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Monday, January 6, 2014
FLORIDA - A cold snap has been forecasted for Florida this week and may potentially damage cold-sensitive fruit crops in the region. This blast of frigid temperatures is the result of a "polar vortex", a counter-clockwise rotating pool of dense, Arctic air spinning over the North Pole.
Plant City and Dover strawberry growers tell AndNowUKnow that the duration of the cold periods should be minimal but temps could drop into the high 20's and low 30's. Freeze watches and hard freeze watches have been in place for most areas north of Lake Okeechobee. Cloud cover may help seal in warmer temperatures, but the expected winds could pose a problem. Growers have anticipated the need to run water during the cold spell to keep the fields warm and are watching these conditions carefully. They tell us that they will have limited strawberry availability for the balance of this week but expects an increase in production next week.
"Florida braces for the coldest temperatures of the year as an Arctic cold front pushes across the state today,” said David Zierden, Florida’s state climatologist and Associate Researcher for the FSU Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, according to Tallahassee local news, WCTV. “Freezing temperatures are expected as far south as Orlando and Central Florida and temperatures could drop into the teens over the Florida Panhandle. These freezing temperatures pose a substantial risk for cold-sensitive crops such as citrus, blueberries, and strawberries.”
What effects will this cold snap have on crops in Florida? Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow as we continue to follow this story as it develops.