Freezing Weather Across the Southeast Could Threaten Crops

By: AP edited by Harrison Hove Email
By: AP edited by Harrison Hove Email

ATLANTA (AP) _ Two weeks into spring, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Last week felt more like the start of summer, with temperatures approaching 80 degrees in Atlanta.

Forecasters said Easter morning will arrive with temperatures in the 20s across the Southeast meaning that Easter frills, bonnets and sandals will be replaced with coats, scarves and socks.

Georgia climatologist David Stooksbury says the northern half of the state has usually shaken off chilly temperatures by the end of March, but that freezing temperatures have lingered on into April in years past.

This weekend, which also marked the start of the baseball season, found Atlanta Braves fans huddled up in blankets at Turner Field. And while Southern tradition finds many people planting corn, tomatoes, beans and squash in backyard gardens on Good Friday, gardeners instead were bundling their plants.

The chilly temperatures could also threaten crops like blueberries, said Stanley Scarborough, production manager of Sunnyridge Farms, with fields in Baxley and Homerville, Ga, and the vice president of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

He believes temperatures will be around 29 to 32 degrees, which could affect between 15 and 20 percent of the crop, at a loss of ten million dollars to 15 million dollars.


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