8A.1 July Freezes and Communicating Impacts: Historical Freeze Perspectives

Wednesday, 28 June 2017: 8:30 AM
Mt. Mitchell (Crowne Plaza Tennis and Golf Resort)
Barbara Mayes Boustead, NOAA/NWS, Valley, NE

In Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Farmer Boy, the Wilder family rises before dawn to pour water over the corn crop to save it from a freeze… in July! A fall freeze in Wilder’s The Long Winter nips the vegetable garden, prompting a culinary adventure in green pumpkin pie-making. The stories, whether true or a tall tale, provide an opening to communicate about historical freezes and their impacts, in comparison to modern freeze services and impacts, to today’s gardeners and book-readers. Narratives such as these are a messaging outlet for high-impact weather events like freezes that cause damage to livelihoods, and these are provided as a demonstration of historical weather significance and interest, as well as the verification of historical weather events and the potential use in modern messaging.
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