Local News

Monday, Nov 07 2011 06:28 PM

Freeze warning issued for high desert areas

BY RACHEL COOK Californian staff writer rcook@bakersfield.com

Winter signaled its approach as the National Weather Service issued a freeze warning for the Kern County desert starting Monday night and ending Tuesday morning.

Gary Sanger, a meteorologist for National Weather Service's Hanford office, said temperatures would dip into the mid-20s and stay below freezing for several hours.

"We have a cold, dry air mass that's moved into the region that is allowing the air to cool down to critical temperatures overnight," Sanger said.

The caution included the communities of Rosamond, California City, Mojave, Ridgecrest, Edwards Air Force Base and Inyokern. Sanger said temperatures below 28 degrees are critical because they can damage and kill vegetation. However, ag experts didn't expect the freeze to cause major crop losses for the area's farmers.

"There's not much up there right now," said Greg Wegis, vice president of the Kern County Farm Bureau. "Mostly everything's done and shutting down."

Cooler temperatures and a drizzly weekend are also in store for Bakersfield, though nothing as biting as the valley's frosty conditions.

"We do have another storm coming in reaching Kern County on Friday," Sanger said.

The predicted low for Tuesday night is 41 degrees, Sanger said, with a rebound to a high of 75 on Wednesday. The temperature will fall to 66 degrees Friday with rain, Stanger said, with a 50 percent chance of showers Saturday.

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