Another Freeze for the Imperial Valley, Other Agricultural Areas

February 4, 2011; 6:02 AM ET
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Temperatures dipped close to all-time record lows in a number of locations over the Imperial Valley of California and other agricultural areas Thursday morning, with another freeze occurring Friday morning.

El Centro dropped to 19 degrees Thursday morning, one degree shy of their all-time record low of 18 degrees set in Jan. 4, 1949. El Centro did set their all-time lowest February record, shattering the old record of 24 set on Feb. 12, 1965.

Multiple hours of sub-freezing temperatures were experienced in not only the Imperial Valley, but also the Gila Valley of California and in the lower Colorado Valley of Arizona.

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There undoubtedly was some damage to these areas Thursday morning and more sub-freezing temperatures were beginning to occur early Friday morning, but not quite to the severely low levels just 24 hours earlier.

These regions produce winter vegetables and fruit to the U.S. and other areas.

South Texas has also been hit with sub-freezing temperatures recently. In fact, part of the lower Rio Grande Valley never recovered to the freezing mark Thursday, after dipping into the upper 20s Thursday morning.

While clear skies at night were contributing to the low temperatures in the Southwest, including sub-zero readings in Arizona, cloud cover and a "norther" were contributing to the freeze in Texas.

The extent of the damage from these freezes is not yet known, but it could impact prices at your local grocery store in the coming weeks, if the supply of quality fruit and vegetables is reduced or has to be retrieved from more distant locations.

The cold weather did not hit the Central Valley of California nearly as hard with low temperatures generally at or above the freezing mark. Temperatures have remained and should continue to remain well above cold levels in central and southern Florida in the coming days and weeks.

After a cold start, temperatures will rebound markedly over the Southwest by this afternoon, but a slower temperature recovery is in store for South Texas with more record cold in store Saturday morning in the lower Rio Grande Valley.


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