Local News

Near Record-Low Temperatures Engulf Triangle Overnight

Posted March 23, 2004

— People awaking in the Triangle area Tuesday morning were being greeted by near-record low temperatures as a cold front swept through the region.

Temperatures were in the low- to mid-20s, with the temperature at Raleigh-Durham International Airport dropping to 24 degrees at 6 a.m.

The record low for this date in this area is 22 degrees, recorded in 1986.

The temperature was not low enough long enough to cause any ponds or rivers to freeze over, though it did cause concern for farmers.

David Pope, a strawberry farmer in Knightdale, ran sprinklers over his crop through the night, telling WRAL that forming ice on his blooms actually would preserve the warmth necessary to keep his strawberries in good shape.

"The plant puts off heat, like your body does," Pope said. "Coating the blooms with water, ice, keeps the temperature in, and prevents it from dropping below 32 degrees."

Though the record high of 86 is not expected to be reached later, the temperature is expected to rise to the mid 50s by Tuesday afternoon. There also is expected to be plenty of sunshine across the state Tuesday afternoon.

Highs still will be below normal.

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