LUMBERTON — It’s no April fools.
A freeze warning for Southeastern North Carolina tonight will send temperatures plunging into the lower 30s and threaten crops and plants.
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures will dip into the lower 30s and the mid to upper 30s east and south of U.S. 17 leading up to the beaches, with the critical times for the damaging temperatures extending from 3 to 8 a.m. Thursday.
Outside plants and crops sensitive to freezing temperatures could be severely damaged or killed.
According to Mac Malloy, field crop agent for the agricultural extension office, cold temperatures this late in April are not uncommon.
“For Lumberton, two years out of 10 we can expect some frost as far into April as April 17,” he said. “It’s not as uncommon as we think.”
According to the National Weather Service, the “bright spot” is that surface winds may stay active enough to prevent a widespread frost.
Malloy said that wheat, corn, strawberry and tobacco crops will be at the highest risk for damage in the low temperatures. He suggests covering plants with frost blankets to prevent damage, and to bring potted plants indoors.