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SAN DIEGO — The bright sun and clear skies were routine, but the cold was not, as Californians bundled up with sweaters and gloves and stocked up on firewood Friday to brace for several nights of freezing temperatures.
Zookeepers turned up the heat for chimpanzees in San Diego, and tourists covered their hands on Hollywood walking tours. Still, the cold snap wasn't enough to throw many off their strides.
Water releases from dams on the upper Missouri River are planned to be significantly scaled back later this month and these reductions are expected to negatively impact the Mississippi River water level between St. Louis and Cairo, IL beginning December 1. Of particular concern are hazardous rock formations near Thebes and Grand Tower, IL, which threaten navigation when water levels drop to anticipated, near historic lows. The rock formations, combined with the reduced flows from the Missouri River, will prohibit the transport of essential goods along this critical point in the river, effectively stopping barge transportation on the middle Mississippi River around December 10.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An Arctic air mass sent temperatures plunging across California, forcing the 17-hour closure of a key interstate highway through the mountains north of Los Angeles and threatening citrus crops in the state's vast central valleys, authorities said on Friday. Temperatures throughout the state fell by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) below normal, allowing snow to accumulate at elevations as low as 1,500 feet, the National Weather Service reported.
WASHINGTON — The impacts of climate change driven by human activity are spreading through the United States faster than had been predicted, increasingly threatening infrastructure, water supplies, crops and shorelines, according to a federal advisory committee.
The California cold snap has caused major damage to the state's $8 billion fruit and vegetable industry, destroying substantial portions of the citrus crop and affecting lettuce, broccoli, avocado and artichoke crops from San Diego in the south to Santa Cruz in the north, experts say.
Consumers will almost certainly face sharp price increases at grocery produce departments, and growers are exhausted from several nights of trying in vain to raise temperatures in their fields by means of wind, fire, water and even a sprayed-on plastic coating.