Climate Zones/'Cooling' at night

Susan Hayek
Fri, 28 Oct 2005 12:14:26 PDT
>tomatoes stop producing new fruits during the peak hottest summer
>months in Austin--because the nights never cool down enough to let them
>form. (They've bred a few special heat tolerant varieties that can do
>it, and cherry tomatoes seem to already have that ability.) In
>California, even in areas where the days are hotter in summer than in
>Austin, the nights are still cooler and tomatoes fruit all summer long.

**I'm confused on the tomato thing. My parents lived in the 
California Central Valley for years (from 1952 on), Bakersfied, Taft, 
Fresno and Kerman (south portions of the Central Valley). Days  can 
be well over 100F and nights may cool to 95-97F at 2 am. When I went 
over to help them I did the gardening after midnight.

They always had the best tomatoes, the huge ones (and the best roses).
So when we talk of nights 'cooling' how do we define 'cool'? Do we 
mean certain amount of degrees less than afternoon temps? Or do we 
mean a set temperature?

susan hayek, North Coast of CA, USA, zone 9b, Sunset zone 17.
15 miles south of Eureka, CA, with a peek of the ocean.

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