It is certainly not as cold as it is in other regions at or north of this latitude. Nor is it unusually cold for this time of year. It is not stormy. We got only a few heavy but brief rain showers with a bit of small hail. A slight bit of snow fell only on the Summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains
The problem is that the weather had been so mild earlier, and at times, downright warm. Many plants were coerced into premature bloom. Some started to generate new spring growth. When the weather suddenly became more seasonably cool, many of the flowers and new growth got frosted and ruined.
Fortunately, most of the deciduous fruiting trees seemed to know what they were being set up for, and abstained from bloom. So far, even the early blooming apricots, cherries, almonds prunes and plums are safe. The wild American plums bloomed, but not many of us use their fruit anyway. (I want some – both amber and red – for jelly, but there will be plenty of other fruit.)
Saucer magnolias were just beginning to bloom when the cool weather moved in. Now, some of the big pink flowers are spotting and melting before they open completely. Many of the camellias are succumbing to blight, and falling to the ground shortly after they open.
Weather is always risky, even in mild climates. Actually, our mild climate allows us to grow more of the plants that are sensitive to anomalies of the weather. Perhaps such anomalies would be less of a problem in harsher climates where the weather is naturally more variable. If so, it is probably a fair compromise. The problems with such a mild climate are still less significantly less than the advantages.