Jewishupdates's Blog

January 11, 2010

Freeze in Florida Tonight Will Be Worst Since 1989

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 4:54 am

Freeze in Florida Tonight Will Be Worst Since 1989

Several blasts of arctic air have gripped the eastern two-thirds of the country since the beginning of 2010. In the South, the extreme cold has been threatening crops, and temperatures tonight could be the most damaging for some.

While temperatures will rebound throughout the upcoming week, a late-week rain storm could cause even more damage to Southern crops.

So far, citrus-growers in Florida have gotten by with only light damage following several nights of sub-freezing temperatures over the past week. Tonight will likely prove more destructive as temperatures drop to the lowest levels in over 20 years.

According to Agricultural Meteorologist Dale Mohler, the hard freeze tonight will be the worst since December of 1989.

Mohler said that unlike the last few nights, temperatures tonight across all the orange groves will drop below freezing and most will dip blow 28, a critical temperature for the fruit. In many groves, temperatures will stay below 28 for 6 to 10 hours or more.

Mohler expects a 6 to 10 percent loss of the total 2009 orange crop after tonight’s freeze. The groves where temperatures drop between 23 and 25 degrees will suffer the most significant damage.

Growers of the tender sugarcane crop in southern Louisiana could continue to suffer losses the next couple of nights as temperatures drop well below freezing.

The harvest has already been set behind schedule due to record rainfall from the fall and into December.

Lows will fall into the teens again to the north of New Orleans and lower 20s across areas to the south. While Monday night will not be quite as cold, temperatures will still drop below freezing.

Southern Louisiana is home to roughly 40 percent of the nation’s sugarcane crop.

A storm expected to develop over the western Gulf of Mexico later this week could spread heavy rain across areas from Texas to Florida and the Carolinas Thursday into Sunday.

Heavy rain could add more insult to injury for farmers by setting harvest dates back even further.



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