Protect your plants: Northern California will get ‘unusually’ cold nights this weekend

Spring has arrived, but winter weather will stick around through at least this coming weekend in Northern California, where freezing or near-freezing temperatures are expected overnight in the Sacramento Valley.

Nighttime temperatures will range from the upper 20s to low 30s in parts of the Sacramento Valley and northern San Joaquin Valley early Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, according to the National Weather Service. A frost advisory will be in effect for those areas from 4 a.m. Friday until 9 a.m. Sunday.

Frosty weather could harm outdoor plants. This time of year, “early budding fruit trees, such as apricots, pears, plums and peaches” are also at risk of damage, according to the weather service.

Conditions will warm up during the day, with Sacramento forecast to reach highs of about 60 degrees Friday through Monday before falling to around 35 degrees at night, which is 10 degrees colder than average for this point in the year, according to the weather service.

Sacramento will also get some moderately powerful gusts, revving up to nearly 25 mph Saturday.

It’ll be dry Friday through Sunday, but rain could return to the capital region Monday and continue through midweek, forecasts show.

The “unusually cold” night temperatures are the result of a cold air mass that has parked over interior Northern California, the weather service’s Sacramento office said in a tweet.

If this winter feels rough, said meteorologist Eric Kurth with the National Weather Service, it’s probably because of the cold, gloomy weather mixed with ongoing atmospheric river storms.

According to the Sacramento rain meter, it’s rained nearly half of the year so far. It’s rained 39 of the last 82 days — or 48% of the time.

Prep for the cold

Chilly conditions can ruin plants and damage unprotected outdoor plumbing, such as burst water pipes.

The weather service recommend protecting your plants and wrapping, draining and allowing a slow drip for water pipes. People should also drain in-ground sprinkler systems and cover pipes that are above ground.

The Bee’s Hanh Truong contributed to this story.