FSU Climatologist: Freezing Temps Put Florida Crops At Risk

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News Release: Florida State University

TALLAHASSEE – With freezing temperatures paralyzing parts of the Midwest and Northeast, even sunny Florida is seeing a bit of cold weather this 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 an associate in research for the FSU Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies. “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.”
But, believe it or not, Florida has seen colder temperatures.
“While temperatures will reach the coldest values thus far this winter, they are not expected to break record values such as those set in 1985,” Zierden said.

According to data collected by the Florida Climate Center, in January 1985, it was 6 degrees in Tallahassee, 21 degrees in Avon Park and 30 degrees in Fort Myers.

Zierden is available to speak to reporters about the cold snap impacting both the state and nation.

David Zierden, state climatologist: 850-644-3417(o) or 850-294-2031 (c); dzierden@fsu.edu

Zierden has served as the state climatologist since 2006, after spending seven years as the assistant state climatologist. He is a member of the American Association of State Climatologists, the American Meteorological Society, and the Florida Climate Institute and the author of journal articles on satellite meteorology, climate variability and wildfire threat.

For more information on historical weather data, please visit the Florida Climate Center at Florida State University.

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