Cold, windy weekend brings freezing temperatures to parts of SLO County

A frozen oak leaf seen in Santa Margarita as frosty conditions materialized throughout San Luis Obispo County Monday night into Tuesday morning.
A frozen oak leaf seen in Santa Margarita as frosty conditions materialized throughout San Luis Obispo County Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Warming centers are opening across San Luis Obispo County as parts of the Central Coast face their coldest and driest weekend yet of the season.

PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey said Friday that a strengthening high-pressure system will form strong northeasterly winds of between 19 and 31 mph through Friday night and into Saturday morning.

The offshore winds will keep the skies clear along the coast with the exception of a few areas of fog and low clouds during the night and morning hours.

Overnight low temperatures are forecast to peak in the mid-50s and drop to the mid- to high 20s in the inland North County — the lowest so far this season, Lindsey says. Residents can expect some areas with light frost, but nothing heavy, Lindsey added.

Coastal valley temperatures are expected to reach about 60 degrees and drop to about 34 degrees.

On Sunday, a weak and dry low-pressure system will move over the Central Coast with partly cloudy skies, and moderate to fresh (13 to 24 mph) northeasterly winds are forecast Monday into next Friday. These winds will produce mostly clear skies and seasonal low temperatures, Lindsey said.

“Dry spells are really common, almost expected this time of the year,” Lindsey said. “They’re going to produce mostly clear skies and some cold mornings, but also really beautiful afternoon weather in the coastal valleys.”

Long-range models are predicting, however, that rain will return to the Central Coast by the second week of January.

In response to the weekend’s especially chilly conditions, local organizations are opening up warming centers across the county for people in need.

In North County, the Paso Cares’ Warming Station will be open through Wednesday night, Jan. 2. A decision whether to open the center beyond that date will be made no later than Monday, the organization said Friday.

People hoping to stay at the Paso Cares’ station must appear at Peoples’ Kitchen, 2345 Riverside Avenue on the southwest corner of 24th Street and Riverside Avenue in Paso Robles no later than 5 p.m. on the evening that they wish to stay. If desiring a stay Sunday, people must appear at the Peoples’ Kitchen no later than 4 p.m.

In San Luis Obispo, the 40 Prado Warming Center will also be open due to cold weather, and client check-in begins at 6:30 p.m. at 40 Prado Road.

People needing shelter may arrive there at any time during the evening; however, if someone leaves, they may not return that night. Pets are allowed, as is smoking in the designating smoking area. Overnight guests will be provided a safe and dry place to sleep and a hot meal.

While the Warming Center closes at 7:30 a.m., clients may access regular Day Center services beginning at 8 a.m.

In South County, the 5Cities Homeless Coalition will open its winter Friday and Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the Hillside Church at 1935 Newport Ave. Guests are asked to not arrive before 5 p.m. and come no later than 8 p.m. The center will close by 7 a.m. each morning.

The Homeless Coalition asks guests to go through the back parking lot and up the stairs/ramp. The facility cannot accept pets. In addition to hot meals, sleeping cots and bedding will be provided as available.

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Matt Fountain is The San Luis Obispo Tribune’s courts and investigations reporter. A San Diego native, Fountain graduated from Cal Poly’s journalism department in 2009 and cut his teeth at the San Luis Obispo New Times before joining The Tribune as a crime and breaking news reporter in 2014.