POCATELLO — The National Weather Service reported the Pocatello area set a record cold temperature on Thursday morning, and they predict the area will break another low-temperature record Friday morning.
The area’s temperature dropped to a low of 16 degrees at 7 a.m. Thursday. The previous record for Oct. 10 was 18 degrees, set in 1985, according to the National Weather Service.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service predict the temperature at the Pocatello Regional Airport will drop to 13 degrees on Friday morning, which would break the previous record of 19 degrees, set in 2003.
The threat of the extreme cold has forced farmers throughout the state to rush to harvest their crops.
Travis Blacker with the Idaho Potato Commission says an estimated 15 to 20 percent of Idaho’s potato crop remained in the ground Wednesday.
Blacker says harvesting during freezing temperatures can hurt the quality of the potatoes, and rushing can lead to accidents.
University of Idaho crop researchers have warned the state’s potato farmers that cold pulp temperatures in spuds dramatically increase the risk of both shatter and blackspot bruising. They advise farmers to be vigilant about lessening impacts on tubers and minimizing drops, keeping chains full on harvesting equipment.
The Idaho Department of Agriculture says onion growers are in similar straits and working overtime to finish the harvest. Other crops at risk include sweet corn and dry beans.
National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Wojcik says a low pressure system from Canada is causing the high winds, low temperatures and snow. He says Boise’s temperatures were about 20 degrees below average on Wednesday.