Some cherry farmers in British Columbia are using helicopters to push warm air over the trees as unseasonably cool temperatures threaten this year’s cherry crop even before the fruit has formed.
President of the B.C. Cherry Growers Association Sukhpaul Bal says helicopters create an airflow rather than letting cool air sit over orchards and potentially damage buds waiting to blossom.
He says cherry farmers and other fruit growers have been challenged by weather patterns that have created fires, floods and last year’s so-called heat dome where temperatures touched 50C in some parts of B.C.
But Bal says despite this cold snap, B.C. growers haven’t seen the snow that has affected orchards in some parts of the United States, and he remains optimistic for a good crop.
Environment Canada meteorologist Dave Wray says current below seasonal temperatures are due to an upper low, which is a cold air mass that has settled over the province.
He says conditions have been up to seven degrees below normal over the last week but predicts the mercury should climb toward more normal temperatures by the weekend.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2022.