Frost/Freeze Forecast From AWIS for NC (3.14.13)

— Written By

Dear Agents, Growers and Others –

This was the early morning AWIS advisory for NC (below), and also included here is the AWIS minimum temperature maps for Friday morning (Fig. 1) as will as Saturday morning (Fig. 2). Many areas will be near freezing tonight, but with relatively low dewpoints AWIS is indicating that there will be **** LITTLE/NO FROST DUE TO DRY AIR **** However, I am sort of double-checking this during the later afternoon hours today, and I am finding areas that will be at risk for FROST in the morning, so it is not as clear cut as the early morning AWIS product (at bottom of this advisory) has suggested.

NC Fri Min

Fig. 1. Minimum temperature map for NC on Friday morning. The pink areas should have row covers go back “on” today to avoid cold injury tomorrow morning.  All areas in the 28-30 and colder areas, are at definite risk for blossom freeze injury. The good news is that most of the crop is still not that “far along,” and if your crop is mostly “tight bud” this should not be a very serious cold event as the tight buds can handle sub-freezing temperatures down to mid-20s. 

Here you can see all the minimum temperatures for across the state in the morning:NC Min Temp Table

Additional weather details, including custom weather forecasts, are available from AWIS at www.awis.com.

NC Sat Min

Fig. 2. Saturday morning minimums are not threatening and covers can come off Friday morning (> 8 am). Saturday afternoon could be quite warm, so covers should probably come off by Sat morning if they are not gotten off on Friday.

To give you an example of how dry the air is today, I am also attaching the AWIS Hourly Forecast pdf for Kenansville (Duplin Co)Kenansville Hourly Detailed Weather

What is quite interesting in this 1:30 pm CDT (2:30 EST) is how there is an actual FROST FORECAST in this specific hourly forecast for this Eastern NC location. So, in the next hour I will sort of scour through the different locations that AWIS does their hourly forecasts to see if I can identify areas with a real risk of FROST tonigh (despite what the early morning forecast from AWIS said). These hourly forecasts just came out, so this is our best information. 

General recommendation for tonight:

I would recommend to all growers in bloom stage that they should apply row covers this afternoon unless they are absolutely convinced they won’t have a white frost in the morning.  Frosts are very very tricky, and if you are in one of the PINK AREAS (Fig. 1), I would play it safe and have a cover go on this afternoon, if it is not on already. It is really best to get these covers on by no later than mid-afternoon to get maximum heat build-up for tonight. In addition, I believe the covers are “helping to warm up this crop” that has been stuck in what I call a “creeper gear” so far this month!

Clayton is still not even at early bloom stage in Mid-March!

I am still amazed to have learned from Cathy Herring and Kirby Jones this morning at Central Crops Research Station that we have only 4-5 blooms per 10 plant sample! Basically, the crop at Clayton has not had row covers so far this year (until now). The crop is covered up today and will remain covered until tomorrow. Then you can see things warm up some and covers can come off for the weekend.

Here is the high temperature map for Saturday in NC:

Highs Sat NC

Fig. 3. Once daytime highs reach the 70s, it is recommended that the row covers not be left on during the day, and in all the areas of the state where we will have 72 or above, these are areas that are already in some bloom and the covers during the day will interfere with insect and wind pollination.

Additional weather details, including custom weather forecasts, are available from AWIS at www.awis.com.

AWIS Weather Services, Inc.
North Carolina Frost/Freeze Forecast
Produced at 505 AM CDT on Thu Mar 14 2013

… Forecast for Tonight …

Northeast NC Coast
Currituck/Camden/Pasquotank/Tyrrell Counties

**** NEAR FREEZING COLD LOCATIONS ****
**** LITTLE/NO FROST DUE TO DRY AIR ****

Lowest Temperatures:     33 – 39
Elizabeth_City Min         33
Range Dewpoint Temps:    16 – 29
Range Wetbulb Temps:    29 – 36
AVG Wind Direction/Speed: NW 7
AVG Sky Condition:        Clear

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

03/16/13 03/17/13 03/18/13 03/19/13 03/20/13 03/21/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
43 – 49  43 – 50  39 – 46  48 – 54  36 – 42  32 – 40
——–

