Sharply Colder Temperatures Next Week on 23-Jan (Posted 19-Jan))

— Written By Barclay Poling

Dear Agents, Growers and Others,

I received a note this early Saturday morning from a strawberry grower in Franklin County, NC, that he had, “23.5 here (Bunn) this morning.”  And, then he commented, “sure am glad to see this down turn in temps.”

I am in agreement! It was almost as cold at my house in N. Raleigh this morning, and I think we are all  pleased to see this return to colder weather (my forsythia were getting ready to bloom). But, now it looks like  we are really in for some pretty cold weather next week, and especially on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning!

This same grower asked me in another email today to take a peak at the minimum temperature forecast for his area on Wed. morning,  and I learned that he may see  a minimum of 12 F Wednesday morning! That’s pretty darn cold!

Recommendation:  I would definitely be re-applying row covers this weekend, or by no later than Monday.

It might be fine to wait until Monday to apply the  covers as we will be having some more frosty mornings like today. These frosts are quite desirable at this time of year . But, when the forecast is for minimums in the lower teens, that might present some problems. Here is the forecast for the Lousiburg area in the early week, and you can see it will plummet all the way down to 12 F on Wed.

AWIS Weather Services, Inc. 7 Day Temperature Forecast
Produced at Sat Jan 19 07:11:26 a.m. CST 2013

MIN=nighttime low (7 p.m. previous night to 8 a.m. of the indicated day, local time)
MAX=daytime high (7 a.m.-7 p.m., local time)

                     Sat   Sun     Mon     Tue     Wed     Thu     Fri     Sat
                   01/19  01/20   01/21   01/22   01/23   01/24   01/25   01/26
STATION              MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX

Louisburg             53  28  57  26  53  21  38  12  45  23  48  20  49  28  47
Lumberton_AG          55  35  60  33  56  29  43  18  47  29  50  25  52  38  52
Lumberton_AP_NC       57  36  62  34  57  30  46  23  49  31  50  26  52  40  54

Just for the heck of it, I was going through some older photographs from previous Januarys and came across this shot taken of Chandler in mid-Jan. 2005 on the 13th of the month. In that year we had even more warmth than we’ve had this January — we accumulated over 100 GDDs by 13-Jan in 2005 (Clayton). And, just look at all those highs in the 70s in 2005 (blue line in chart is 2005, red line is 2013). I thought North Carolina was in the tropics in early January 2005 . I don’t know about you, but I am feeling better already! If you take a really close look at the photograph of the Chandler plant in the photo on the left (2005), you can see new leaves breaking from the crown – not a good thing at all for the middle of January. We need to “hold dormancy” in January, not break it!

Chandler plant, you can see new leaves breaking from the crown   Temperature graph

I know that  some areas (e.g. Sandhills) were reporting that  strawberry plants are about ready to “explode” with blossoms last week, but if we had had the same temperatures NC experienced back in  January 2005, we would be dangerously far along today. Thankfully, we are not. If the crop had broken dormancy in mid-Jan 2013, I am afraid we would need to consider covering the crop up even in those areas that will only be reaching upper teens (yellow zone on minimum temp map). It still may be a good idea to cover up in areas that will have minimums in the upper teens and low 20s on Wed.,  but I do not think this crop is nearly so “tender”  or as far along as it was back in  Jan 2005.

As  mentioned, I would  recommend that covers do go back on in areas where minimum temperature are  dropping into the mid-to-low  teens, like Lousiburg (12 F). Even in areas like Kinston, it may get to 14 F next Wednesday morning! So, I would be inclined to cover up in that area. Even if you are going to be in the upper teens, you may just want to play it safe and cover up this weekend, or on Monday.

The light green band is for 14-16 F minimum, and those areas, and colder,  could really benefit from having row covers back on. A table of minimum temperature data for NC cities and towns over the next 7 days is provided at the very bottom of the advisory.

Good luck!

