April 2nd Update – What Happened Last Night?

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1. What happened last night?

1a) Right on the line in Wyoming, DE (6 AM)

A strawberry grower in Wyoming, DE (near Dover) has been wrestling with a nervous situation this morning of temperature of bloom at 28.2 at 6:20 am. It is “interesting” that AWIS is showing a minimum of 31 F at 6 am (going to 35 at 7 am). Thus, the AWIS  minimum is 3 F higher than bloom. He has SkyBit for his farm and they said in 8 pm foreast (4/1) that he would be 30 F in strawberry canopy this morning and 33 F outside. My guess is that 28.2 is his low, and that from this time (6:20) blossom temps came up? I am also VERY INTERESTED IN KNOWING HIS WINDS THIS MORNING. AWIS called for 8-7 mph from 4 am to  5 am (8 mph at 4 am). Skybit called for winds of 4-6 for 4am to 5 am. AccuWeather Pro called for winds in range of 12-11 mph this early morning (4 am to 5 am). Let us know how it turned out Bobby? Did it go completely calm at ground level (that is my fear). I JUST REALIZED THAT THIS GROWER IS DEALING WITH A TRUE FROST/FREEZE TONIGHT – SO YOU MAY WISH TO READ ABOUT HANDLING A FROST/FREEZE EVENT WITH SPRINKLERS: Bobby follow up

Bobby Fifer 28.2 FFig. 2. WINDS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE 11-12 MPH – the grower reported “0” winds this morning

CAMDEN WHAT HAPPENED

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? (8:30 AM)   I had 32 at 4 am and 27 at 5am. No wind. Frost was forming at 4 and have a light – moderate frost now. Started water at 4. I am surprised at how much temps dropped in 1 hour and how far off the forecasts were on multiple levels. None called for calm and only sky bit called for a 4-5 mph wind as you know from last night. How did I get frost when dew point was in the teens?  NOAA was calling a current dew point of 18 at dover afb around 4. I hope tonights forecast is closer as they are calling for 28 not 31. Don’t need low 20’s now.

MY COMMENTS TO BOBBY FOR TONIGHT:

 I don’t think I would take any chances if they are calling for 29 F at weather shelter (and, AWIS is saying that is how cold it can get), and with a 2-3 degree differential between the air temp last night and blossom minimum this morning (blossom being colder), I think that blossom temps could go below a critical of 28 F tomorrow morning. 

ONE THING THAT IS INTERESTING IS HOW CLOSE SKYBIT WAS IN THE TEMP FORECAST … this grower has already gotten his morning SkyBit at around 6:45 am and it is already telling him how cold in the strawberry canopy it will be tomorrow morning. It would appear that Bobby has a very tough night ahead up in Delaware…If you look at the SkyBit for tomorrow morning, it is saying 26 F in canopy. My guess is that it will say even colder in this morning’s update.

 SKYBIT

Fig. 3. The SkyBit for today will probably be even colder in forecast for 4/3 than the 26 minimum shown in canopy (out-of-state grower).

2. CLOSER TO HOME – UPDATE ON WAITING GAME AND FERTILITY QUESTION:

DURHAM, NC:

Good Morning Barclay,
Its 38 here… wait now 36  and dropping fast. Sprinklers in place. WRAL says 44, yea right.
My question is really about fert. Saw your last letter about putting out N. I started Sat. Finally having some blooms. I heard thru from another producer that he is gonna try putting more Pot-nit this year and reduce his Cal nit in order to try to extend shelf life of his berries. Any thoughts on that? What do you think a good balance would be? I have a little over 2 acres this year, plants look good, just late.
Thanks for all you do,
mark

Mark & Pam Waller
5005 Kerley Rd
Durham, NC 27705

Reply

Hey Mark and Pam – please give me a little update in next few minutes, or I can post something later from you. My thought on the fertility (and will elaborate in special fertility advsiory today, is that 1) you definitely need to be running N right now and 2) I would consider a rotation between Calcium Nitrate and Potassium Nitrate (if doing weekly injections, then 2 straight weeks Ca Nitrate and 3rd week Pot Nitrate)

Greensboro:

Barclay,
We have been dripping for frost protection, but now that we are fertilizing would you think it would be better to sprinkle, so as not to leach out nutrients.
Secondly, how low a temp will drip protect blooms?