East Central/SE NC Coast
Carteret/Pamlico Counties

**** FREEZE COLD LOCATIONS ****
**** SCATTERED FROST ****

Lowest Temperatures:     31 – 35
Morehead_City Min          35
Durations at/below 32:    0 – 2
Range Dewpoint Temps:    18 – 29
Range Wetbulb Temps:    30 – 36
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  W 5    Long Periods of Calm
AVG Sky Condition:    Partly Cloudy

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

03/16/13 03/17/13 03/18/13 03/19/13 03/20/13 03/21/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
44 – 48  53 – 54  45 – 47  51 – 54  38 – 41  36 – 39
——–

Southeast NC
NWS FORECAST ZONES 87-90,96-101

**** FREEZE COLD LOCATIONS ****
**** LITTLE/NO FROST DUE TO DRY AIR ****

Lowest Temperatures:     30 – 35
Elizabethtown Min          33
Durations at/below 32:    0 – 3
Range Dewpoint Temps:    13 – 27
Range Wetbulb Temps:    29 – 37
AVG Wind Direction/Speed: NW 5    Long Periods of Calm
AVG Sky Condition:    Partly Cloudy

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

03/16/13 03/17/13 03/18/13 03/19/13 03/20/13 03/21/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
44 – 48  50 – 55  44 – 50  51 – 56  36 – 43  34 – 38
——–

North-Central NC
Franklin County Area

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
**** LITTLE/NO FROST DUE TO DRY AIR ****

Lowest Temperatures:     28 – 34
Louisburg Min              28
Durations at/below 32:    0 – 6
Durations at/below 28:    0 – 1
Range Dewpoint Temps:    10 – 22
Range Wetbulb Temps:    27 – 33
AVG Wind Direction/Speed: NW 4    Long Periods of Calm
AVG Sky Condition:    Mostly Cloudy

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

03/16/13 03/17/13 03/18/13 03/19/13 03/20/13 03/21/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
40 – 47  43 – 51  38 – 44  45 – 52  29 – 37  33 – 40
——–

North/Central NC
Alamance County Area

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
**** LITTLE/NO FROST DUE TO DRY AIR ****

Lowest Temperatures:     28 – 34
Graham_AG Min              32
Durations at/below 32:    0 – 6
Durations at/below 28:    0 – 1
Range Dewpoint Temps:     9 – 22
Range Wetbulb Temps:    27 – 33
AVG Wind Direction/Speed: NW 4    Long Periods of Calm
AVG Sky Condition:    Mostly Cloudy

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

03/16/13 03/17/13 03/18/13 03/19/13 03/20/13 03/21/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
42 – 47  45 – 50  39 – 44  47 – 52  31 – 36  35 – 39
——–

South/Central NC
Richmond County Area

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
**** LITTLE/NO FROST DUE TO DRY AIR ****

Lowest Temperatures:     30 – 32
Ellerbe Min                32
Durations at/below 32:    1 – 3
Range Dewpoint Temps:    12 – 25
Range Wetbulb Temps:    28 – 34
AVG Wind Direction/Speed: NW 5    Long Periods of Calm
AVG Sky Condition:    Mostly Cloudy

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

03/16/13 03/17/13 03/18/13 03/19/13 03/20/13 03/21/13
——– ——– ——– ——– ——– ——–
43 – 46  49 – 53  44 – 46  50 – 53  33 – 39  35 – 39
——–

For more detailed information visit www.awis.com or call 888-798-9955.
Copyright 2013 AWIS Weather Services, Inc. All rights reserved.

Dr. E. Barclay Poling
Professor Emeritus/Extension Strawberry Specialist
Department of Horticultural Science
Campus Box 7609, 162A Kilgore Hall
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
919-418-9687 (Cell)
919-515-2505 (Fax)
barclay_poling@ncsu.edu
https://strawberries.ces.ncsu.edu

Written By

Photo of Dr. Barclay PolingDr. Barclay PolingFormer Professor and Extension Specialist, Strawberries and Muscadines (919) 515-5373 (Office) barclay_poling@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science - NC State University
Posted on Mar 14, 2013
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