Stockton is in for another cold night Tuesday. The National Weather Service forecasts temps across the interior of northern California to hover at or below freezing for the second time this week.

The city has opened overnight “Warming Zones” at the Stribley Community Center and Arnold Rue Community Center in preparation for the cold snap and will keep them available overnight through Thursday morning, according to a press release Monday.

“(They) are open to anyone who may be without adequate heat or is unsheltered,” city officials said. 

Stockton saw temperatures hit 30 degrees overnight Monday, and the weather service forecasts similar conditions for Tuesday.

NWS Meteorologist Cory Mueller told Stocktonia that the Stockton area will likely see temperatures once again drop below the freezing point of 32 degrees overnight Tuesday, settling somewhere in the high 20s or low 30s. 

“We have a low of 31 (forecasted for Stockton),” Mueller said. “We probably could see some upper 20s as you head outside (the city) in the more rural areas.”

Modesto is expected to reach a low of 27 degrees, according to NWS forecasts. 

While California has a reputation of having more temperate winter weather than many other areas of the U.S., Mueller says it’s not unusual for the state to experience this kind of cold snap, known as radiational cooling. 

“They are on the chilly side, but it’s not uncommon to see these kinds of temperatures across northern California, especially December through February,” Mueller said.

Radiational cooling occurs when weather systems move out of an area while simultaneously bringing in cold air from the north, Mueller said. And when that mixes with the light winds and clear skies of an already high pressure buildup things “can really cool off.” 

“This weekend we saw a pretty weak system, but cold air did build in behind it and that really has brought some cool nights across the area,” he said.

Mueller says that Wednesday will also see cold temps but they won’t be as low as Monday or Tuesday. The weather service forecasts a low of 35 degrees for Stockton overnight Wednesday before a more substantial warm up Thursday, which is forecasted to be in the mid 40s overnight.

A weak storm system moving into the area Thursday will bring with it warmer temperatures, though the Central Valley will see only light rain activity, Mueller says. The cloud cover “really acts as a blanket to the atmosphere.”

The weather service is advising that freezing temperatures “can damage or kill plants that are sensitive to the cold,” as well as for people to remember to “check on the elderly and make sure your animals have a warm shelter.”

The two Stockton warming zones will be open from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. through Thursday morning.

“Overnight resting space will be offered in the gymnasium area, which is heated, restrooms will be open, and water and snacks will be provided,” city officials say, adding that COVID-19  protocols, such as masking, will be enforced. 

Those looking for full shelter services, such as meals or medical care, are being encouraged to instead call 2-1-1 or contact shelters directly.

For more information go here or read city of Stockton social media announcements below in both English and Spanish.

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