Florida Citrus Growers Face Cold Weekend

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 9 (UPI) — Florida’s citrus growers said they were closely watching the weather as cold temperatures blew across the U.S. South Saturday.

Temperatures up to 20 degrees below normal have been felt in the region this week, a cold snap the likes of which is only seen once every few decades, and Florida’s citrus crops have sustained some losses so far, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Rusty Wiygul, director of grower affairs at Florida Citrus Mutual, the state’s largest growers’ association, told the newspaper none of the losses have been “devastating” so far.

“We’re just sitting in our offices and constantly watching the weather,” he said. “It’d be nice if we could run up to the Florida state line and stop the cold, but we can’t. All we can really do is a pray a lot.”

Accuweather.com forecasters predicted widespread record cold and freezing temperatures would spread southward through the Florida Peninsula Saturday and Sunday nights.

The Web site said temperatures would drop below freezing Saturday night as far south as Tampa, Orlando and Melbourne, but warned the lowest temperatures of the season so far for much of the Florida loomed Sunday night.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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