James Kenan

Repy

Are you doing this with row covers? Did you see frost in Greensboro this morning? When do you start the drip?

Here are Min Temps across NC for tonight: NC Min Temps

southeast

Fig. 4. Southeast freeze areas for 4/3 (Wed)

Min Map Wed

Fig. 5. NC Minimum temps for Wed morning – colder than we originally thought!

Min Map Thur

Fig. 5. Minimums on Thursday morning will be even colder

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

 Here is the North Carolina AWIS Frost/Freeze for tonight:

AWIS Weather Services, Inc.
North Carolina Frost/Freeze Forecast
Produced at  506 AM CDT on Tue Apr  2 2013

… Forecast for Tonight …

Northeast NC Coast
Currituck/Camden/Pasquotank/Tyrrell Counties

**** NEAR FREEZING COLD LOCATIONS  ****
****  FROST LIKELY  ****

Lowest Temperatures:      34 – 40
Elizabeth_City Min          34
Range Dewpoint Temps:     21 – 33
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     33 – 40
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  4     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)

04/04/13  04/05/13  04/06/13  04/07/13  04/08/13  04/09/13
——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–
33 – 41   47 – 54   40 – 47   40 – 47   48 – 55   51 – 58
——–

East Central/SE NC Coast
Carteret/Pamlico Counties

**** NEAR FREEZING COLD LOCATIONS  ****
****  FROST LIKELY  ****

Lowest Temperatures:      34 – 40
Morehead_City Min           40
Range Dewpoint Temps:     26 – 35
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     33 – 41
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:   V  2     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)

04/04/13  04/05/13  04/06/13  04/07/13  04/08/13  04/09/13
——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–
34 – 38   52 – 56   44 – 45   43 – 46   51 – 53   53 – 55
——–

Southeast NC
NWS FORECAST ZONES 87-90,96-101
****    PATCHY FROST  ****

Lowest Temperatures:      36 – 41
Elizabethtown Min           39
Range Dewpoint Temps:     24 – 37
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     35 – 45
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  SE  3     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)

04/04/13  04/05/13  04/06/13  04/07/13  04/08/13  04/09/13
——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–
33 – 39   50 – 58   38 – 43   40 – 47   50 – 54   51 – 55
——–

North-Central NC
Franklin County Area

**** FREEZE COLD LOCATIONS  ****
**** LITTLE IF ANY FROST ****

Lowest Temperatures:      30 – 37
Louisburg Min               30
Durations at/below 32:     0 –  3
Range Dewpoint Temps:     18 – 27
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     28 – 38
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)

04/04/13  04/05/13  04/06/13  04/07/13  04/08/13  04/09/13
——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–
28 – 37   38 – 51   35 – 41   40 – 47   46 – 53   48 – 55
——–

North/Central NC
Alamance County Area

**** NEAR FREEZING COLD LOCATIONS  ****
**** LITTLE IF ANY FROST ****

Lowest Temperatures:      33 – 38
Graham_AG Min               34
Range Dewpoint Temps:     20 – 27
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     29 – 38
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)

04/04/13  04/05/13  04/06/13  04/07/13  04/08/13  04/09/13
——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–
29 – 37   40 – 45   36 – 41   42 – 47   48 – 53   50 – 55
——–

South/Central NC
Richmond County Area
**** LITTLE IF ANY FROST ****

Lowest Temperatures:      37 – 39
Ellerbe Min                 39
Range Dewpoint Temps:     24 – 31
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     35 – 42
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  6
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)

04/04/13  04/05/13  04/06/13  04/07/13  04/08/13  04/09/13
——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–  ——–
35 – 40   40 – 52   39 – 41   43 – 46   49 – 52   51 – 53
——–

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 Barclay Poling, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Barclay PolingFormer Professor and Extension Specialist, Strawberries and Muscadines (919) 515-5373 (Office) barclay_poling@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science - NC State University
Posted on Apr 2, 2013
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