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Freeze could put Georgia crops on ice

Temperatures are predicted to drop close to freezing next week in Georgia. Currently in the growing regions of southern Georgia high temps are in the upper 70s and minimums in the mid-60s. Starting this Saturday things will change dramatically as a cold front settles in and temps begin to drop. Saturday night will see a minimum temp of 47 and will continue to drop going into next week. By Tuesday, Nov. 13 the minimum temp will be in the mid-30s, and Wednesday will be the coldest night of the week with a predicted minimum temp of 33. On Thursday temps will begin to rise once again but by then the damage might be done. This cold snap could bring an end to the season in Georgia for Bell peppers, cukes, eggplant and squash. wear

Georgia is also expecting a good shot of rain — up to 1.5 inches — today and tomorrow.

The same cold weather hitting Georgia next week will hit the northern half of the Florida peninsula, although not as bad. Next Tuesday and Wednesday nights minimum temps in Plant City will be in the low 40s. Strawberries should be starting out of Plant City soon. The temps are 20 degrees lower than what Plant City is currently experiencing. Palmetto/Ruskin and Immokalee, which are a little farther south, will only see minimum temps get down to the upper 40s and lower 50s. Belle Glade will also see lower temps, but minimums will only dip into the mid-50s.

Cold weather is expected to hit other major growing regions across the country and in Mexico.

All the major growing regions up and down the San Joaquin Valley are experiencing cold nights with minimums in the mid-40s. Out of this region we are still seeing light shipments of tomatoes and grapes. These temps will definitely slow the production even further. These lower minimum temps will continue well into next week.

Minimum temperatures in the major veg growing regions of Santa Maria and Salinas/Watsonville are also in the mid-40s right now and will continue at least through Thursday, Nov. 15.

The main wet veg growing region of Mexico — El Bajio — will see a cold spell next week. This week the region is experiencing high temps in the upper 70s and even touching 80, with minimum temps in the mid-50s. Starting next Tuesday the temperatures will drop with minimums in the mid-40s and maximums in the mid-60s. This cold front will last at least through Thursday.

For specific locations and commodities that will be affected please reference the Weathermelon app, which offers consolidated lists of global growing regions for each commodity; a 10-day detail forecast for each region; current radar maps (U.S. only); estimated harvest start/end dates for each commodity; monthly average high/low temps for each region; and custom daily alerts for temperature, precipitation and severe weather based on 10-day forecasts.

(David Robidoux is a co-founder Weathermelon)