All Kinds of Double-Takes on Weather Today and Next Week (Jan. 25, 2014)

— Written By Barclay Poling

In this Strawberry Weather Alert

  • A. Introduction – who is warmer?…can you believe Fairbanks > Atlanta (at this time in the afternoon on Sat. (1:30),  Anchorage is 35 F and NYC is 28 F
  • B. SC Grower comments on why he applied covers again – he went with his “gut”
  • C. State by State freeze reports
    • Wed (1/29) will be the minimum temp day this next week, and we’re talking 3 F in Farmville VA, and Clayton will be 10 F – that was my doubletake this morning! As cold as it is going to be in VA this week, it is unlikely they will break the records set in the winter of 1940. On Jan 29, 1940 it was -12 F in the area of Moseley Va.
    • Our next 30-Day Outlook will be posted Sunday evening (Jan 26)

photo-178

Fig. 1. At 8:45 this morning I happened to hear this report on the Weather Channel about Fairbanks, Alaska being warmer than Atlanta, Georgia.

A. Introduction:

Who is warmer?  Apparently, temperatures up in Fairbanks, Alaska, today will be warmer than Atlanta. Maybe Alaska would be better than East Rutherford, NJ for Super Bowl XLVIII?

Doubletake this morning…

I thought I was reading my SkyBit for a location in VA (Amelia) this morning, but when I doublechecked, it was  Clayton (see below). Clayton now has a 10 degree canopy forecast for Wed (1/29) and Thu (1/30). Previously , SkyBit was calling for 19 F on Wed morning.

20140125st1.NCCLY

B. SC GROWER comments on why he applied row covers on this second go round…

2014-01-25_11-04-39

Fig. 2. We hear often from Eric Hunter in this advisory. I thought many of you would like to know that Eric’s farm is in Easley, SC (A). Clemson on lower left corner of map, and Greenville is directly east of Easley.
Hey Dr. Poling,
I was thinking about the question raised regarding the chances of this being a later season or not. To me, even though we have had some cold spells sit on us for awhile, this appears to be a typical winter year for us (at least what was once typical). In looking back over our records and relying on memory, these types of years tend to have us beginning at a normal time (April 20th for us). I think the caveat (at least for us) in all of this will depend on what late February and March is like. Take last year for instance – we had a mild winter but then had a cold March and April, and that forced us into the latest opening we have ever had (and subsequently lost our two best weekends of the year) – we literally opened up the day before Mothers Day weekend and had only a few berries. These colder nights are a little more than I’d prefer, but I like the idea of having a normal winter again.
We dropped down to around the 10 degree mark last night – not quite as cold as the first blast a few weeks ago. We also has a Tuesday night low of around 13. We were hesitant to put row covers on going into last weekend (at the time, the forecast was calling for lows around 15), but my gut kept telling me that the forecast would continue dropping throughout the week.  So, we decided to go with the covers and am now glad we did. We began seeing the cold for next week a few days ago as it was being forecast to hit 18-20. It has now meandered down to 15. I’m betting it will be even lower a few days from now. We’ve used our row covers more this year than the previous 4 years (maybe more) combined. We actually had to buy new covers this season – turning out to be a wise investment.
Thanks again for the service you’re providing.
Eric Hunter, Easley, Sc

C. State by state freeze updates as of 1 p.m., Jan. 25 (Sat):

1. NC Update: NC AWIS Jan 25 to Feb 1

Sun min nc

Fig. 3. Minimums for NC Sunday morning. Light blue is 10-12 F. Dark green is 12-14 F

tue min nc

Fig. 4. Colder temps return Mon night/Tue morning

wed min nc

Fig. 5. Temperatures “crash” Wed morning (1/29). Teal colored area is 8-10 F.

2. SC Update: SC AWIS Jan 25 – Feb 1

3. VA Update: VA AWIS Jan 25 to Feb1

VA Sun

Fig. 6. VA minimums tomorrow morning

VA Tue

Fig. 7. VA minimums Tue morning

VA WED

Fig. 8. VA and Mid-Atlantic minimums Wed morning. Central VA will be in the 5 to 10 F range.

Here is the actual VA SkyBit I receive daily for a location (Amelia) that is west of Richmond. This farm will have 5 F in canopy on Wed and 9 F on Thur (1/30). The record low for 1/29 is -12 F (1940) and -3 F (1940).

20140125st1.VACHL

Here is the 5 day forecast for Chesepeake area in VA – note that it will be 10 F on Wed

AWIS Hourly Forecast For Chesapeake-Ches, VA     
Produced at 11:49 a.m. CST on Sat Jan 25 2014
Day-Length = 10:11 / Sunrise at  7:12 a.m. / Sunset at  5:23 p.m.

Local               Forecast For   Saturday   January 25, 2014 
Hour  00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
                      MIN= 12                    MAX= 45
TEMP  12 13 13 14 15 15 15 16 20 26 32 35 38 42 43 45 45 43 41 39 39 38 37 36
DEWP   3  4  4  4  5  5  6  7  7  7  6  5  3  1  2  2  2  6  9 12 14 15 16 15
WETB  10 11 11 12 13 13 13 14 17 21 25 27 29 31 32 33 33 32 31 31 31 31 30 29
WNDS   2  3  5  7  9  9 10 11 13 16 20 20 20 20 20 20 18 18 17 16 16 15 14 14
WNDD      S        S      SSW       SW      SSW       SW       SW      WSW   
CLDC    CLR      CLR      FEW      BKN      OVC      OVC      BKN      CLR   
INV    0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1
DEWF                                                                         
POP6      0        4        4        4        4       25       25        7   
Q1     0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0

