CARPINTERIA, Calif. - Depending on where you might be, the purr of wind machines could be heard throughout the Carpinteria Valley at dawn with temperatures hovering around freezing.
The machines stir the air and temper the impacts of the near-freezing or below-freezing conditions. In the last two days several areas were below 32 degrees during the overnight hours.
Nearby in Ojai temperatures were in the 20s
Hundreds of acres of avocados are grown in Carpinteria, the home of the California Avocado Festival. In past very-cold spells, some of the crops were damaged by this weather along with drought and pest problems. Overall, it is one of the strongest, most profitable crops in Santa Barbara County.
Many growers installed wind machines years ago, and they sit still most of the year. When they are needed they can save a farmer from thousands of dollars in crop losses.
Nearby nursery plants in open areas have been covered with plastic for protection.
The cold weather combined with any moisture can create damaging conditions.
No rain is in the immediate forecast.
Many workers walking and riding their bikes to work in the agricultural buildings are "double-bundled-up" in these conditions.
Most of the cut flowers, orchids and cannabis are in green houses and protected from the cold snap.