Big chill ices SLO County; forecast: first more cold, then rain

Frosty temperatures chilled San Luis Obispo County early Tuesday and are expected to do so again today.

The cause is cold air left in the wake of the storm system that marched down the California coast Monday. Temperatures this morning will likely be in the 20s in the North County and the 30s along the coast and in San Luis Obispo, forecasters said.

Avocado growers in the South County and Cayucos were preparing to turn on wind machines Tuesday night to keep the frigid air moving over their trees to prevent them from freezing.

Snowfall blanketed the Sierra Madre range east of Santa Maria, making for picture-postcard scenery in the Santa Maria Valley.Cold temperatures in December are nothing new in San Luis Obispo County, local forecaster John Lindsey said. Paso Robles’ all-time record low mark of 8 degrees was set on Dec. 22, 1990. And San Luis Obispo’s all-time low reading of 12 degrees came on Dec. 13, 1987.

Temperatures are expected to rise into the 50s today in San Luis Obispo, and skies will begin clouding up this afternoon as another storm system approaches the Central Coast. Rain is expected Thursday. A third system packing rain is predicted to arrive on Saturday.