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Fox News Weather Center

Cold Storm to Bring Snow, Rain and a Freeze to California

A storm and cold air forecast to develop at the end of 2014 and linger into the start of 2015 will deliver snow, rain and a frost or freeze to portions of California.

The coldest air of the winter months so far will settle over California during the middle of this week.

At the same time a storm will form nearby and bring snow and slippery travel to the passes of California.

While temperatures are not forecast to drop to record low territory for much of the state, the air will get cold enough, long enough to bring a frost and freeze to the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, as well as part of the central coast of California.

Record lows over much of the area range from the upper teens to the middle 20s during the end of December into the first part of January. Temperatures are not forecast to drop as low as that of mid-December of 2013.

Temperatures are forecast to drop as low as the upper 20s to near 30 degrees for a couple of hours in agricultural areas during Wednesday night and Thursday night in central and northern areas of the state and Thursday night into Friday night farther south. This will follow near-freezing lows during the first part of the week.

The temperatures forecast pose a minimal threat to citrus crops in the region.

According to California Citrus Mutual (CCM), the rind on California citrus crops is thicker and offers more protection from freezing temperatures, when compared to those in Florida. Brief episodes with temperatures near or just below freezing contribute to a sweeter crop.

However, other flower, fruit and vegetable plants in the state, if left unprotected could be damaged.

While frosty and freezing temperatures will cause its share of concerns, snow will also visit the region.

Enough snow is forecast to fall on the passes of the state to cause slippery travel and delays.

While a few inches of snow forecast for Donner Pass will be a minor problem for crews and travelers on Interstate 80, even a small amount of snow can lead to major troubles for commuters over Tejon Pass on I-5 and Cajon Pass on I-15.

Snow is forecast to fall over the southern Cascades and northern Sierra Nevada along with locally gusty winds on Tuesday and over the mountains of Southern California on Tuesday evening into Wednesday.

The storm will also bring some cold rain showers to Southern California. However, the amount of rain is not likely to significantly impact drought conditions in the region. Little to no rain is forecast in lower elevations with the storm over northern and central California.

When combined with brisk winds, AccuWeather.com RealFeel® Temperatures will dip into the 30s at times around Los Angeles and San Diego at midweek for New Year's Eve revelers.

More significant rain and snow will fall farther inland over the Southwest. Up to a few inches of snow are forecast to blanket Las Vegas, with heavy snow likely in the mountains of northern Arizona, southern Nevada and the Four Corners region in general.