A day after a rare snowfall dusted Modesto, the temperature plunged below freezing this morning just as forecasters had warned.
In the 7 o'clock hour, the temperature dropped to 28 degrees downtown, according to the Modesto Irrigation District.
At the airport as of about 7 a.m., the National Weather Service thermometer registered 25 degrees.
The lowest recorded temperature by the MID for downtown Modesto for this date is 25 degrees in 1978. The district has recorded daily temperatures since 1939.
With the sun shining, the mercury rose to 32 degrees at MID's weather station by 9 a.m. The forecast calls for a high in the mid-40s today, with more freezing temperatures in store tonight.
Forecasters had warned that a hard freeze -- which can kill crops and harm animals -- was coming.
MID said the temperature dropped to freezing -- 32 degrees -- at 2 a.m. and was down to 29 by 5 a.m.
More freezing conditions are in store tonight. The forecast calls for a low temperature in the upper 20s in Modesto, with several hours of below-freezing temperatures after midnight.