Anticipated freeze brings frigid memories of Spring of '07

The first Monday in April of 2009 was greeted by a cold front moving in over a large portion of the state. The cold front mixed with warmer air causing blustery conditions that led the National Weather Service to issue a tornado watch Monday morning. Freezing temperatures are possible Tuesday night into Wednesday morning in a number of areas of the state including the peach growing areas of the Upstate, the Pee Dee,and the Ridge which includes the south central counties of Aiken, Lexington, Edgefield and Saluda. South Carolina Peach Growers Association Executive Director Amy London says a cold snap this early April brings causes concern to produce farmers especially peach growers who experienced the “Spring Freeze of 2007” that nearly wiped out the state’s entire peach crop. London says the hopeful news is that the temperatures are not likely to drop as low as mid 20’s temperatures of the 2007 cold snap.
“If it’s in the low thirties, we’ll probably be okay. We’ll experience some damage to the earlier varieties in May and early June, but for the larger volume of harvest later on in late June, July, and August those varieties should be okay.
The cold snap is not expected to last long. By Thursday, the high temperatures should bounce back into the 70’s.
Kip Mccleod of Mcleod Farms near the Pee Dee area town of Mcbee (mack-bee) says they are taking steps to protect the farm’s peach and strawberry crops with the use of wind machines, heaters, and cloth coverings for the strawberries.

McCleod says dealing with unpredictable weather comes with the territory. “I think we’ll get into the low thirties or high twenties on Wednesday morning. I don’t know what it’s going to do tonight (Tuesday night). I haven’t quite figured it all out yet, but we’re hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. We’ve done this dance before and it’s just part of south carolina weather and growing produce in this area.”
The National Weather Service says the cold weather won’t last long. Highs Wednesday should be in the sixties.