Isothermal Belts in North Carolina

A longtime NC Collection researcher sent me an email recently pointing out that North Carolina’s “isothermal belts” would be a great topic for the Miscellany blog.

Ever heard of them? I had, but I couldn’t come up with a good definition, so I consulted William Powell’s Encyclopedia of North Carolina. Here’s what it had to say:

Isothermal Belt is a zone in western North Carolina, primarily in Rutherford and Polk Counties, in which temperature inversion resulting in milder temperature contributes to longer growing seasons than in the immediate surrounding region…”

[Interestingly, the entry was written by my high school history teacher, Paul L. McCraw, who taught at Davie County High School.]