A new interactive online tool for visualizing and exploring freeze-date trends and other climate patterns is available, thanks to Purdue University and the Department of Agriculture. Purdue’s Midwestern Regional Climate Center partnered with USDA’s Midwest climate hub to create the digital tool, which covers 25 states in the upper Midwest, the Northeast and Appalachia.
The tool may interest producers of tree fruits, grapes and row crops such as corn and soybeans to help them take advantage of longer growing seasons. Agricultural advisors, weather forecasters, university Extension staffers and state climatologists also have expressed interest in the tool. While many think of a freeze at 32 degrees, farmers are interested in values that are colder or warmer.
Corn and soybeans, for example, can survive 28 degrees, while fruit trees are more sensitive to freezing or near-freezing temperatures. And the freeze-date tool allows users to query their desired temperatures. You can find the Freeze Date tool on the Purdue website.