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Weather watchers wary of warmth

A warm front moving over Lawrence County will keep the temperatures in the 70s this week.

Wednesday, July 14, 1999

A warm front moving over Lawrence County will keep the temperatures in the 70s this week.

But area residents might want to wait a few days before shipping the winter clothes off to storage.

"The next week or so looks relatively warm," said Dave Riley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Charleston, W.Va., Bureau. "But there is the possibility of it cooling down."

That also means farmers and gardeners should keep a close eye on their crops if they planted early.

"If there’s dry air in place and calm winds, the heat can escape during the night and it will get fairly cold," Riley said. "There can be larger temperature variations in the spring. We should see a few more frosts this month, and in Lawrence County, there’s a 50 percent chance of frost until the last week of April. People living in sheltered valleys might want to keep an eye out for a clear, calm night where they might get some frost next week."

But it is time for cool weather crops to be planted, said Dave Dyke, Ohio State University extension agent for agriculture and community development.

There are nineteen vegetables that can be planted at this time without experiencing damage from additional frosts. They include asparagus, beets, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, lettuce, onions, parsnips, parsley, peas, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, swiss chard and turnips, Dyke said.

"These would all endure some light frost," he said. "It’s time to get some of these cool season crops out."

But for warm season crops, such as tomatoes, melons, sweet corn and peppers, Dyke recommends that farmers wait until at least May 10.

"That’s the last frost date," he said. "Some people will put the warm season crops out the first of May, but they may or may not make it. Even if you don’t get a frost, they end up with disease problems if the ground isn’t warmed up enough."

Frosts are not unusual for April. If anything, the above normal temperatures the area is experiencing surprised the forecasters, Riley said.

"I guess the groundhog was right when he predicted a short winter," he said. "Of course, the winter didn’t turn out that cold until after Groundhog Day. After that day, it was fairly cold and we had a couple of snows in March."

Snow is not expected to hit again, but the April Showers hit the area off and on last week and are expected to return, forecaster John Victory said.

Today should be mostly sunny with highs in the mid and upper 70s, Victory said. Temperatures will drop to around the low 50s tonight.

Tuesday will be partly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 70s during the day and in the upper 40s at night, he said.

Wednesday and Thursday it will be partly cloudy with highs in the 70s, Victory said.

The rain will return Friday. There’s a chance of showers and thunderstorms with lows in the 50s and highs in the 70s, he said.