches, although a bed sheet will do also, he said.

“Don’t do plastic tarps — plastic burns the plants (because) they can’t breath,” he said. “Also, if it did rain and then ice up, it could actually weight your plants down and break branches.” The same danger lies with bed sheets, he added.

“Inform the public that we live in an intermediate high desert valley. Our influence is stronger to the high desert, where the nights get cold and the days get hot,” than it is to the San Fernando or Santa Clara River valleys, where a more moderate Pacific influence is felt, Green said.

Chilly daytime temperatures in the 50s are expected through the rest of the week along with continued low temperatures — hovering in the 30s — through Friday night, National Weather Service forecasters said.




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