George Graham – The Republican May 12, 2010
CHICOPEE - Westover Air Reserve base reported record-breaking cold early Tuesday morning.
Abc40 meteorologist Eric Fisher said the mercury dropped to 26 degrees at about 5 a.m., beating the previous record for the chilliest May 11 set back in 1962.
Temperatures dipped into the 20s just about everywhere in Western Massachusetts Fisher said.
"The good news is that most of the apple blossoms and other fruit tree blossoms have already passed, so, hopefully, there will be little damage to local crops," Fisher said.
Fisher said there is no indication that Western Massachusetts temperatures will dip below freezing over the next seven days.
Today will see light-to-moderate rainfall and highs only in the upper 40s.
Jon M. Clements, extension educator at the University of Massachusetts Extension, said the cold temperatures did no damage the apple crop at the Cold Springs Orchard in Belchertown.
"We only got down to 31 or 32 here, and you would not expect injury until it gets below 28 for a perennial fruit crop," Clements said.
"We lucked out," he added.
As for other crops, Clements said there could be some scattered damage, but nothing widespread or severe. Strawberry crops could have sustained some damage, because they are low to the ground and exposed to frost, he said.
Temperatures dropping to 30 degrees are not uncommon in the first half of May, according to Clements.
Staff writer Jack Flynn contributed to this report
Last updated 14/05/2010