Barclay Poling, Professor Emeritus

NC Min Temperature Forecast map Wednesday

 
Also, I would like to say that I am not very  concerned about losing  open blossoms (winter blossoms) that you see on the plants below (the photo on left was taken in Richmond County early last week – Camarosa). Winter blossoms  rarely produce good quality because the fruit are so misshapen! And, you will never miss losing  1-2 open blossoms per plant at this time of year. But, in the next several weeks,  we need to be more concerned about  emerged flower buds (unopened flower buds) that are just beneath the canopy. My experience with emerged buds is that these “can handle”  minimum air temperatures all the way down into the low 20s, or possibly upper teens, at this time of year. But, as temperatures warm in Feburary, they begin to lose hardiness, and  temperatures in the low 20s can be damaging to tight  flower buds as the season progresses. Finally,  I would like to mention in this Saturday afternoon update that one benefit of re-applying covers now may be that you will  minimize damage to the canopy itself. There can be desiccation injury to leaves if it gets really cold and windy this week!

Good luck!

Barclay Poling, Extension Strawberry Specialist & Prof. Emeritus, NCSU

Strawberry Plants   Strawberry Plant

AWIS Weather Services, Inc. 7 Day Temperature Forecast
Produced at Sat Jan 19 07:11:26 a.m. CST 2013

MIN=nighttime low (7 p.m. previous night to 8 a.m. of the indicated day, local time)
MAX=daytime high (7 a.m.-7 p.m., local time)

