Record April Freeze Hits U.S.

Published June 1, 2007

Hundreds of cities across most of the eastern United States suffered record cold and snow throughout much of April. Analysts pointed out the unexpected cold spell illustrates the unpredictability of both weather and longer-term climate conditions.

The seemingly endless cold spell had baseball fans and Easter celebrants wondering when global warming would arrive, as repeated blasts of cold and snowy Arctic air forced the cancellation or change in venue for seasonal celebrations dependent on Spring-like weather.

Easter Services Affected

Easter morning, April 8, saw record lows for much of the Southeast and Midwest and an unseasonably cold weekend for much of the Northeast. Snow extended from the Upper Midwest to New England.

In Morrison, Colorado, officials were forced to cancel an annual sunrise service scheduled for Sunday at the Red Rocks Amphitheater because seats and stairways were covered in ice.

In Chicago, kids were bundled in winter clothing for an Easter egg hunt at the Glessner House Museum. The high temperature in the city reached just 32 degrees on Saturday, April 7, matching a record set in 1936 for lowest high temperature on the date.

In early April, the Windy City’s average high is 54 degrees.

Baseball Snowed Out

In Washington, DC, visitors to the nation’s capital awoke the day before Easter to see cherry blossoms coated with snow. Snow also fell in metro Atlanta and parts of Texas on Good Friday.

Heavier snow in Ohio postponed four consecutive days of professional baseball games scheduled in Cleveland. Ultimately, the Indians moved a home game against the Los Angeles Angels to a roofed stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to escape the cold and snow. Games in numerous other cities were also cancelled because of snow or sleet.

Global Cooling?

“This shows how little we know about short-term weather events, let alone long-term events,” said Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis. “When the news media and the global warming alarmists attempt to attribute every short-term heat spell to global warming, then the protracted winter conditions this spring must be evidence of global cooling, according to their hypothesis.

“Of course, neither is truly the case,” Burnett explained. “There is extreme variability to short-term weather events, and even to decades-long climate patterns. Not every heat wave or cold spell can be cited as proof of any asserted long-term trends.”

Major Crop Damage

Farmers suffered substantial crop damage and economic loss.

Stanley Scarborough, production manager of Georgia’s Sunnyridge Farms, said the state’s blueberry crop, which is normally harvested around June 1, had to be prematurely harvested in early April before the freezing weather hit, according to an April 7 Associated Press story. “At 26 or 27 degrees, you would probably lose half of the Georgia crop,” valued at $20 million to $25 million, Scarborough was quoted as saying.

In South Carolina, 90 percent of the peach crop was destroyed in a mid-April deep freeze. “This is comparable to a hurricane,” state Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers told the media. “Growers will be fortunate to get 10 percent of a crop.”

In Georgia, more than half the peach crop was lost.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer asked Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) to seek federal disaster relief as a result of the prolonged blasts of Arctic air. Fletcher reported as much as 90 percent of the state’s apple and peach crops were destroyed.

Contradicted Alarmists’ Predictions

“Even after some [expected] late month moderation, April 2007 will likely keep the month in the top seven coldest in history,” Weather Trends International reported as this article went to press.

“How ironic that the protracted spring cold spell follows premature claims that this past winter would be one of the warmest on record,” Burnett said.

John Dale Dunn, M.D. J.D. ([email protected]) is a member of the Science and Policy Advisory Board of the American Council on Science and Health and teaches emergency medicine at CR Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas.