H-CENTRAL VALLEY

Jan 15, 2013 7:18 PM by Associated Press

Cold still threatens crops but it's easing

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Weather forecasters say the freeze gripping the west appears on the verge of easing as high pressure moves to the east.

Temperatures in California's San Joaquin Valley dipped below freezing for the fifth morning Tuesday, though they were a few degrees warmer than previous nights.

Citrus growers are using wind machines to raise temperatures around $1.5 billion worth of fruit on the trees.

California Citrus Mutual estimates that growers statewide spent more than $23 million over five nights to save their crops.

Crop damage estimates aren't yet available because for some varieties damage isn't visible for days or weeks.

In urban centers, it was 39 degrees in downtown Los Angeles early Tuesday, while San Francisco had 37 and San Diego, 36. In Oakland, black ice caused several crashes.

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