                     Sat   Sun     Mon     Tue     Wed     Thu     Fri     Sat
                   01/19  01/20   01/21   01/22   01/23   01/24   01/25   01/26
STATION              MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX MIN MAX
-------------------- --- ------- ------- ------- ------- ------- ------- -------
Western North_Carolina
Andrews               52  25  54  25  47  17  36  12  48  23  47  22  47  26  44
Asheville_Munic       52  29  53  29  45  20  33  15  46  29  45  26  45  31  42
Banner_Elk            47  25  46  22  40  14  26   8  39  20  39  18  40  24  35
Beech_Mountain        41  24  40  21  34  13  20   7  33  18  33  16  34  22  29
Bent_Creek            51  28  53  27  46  19  35  14  48  25  47  24  47  28  44
Black_Mountain        52  28  54  27  48  19  37  14  49  25  48  25  48  29  45
Blowing_Rock          44  26  43  23  37  15  23   9  36  20  36  18  37  24  32
Brevard               54  28  56  27  49  19  38  14  50  25  49  24  49  29  46
Burnsville            51  25  50  22  44  14  30   8  43  19  43  17  44  23  39
Canton                50  27  52  26  45  18  35  13  47  24  46  23  46  27  43
Celo                  49  23  51  22  44  14  33   9  45  20  44  19  44  23  41
Charlotte             53  35  57  33  52  26  45  19  48  30  51  27  52  35  47
Concord               54  32  58  31  52  25  43  18  50  28  50  25  50  31  49
Coweeta               52  26  54  25  47  17  36  12  48  24  47  23  47  27  44
Cullowhee             53  28  55  27  48  19  37  14  49  25  48  25  48  29  45
Enka                  48  27  50  26  43  19  32  14  44  25  43  24  43  28  41
Fletcher              50  24  52  23  45  15  34  10  46  21  45  21  45  25  42
Forest_City           55  32  57  31  50  23  39  18  51  29  50  28  50  32  47
Franklin_AG           53  28  55  27  48  19  38  14  50  25  49  24  49  28  46
Gastonia-Gaston       56  34  63  34  59  27  46  21  52  29  51  26  54  35  50
Gastonia_AG           54  34  58  33  52  27  43  20  51  30  51  27  51  33  50
Grandfather_MTN       41  24  40  21  34  13  20   7  33  18  33  16  34  22  29
Hayesville            55  33  57  32  50  24  39  19  51  30  50  30  50  34  47
Hendersonville        51  29  53  28  46  20  35  15  48  26  47  25  47  29  44
Hickory               51  32  55  31  48  25  34  18  47  29  44  22  45  30  45
Highlands             46  26  48  25  41  17  30  12  42  23  41  22  41  27  38
Hot_Springs           50  30  52  29  46  22  35  17  47  28  46  27  46  31  43
Jefferson_AG          48  27  47  24  41  16  27  10  40  21  40  19  41  26  36
Jefferson_AP_NC       53  33  48  30  45  19  26  11  37  25  34  23  36  29  35
Lenoir                56  32  55  29  49  21  35  15  48  26  48  25  49  31  44
Lincolnton            54  33  58  32  52  26  43  19  50  29  50  26  50  32  49
Long_Valley           50  28  52  28  45  20  34  15  46  26  46  25  46  29  43
Marion                53  31  55  30  48  22  37  17  49  28  48  27  48  31  45
Marshall              48  26  50  25  43  17  33  12  45  23  44  22  44  26  41
Mocksville            52  30  56  28  51  23  37  14  45  24  47  20  48  29  45
Morganton             54  30  56  29  50  21  39  16  51  27  50  26  50  30  47
Mount_Airy            53  30  52  28  46  20  32  14  45  25  45  23  46  29  41
Murphy                52  28  54  27  47  19  36  14  48  25  47  24  47  28  44
North_Wilkesboro      53  27  52  25  46  17  32  11  45  22  45  20  46  26  41
Oconaluftee           51  24  53  23  46  15  35  10  47  21  46  20  46  24  43
Old_Fort              49  26  51  25  44  17  34  12  46  23  45  22  45  26  42
Pisgah_Forest         51  26  53  25  46  17  35  12  47  23  46  22  46  26  43
Rosman                54  28  56  27  49  19  38  14  50  25  49  24  49  29  46
Salisbury             54  34  58  32  53  27  39  18  47  28  49  24  50  34  47
Shelby                55  33  59  32  53  26  44  19  51  29  51  26  51  32  50
Statesville           53  30  57  29  52  24  38  15  46  25  48  21  49  30  47
Tapoco                53  32  55  30  48  23  37  18  49  29  48  28  48  32  45
Transou               48  26  47  23  41  15  27   9  40  20  40  18  41  25  36
Tryon                 56  33  58  32  51  24  40  19  52  30  51  30  51  34  48
Vale                  54  34  58  33  52  27  43  20  51  30  51  27  51  33  50
W_Kerr_Scott_Reservo  53  27  52  25  46  17  32  11  45  22  45  20  46  26  41
Waterville            51  30  53  29  46  21  35  16  47  27  46  26  46  30  43
Waynesville           51  27  53  26  46  18  35  13  47  24  46  23  46  27  44
West_Jefferson        48  27  47  24  41  16  27  10  40  21  40  19  41  26  36
Yadkinville           55  32  54  29  48  21  34  15  47  26  47  24  48  30  43

