Prepare for Cold Temps as Hard Freeze Warning Issued for Central Valley


As temperatures continue to plummet across the northern part of the state, the National Weather Service-Sacramento has issued a Hard Freeze Warning for Wednesday. Cal OES is actively coordinating the state’s response with local counties and state partners in advance of the weather event.

Widespread lows are expected in the 20s in the Central Valley with the potential for sub-freezing temperatures for several hours. Freezing temperatures could linger through the mornings until Saturday. In the mountains, temperatures could dip as low as single digits. No significant rain or snow is in the forecast through the weekend.

While freezing temperatures are common during the winter, it can bring slick roads, snow, the need for extra warmth, as well as the risk of frostbite and hypothermia. Consider wrapping external pipes and covering plants, while also ensuring pets have a warm shelter and to check on the elderly.

Winter Weather Preparedness Tips

Stay safe on the roads:

  • Prepare your car for winter and keep an emergency preparedness kit with you
  • Know the weather forecast during your travel
  • Learn the weather/climate risks risk for the area you are traveling to and know what to do before, during and after such events
  • Stay off the road during and after a winter storm.
  • Keep the proper emergency winter road tools in your vehicle

Emergency Kit for the Car

In case you are stranded, keep an emergency supply kit in your vehicle:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flares or reflective triangle
  • Ice scraper
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Blankets
  • Map
  • Cat litter or sand (for better tire traction)

Car Safety Tips

  • Keep your gas tank full in case of evacuation or power outages. A full tank will also keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Install good winter tires and make sure they have enough tread, or any chains or studs required in your local area.
  • Do not drive through flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause a vehicle to lose control or possibly stall. A foot of water will float many cars.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • If a power line falls on your car you are at risk of electrical shock. Stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
  • If it becomes hard to control the car, pull over, stop the car and set the parking brake.
  • Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs, and other hazards.


Additional resources:

Cal OES Be Winter Wise