Warm hopes

Published 10:16 pm Monday, April 6, 2009

For peach farmer Henry Williams, Monday night’s sleep might have been a little restless, but will be nothing compared to Tuesday night.

“I don’t know if I will get any sleep at all Tuesday night,” said Williams, who spent the past few days preparing his orchards the best way he could for unseasonably cold weather both Monday night and Tuesday night.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in the area were expected to fall below freezing, falling as far as 28 degrees in some areas.

“Depending on the elevation, the temperatures Tuesday night could fluctuate two or three degrees,” Chilton County Extension Agency horticulturist Bobby Boozer said. “The forecasts from Birmingham and the National Weather Service have differed on what they expect for Tuesday.”

Boozer said breezy conditions Monday night might have been a blessing for area peach farmers, keeping the air temperature constant and the air moving. But for Tuesday night, forecasts have the temperatures falling below freezing with little wind.

“We will have wind machines going, coal burning and a helicopter going for a few hours Tuesday,” Williams said. “What we need after this cold snap is for it to warm up quickly.”

Boozer said he spent most of the day Monday putting out recording monitors in area orchards around the county to collect data from this cold snap.

“The way this county is, we will have some areas that will stay relatively warm, but others, that are at lower elevations, will get colder and stay colder longer,” Boozer said.

Boozer added some forecasts have the temperatures for Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning falling as low 30 degrees with the dew point at 27 degrees.

“But, without the wind, we normally see the temperatures fall to the dew point,” Boozer said.