Central North_Carolina
                     Sat   Sun     Mon     Tue     Wed     Thu     Fri     Sat
Albemarle             55  34  59  33  53  27  44  20  52  30  52  27  52  33  51
Apex                  52  34  57  32  52  27  38  19  46  29  48  25  49  34  46
Arcola                52  34  56  32  52  26  37  17  44  28  47  25  48  34  46
Asheboro              53  35  57  33  52  28  39  19  47  29  49  26  50  35  47
Badin_Ag              55  34  59  33  53  27  44  20  52  30  52  27  52  33  51
Burlington-Burl       54  31  59  29  55  24  39  15  45  27  47  22  51  32  46
Burlington_AG         52  33  56  31  52  25  37  16  44  27  47  24  48  32  46
Carrboro              52  31  56  29  52  23  38  14  45  25  48  23  49  31  47
Carthage              53  34  57  33  51  27  42  20  49  30  50  27  50  33  49
Chapel_Hill           52  31  56  29  52  23  38  14  45  25  48  23  49  31  47
Clayton               53  33  59  32  56  29  41  16  44  27  48  25  51  38  51
Clinton               56  37  61  35  57  31  44  20  48  31  51  27  53  40  53
Danbury               50  29  54  27  50  21  35  12  42  23  45  20  46  28  44
Durham_AG             53  31  57  29  53  23  38  14  45  25  48  22  49  30  47
Eden                  49  31  53  29  49  24  35  15  42  26  45  23  46  31  44
Ellerbe               56  36  61  34  57  30  44  18  48  29  51  25  53  39  53
Erwin                 53  33  58  31  54  27  41  16  45  27  48  23  50  36  50
Fayetteville_AG       54  35  59  33  55  29  42  18  46  29  50  25  52  38  52
Fayetteville_AP       57  35  62  34  58  30  43  22  48  28  50  27  54  40  52
Goldsboro_AFB         56  36  62  35  59  33  40  18  43  29  48  27  51  40  51
Goldsboro_AG          53  34  59  33  56  30  41  18  44  29  48  26  51  39  51
Graham_AG             52  33  56  31  52  25  37  16  44  27  47  24  48  32  46
Greensboro            50  32  54  31  50  24  38  17  43  27  47  24  46  34  43
Hamlet                56  32  60  31  54  26  45  19  52  29  52  26  52  32  51
Henderson             52  29  56  27  52  22  37  13  44  24  47  21  48  29  46
High_Point            53  34  57  32  53  27  38  18  45  29  48  26  49  34  47
Jackson_Springs       53  34  57  33  51  27  42  20  49  30  50  27  50  33  49
King                  53  32  57  30  53  24  38  15  45  26  48  23  49  31  47
Laurinburg            56  36  61  34  57  30  44  18  48  29  51  25  53  39  53
Lexington             53  34  57  32  52  27  38  18  47  28  49  24  50  33  47
Louisburg             53  28  57  26  53  21  38  12  45  23  48  20  49  28  47
Lumberton_AG          55  35  60  33  56  29  43  18  47  29  50  25  52  38  52
Lumberton_AP_NC       57  36  62  34  57  30  46  23  49  31  50  26  52  40  54
Maxton                56  36  61  34  60  28  47  23  48  31  51  25  53  39  52
Mcleansville          50  32  55  30  51  24  36  15  43  26  46  23  47  32  45
Monroe                55  35  59  34  53  28  44  21  51  31  52  28  52  34  51
Monroe_AP_NC          52  35  59  36  57  28  45  22  49  30  50  27  49  36  49
Nashville             51  33  57  32  52  27  40  14  42  24  47  22  46  34  50
Oxford                52  33  56  31  52  25  37  16  44  27  47  24  48  32  46
Oxford_AG             52  33  56  31  52  25  37  16  44  27  47  24  48  32  46
Pittsboro             52  30  56  28  51  23  38  14  46  24  48  20  49  29  46
Raeford               55  33  60  31  56  28  43  17  47  28  50  24  52  37  52
Raleigh               55  36  59  34  54  29  40  20  48  30  50  26  51  35  48
Raleigh-Durham        53  34  59  32  56  26  39  16  45  26  48  23  52  35  47
Raleigh_State_Univ    52  34  57  32  52  27  38  19  46  29  48  25  49  34  46
Randleman             53  35  57  33  52  28  39  19  47  29  49  26  50  35  47
Reidsville            49  31  53  29  49  24  35  15  42  26  45  23  46  31  44
Rocky_Mount-Wilson    54  31  59  32  56  27  37  15  41  26  47  24  51  35  48
Roxboro               51  31  55  29  51  23  36  14  43  25  46  22  47  30  45
Siler_City            52  30  56  28  51  23  38  14  46  24  48  20  49  29  46
Smithfield            53  32  59  31  56  28  41  15  44  26  48  23  51  36  51
Swann                 54  33  58  31  53  26  39  17  47  27  49  23  50  32  47
Wadesboro             54  35  58  34  53  28  44  21  51  31  51  28  51  34  50
Wilson_AG             52  32  58  31  55  28  40  15  43  26  47  23  50  36  51
Winston-Salem         53  34  57  32  53  25  35  17  44  27  48  24  47  32  45

