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.]

2 thoughts on “Isothermal Belts in North Carolina”

  1. Looking for the map of the Isothermal Belt and the link on this page is broken.
    Can you please advise where I can find the map?
    Thank you!

    1. Ted,
      Thanks for letting us know about the dead link. It was on the Isothermal Community College website. But, the school appears to have removed the web page. I have now removed the link from this blog post.

      There’s a small map showing the isothermal belt on page 5 of the North Carolina Native Plant Society’s January/February 2009 issue of Native Plant News. The link to the newsletter (at least for now!) is,%20JanFeb.pdf

      John Blythe
      Assistant Curator
      North Carolina Collection
      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries

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