Typical for this time of year in California’s citrus belt, freezing temperatures did little to hurt the maturing fruit and may have actually helped.
California Citrus Mutual reports recent temperatures under 30 degrees, which is said to be ideal this early in the navel season as it improves fruit color and flavor. Temperatures dipped to as cold as 27 degrees for a short time, but not for long enough to damage the fruit.
The Valley’s growing mandarin crop which is traditionally less cold tolerant, appears to be unscathed by the recent cold weather. Mandarin growers in Kern, Tulare, Fresno, and Madera counties do report running wind machines on Saturday and Sunday nights to push temperatures up in the groves. A strong inversion layer in many areas also helped to keep temperatures manageable.