Eastern North_Carolina
                     Sat   Sun     Mon     Tue     Wed     Thu     Fri     Sat
Aurora                53  35  59  34  56  31  41  18  44  29  48  26  51  39  51
Burgaw                58  38  63  36  59  32  46  21  50  32  54  28  56  41  56
Cape_Fear             57  36  62  34  58  30  45  19  49  30  52  26  54  39  54
Cape_Hatteras         54  42  59  41  54  36  42  23  44  33  49  31  48  42  52
Cape_Hatteras_AG      52  43  57  44  53  37  40  24  42  34  46  33  49  44  51
Cedar_Island          54  38  60  37  57  34  42  21  45  32  49  30  52  43  52
Cherry_Point          55  36  63  37  61  32  43  18  45  31  49  28  52  41  56
Columbia              54  37  59  36  54  31  42  18  44  28  49  26  48  38  52
Edenton               53  38  58  37  53  32  41  19  43  29  49  27  48  38  52
Elizabeth_City        52  38  57  36  51  29  40  15  40  27  48  24  42  38  51
Elizabethtown         57  36  62  34  58  30  45  19  49  30  52  26  54  39  54
Greenville_AG         53  33  59  32  56  29  41  17  44  28  49  25  52  38  52
Greenville_AP_NC      50  33  58  30  52  30  39  18  43  29  43  24  53  38  50
Halifax_AG            50  32  55  31  50  26  38  13  41  23  46  21  45  32  49
Hatteras              55  43  60  42  55  37  43  24  45  34  50  32  49  43  53
Hofmann_Forest        59  37  64  35  60  31  47  20  51  31  54  28  56  41  56
Jackson               50  32  55  31  50  26  38  13  41  23  46  21  45  32  49
Jacksonville          56  38  61  36  57  33  44  19  47  32  53  26  53  43  57
Kinston_AG            53  33  59  32  56  29  42  16  45  27  49  24  52  37  52
Kinston_AP            56  36  61  35  58  29  40  19  47  28  43  25  51  40  55
Lewiston              52  33  57  32  52  27  40  14  42  24  47  22  46  33  50
Manteo                53  40  58  39  54  33  42  20  44  31  49  29  48  40  52
Milwaukee             52  33  57  32  52  27  40  14  42  24  47  22  46  33  50
Morehead_City         56  39  62  38  59  35  44  21  47  32  51  29  54  43  54
Mount_Olive_6SE       57  36  63  35  60  32  45  19  48  30  53  27  56  40  56
New_Bern              55  36  61  34  56  32  42  17  44  28  49  27  52  42  53
New_Holland           56  37  62  36  59  33  44  20  47  31  51  28  54  41  54
Newport_NC            56  39  62  38  59  35  44  21  47  32  51  29  54  43  54
Plymouth              55  36  60  35  55  30  43  17  45  27  50  25  49  36  53
Roanoke_Rap_AG        50  32  55  31  50  26  38  13  41  23  46  21  45  32  49
Roanoke_Rap_AP        55  35  59  33  56  29  40  18  41  27  47  24  50  31  48
Rocky_Mount           52  35  57  34  52  29  40  16  42  26  47  24  46  35  50
Shallotte             57  38  62  36  58  32  45  21  49  32  52  28  54  41  54
Snow_Hill             53  34  59  33  56  30  41  18  44  29  48  26  51  39  51
Southport             57  38  62  36  58  32  45  21  49  32  52  28  54  41  54
Tarboro               52  32  57  31  52  26  40  13  42  23  47  21  46  32  51
Warsaw                56  37  61  35  57  31  44  20  48  31  51  27  53  40  53
Whiteville            56  36  61  33  57  29  44  18  48  29  51  25  54  38  54
Willard               58  38  63  36  59  32  46  21  50  32  54  28  56  41  56
Williamston           53  35  58  34  53  29  41  16  43  26  48  24  47  35  51
Wilmington_AG         58  38  63  36  59  32  46  21  50  32  53  28  55  41  55
Wilmington_AP_NC      58  39  63  36  58  35  47  21  48  35  53  29  55  44  56

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