Freeze advisory replaces fire weather warning in Sonoma County
As the wind abated Wednesday afternoon in the North Bay, a red flag fire warning of critical fire weather gave way to a freeze warning, with temperatures overnight Wednesday expected to plunge well below freezing in some spots.
The National Weather Service removed the red flag alert at 4 p.m., replacing it with the freeze advisory from 2 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday.
Temperatures are expected to drop sharply, reaching 25 to 32 degrees in Sonoma County. The mercury will fall to the low 20s in “isolated locations” west of Santa Rosa and in the Alexander Valley, a wine grape growing area that sustained serious damage from the Kincade fire in the past week.
Several hours of below-freezing temperatures are likely, the weather service said, noting frost and freeze conditions can kill crops and other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.
People without proper shelter or access to heat also are at risk from the cold.
“I would say the worst is over,” weather service meteorologist Drew Peterson said, regarding fire weather.
But temperatures overnight Tuesday plunged into the low 30s throughout Sonoma County and in some areas, like Sonoma Valley, dipped into the 20s, he said.
Two overnight warming centers are open in Santa Rosa to give residents some refuge from cold nighttime temperatures amid continued PG&E power outages and as some parts of the county continue to lack natural gas.
The Community Baptist Church at 620 Hoen Ave. and the Santa Rosa Nazarene Church at 1135 Farmers Lane will be open from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
West county residents returning from previous evacuation orders can go to the Guerneville Veterans Memorial Hall, 16255 First and Church Street.
Additional information about PG&E centers, charging stations and evacuation shelters can be accessed at socoemergency.org
Staff Writer Will Schmitt contributed to this report. You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 707-521-5457 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @guykovner.