The Bay Area saw a major cold snap overnight with frost and hard-freeze warnings in various locales. And in Oakland, CHP officers found a homeless woman dead this morning in her tent, possibly because of the cold.
Officers were alerted to the blue tent and a person inside at 6:38 a.m., as Bay City News reports. The tent was by the side of the road near the Harrison Street off-ramp from westbound Highway 580.
Arriving CHP officers quickly determined the woman was deceased, and a preliminary investigation does not indicate foul play.
The woman's cause of death has not been determined, but deaths of unsheltered homeless people can occur during such cold weather.
During a cold snap in mid-December, Santa Clara County recorded six deaths of homeless men over a two-day period which the coroner attributed to the cold weather.
The cold temperatures are expected to persist tonight, Tuesday, and into Wednesday.
On Sunday, the National Weather Service warned, "Very cold nights ahead with frost and freeze warnings tonight and a freeze watch for tomorrow night. These temperatures are extremely hazardous to unsheltered populations."
Temperatures in Oakland were expected to dip into the low 40s, and experts say that hypothermia and frostbite can set in when temperatures are around 50.
Nationally it's estimated that hundreds of unsheltered homeless individuals die every year due to exposure to the cold, and this winter has been especially harsh in many parts of the country.
In 2021, Los Angeles County estimated that 14 homeless people there died from the effects of hypothermia.