A National Weather Service Meteorologist says temperatures across eastern Iowa got cold enough overnight to cause damage to fruit trees and other plants even though there wasn’t frost on the ground this morning. Meteorologist Linda Ingebretsen says temperatures of 27 to 34 degrees were recorded in most locations across eastern and northeastern Iowa last night.
But you didn’t see the white frost as the cold air was quite dry. “Essentially frost is frozen dew so if we can’t form dew, or don’t get enough moisture to form the dew, we don’t get frost either. So we were actually very dry and our temperatures got cold but we didn’t get any frost,” she explains.
Ingebretsen says cold is cold, and even without visible evidence, air temperatures stayed cold long enough to cause damage in some locations. “You go up into northeast Iowa and we might start seeing more in the way of frost damage because it stayed down below freezing for up to four hours for example at Waterloo. So there may be more damage there than there is elsewhere in the state,” Ingebretsen says.
The coldest recorded temperature was in Cresco where it dipped to 23-degrees. And the danger of cold temperatures is not over yet. She says freezing temperatures are again predicted for early next week. Ingebretsen made her comments on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa program.