South Carolina: Snowy Start to 2018

Photo: Justin Ballew, Clemson University

On Wednesday (1/3) we saw the first winter weather since a light ice storm in February of 2015.  The winter storm, referred to as a bomb cyclone, brought snow up to 3 inches to most areas of the Pee Dee.  For an easy to understand explanation of exactly what a bomb cyclone is, take a look at this video from Dr. Eric Snodgrass of the University of Illinois.

Due to the cold temperatures we saw for several day prior, the snow began building up as soon as it started falling.  Roads quickly iced over and are yet to thaw in some shady areas.  The photo below gives a good representation of the condition of the roads.

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While it has been cold and there is snow sitting on some of our winter crops, we shouldn’t expect to see any damage.  In northern wheat producing areas of the US, snow may cover fields for extended periods of time during the winter.  Wheat in the tillering stage can handle temperatures down to 12º F.

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Wheat leaves poking up through the snow.

Strawberries in the dormancy period can handle temperatures down to 10º F.  We haven’t seen temperatures dip quite this low, so everything should be fine.

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Strawberry plants mostly covered in snow.

Here are a few more photos from the fields.

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Bird tracks in a sunflower field.

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Cotton field.

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Deer tracks in the snow.

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Snow resting on false turkey tail (Stereum ostrea) on a dead branch.

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