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Green Country Farmers Prepare For Late Spring Cold Snap

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It won't be the latest freeze on record, but the Tulsa area may set a new record low for April 24. It won't be the latest freeze on record, but the Tulsa area may set a new record low for April 24.
One wheat farmer says they won't know the extent the crop is damaged til it's harvested. One wheat farmer says they won't know the extent the crop is damaged til it's harvested.
Derrick Jackson grows wheat in the Owasso area. Derrick Jackson grows wheat in the Owasso area.

We've seen a few cold snaps this spring, and we'll be flirting with freezing temperatures again overnight. The end of April is near, and it's glove weather!

That's something you don't see in Oklahoma very often, but a local farmer says he understands Oklahoma weather is unpredictable - and he is prepared.

Thousands of acres of wheat blowing on a damp cold day. The Owasso farm belongs to Derrick Jackson.

Jackson is watching the temperature, hoping it doesn't dip too far below freezing.

"The last few years, we've been lucky, but going back before that there were several years that we had cold snaps that impacted the wheat production," said farmer Derrick Jackson.

There's a lot of different variables that can hurt wheat crops, but farmers say it ultimately comes down to three things - how cold it will get, how long it'll be cold and the crop's growth stage.

Most of Jackson's wheat is in the boot stage, which means the head is close to emerging.

"In the boot stage it's covered up, so it can take colder temperatures, but both stages are susceptible to the cold weather," Jackson said. "Hope the forecast is right and it stays around 32. and this is the last cold snap we have."

Warn Team Meteorologist Dick Faurot points out an April freeze is a little unusual.

"It's not normal by any stretch. It does occur from time to time obviously. We have records going back to the early 1900s," Faurot said.

The record low for April 24th is 37 degrees, Dick says it's very likely we'll shatter that temperature overnight.

"Tomorrow morning, it depends on two things - if the skies clear out, which it looks like it will and if the winds calm down enough, which is kind of iffy," said WARN Team Meteorologist Dick Faurot.

"We'll be right close to freezing for tomorrow morning."

Most of northeastern Oklahoma is in a frost and freeze advisory. Although this seems a bit odd, this isn't the latest freeze Tulsa has seen. That record was set on May 2, 1909.

Farmers are not expecting Tuesday night's freeze to hurt their crop, but they really won't know the extent of the damage until they harvest the crop.

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