Local               Forecast For     Sunday   January 26, 2014 
Hour  00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
                      MIN= 21                    MAX= 36
TEMP  34 32 31 29 27 25 23 21 23 25 28 29 31 33 34 36 36 35 33 31 31 31 32 32
DEWP  13 12 11 10  9  8  7  7  5  3  1  0 -1 -2 -1 -1 -1  6  9 12 31 31 17 18
WETB  28 26 25 24 22 21 19 18 19 20 22 22 23 25 25 27 27 27 26 26 31 31 27 28
WNDS  13 11 10  9  7  7  6  5  5  5  5  5  5  5  5  6  7  7  7  8  8  8  9  9
WNDD    WSW      WSW        W        W       SW        S        S        S   
CLDC    CLR      CLR      CLR      SCT      BKN      FEW      SCT      SCT   
INV    1  2  2  2  4  4  5  7  6  5  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0
DEWF                                                               F  F      
POP6      7        0        0        0        0        3        3        3   
Q1     0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0

Local               Forecast For     Monday   January 27, 2014 
Hour  00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
                      MIN= 29                    MAX= 50
TEMP  32 31 31 31 32 32 32 33 32 36 40 42 45 47 50 50 50 43 36 35 34 33 32 31
DEWP  20 20 21 21 23 24 25 27 27 27 28 28 28 28 28 29 28 26 25 24 23 22 21 19
WETB  28 27 28 28 29 29 30 31 30 33 35 37 38 39 41 41 41 37 32 31 30 29 28 27
WNDS   9  9  9  9  8  8  8  8  9 10 14 14 14 13 13 13 13 14 15 17 17 17 16 16
WNDD      S      SSW      SSW       SW      WSW       NW        W       SW   
CLDC    SCT      BKN      OVC      OVC      OVC      BKN      BKN      BKN   
INV    0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1
DEWF                                                                         
POP6      3        8        8       30       30        0        0        0   
Q1     0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0

Local               Forecast For    Tuesday   January 28, 2014 
Hour  00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
                      MIN= 23                    MAX= 27
TEMP  30 29 28 26 25 24 23 23 24 24 25 26 26 26 27 27 27 23 18 18 17 16 16 15
DEWP  18 17 16 14 13 12 11 10 10  9  8  8  7  6  6  6  6  6  5  5  5  5  5  5
WETB  26 26 25 23 22 21 20 20 20 20 21 21 21 21 22 22 22 19 15 15 14 14 14 13
WNDS  16 16 16 16 17 17 17 18 18 17 16 16 16 15 15 14 13 13 13 11 11 10  9  9
WNDD    NNW      NNW      NNW      NNW      NNW      NNW        W       SW   
CLDC    BKN      BKN      SCT      BKN      BKN      FEW      FEW      FEW   
INV    1  1  1  1  1  1  2  1  1  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1
DEWF                                                                         
POP6      0        0        0        0        0        0        0        0   
Q1     0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0

Local               Forecast For  Wednesday   January 29, 2014 
Hour  00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
                      MIN= 10                    MAX= 33
TEMP  14 14 13 12 11 11 10 10 14 18 22 24 27 30 33 33 33 28 22 21 20 19 18 17
DEWP   4  5  4  4  3  4  3  3  3  4  4  3  3  3  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4
WETB  12 12 11 10  9 10  9  9 12 15 18 19 21 23 26 26 26 22 18 17 16 16 15 14
WNDS   9  9  9  9  9  9  9  9  9  9 10 10 10 10 10 10  9  9  8  7  7  6  5  5
WNDD    WNW      NNW      NNW      NNW      NNW      NNW       SW        W   
CLDC    FEW      FEW      CLR      CLR      CLR      CLR      CLR      CLR   
INV    1  1  1  1  1  1  2  2  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1  1  2
DEWF                                                                         
POP6      0        0        0        0        0        0        0        0   
Q1     0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0

Where:
TEMP = Air Temperature (F)                                                   
DEWP = Dewpoint Temperature (F)                                              
WETB = Wetbulb Temperature (F)                                               
WNDS = Wind Speed (MPH)                                                      
WNDD = Wind Direction (Compass Direction Wind Blowing From)                  
CLDC = Cloud Cover                                                           
       CLR = Clear skies [< 5% Cloud Cover]
       FEW = Few clouds [5-25% Cloud Cover]
       SCT = Scattered clouds [25-50% Cloud Cover]
       BKN = Broken clouds [50-87% Cloud Cover]
       OVC = Overcast clouds [87-100% Cloud Cover]
INV  = Inversion Temperature (F) at 50-150ft above ground                    
DEWF = Dew/Frost (D=dew; F=Frost; Blank is dry)                              
POP6 = Probability of Precip (% Ending 6 Hour Period)                        
Q1   = Quantitative Precip (Hourly / Hundreths of Inch)

4. GA Update: GA AWIS Jan 25 to Feb 1

5. TN Update: TN Jan 25 to Feb 1

6. KY Update KY Jan 25 to Feb 1

Lexington will see – 5 F on Tue morning!

Central KY

7. MD Update

Editor’s final note:  it looks like we are going to be locked into these below normal cold temperatures until the start of February, so we still have some time for informational exchanges about how  these very long durations of cold temperatures may impact the crop. I got a very long note from one SC grower yesterday who did not elect to apply covers, and so I am anticipating some interesting observations on our crop in a few weeks, after we get past Arctic Blast #2. As promised, next Monday I will return to Tom Baker’s question of last week on how this winter season may be influencing harvest dates? Recall, this is what Tom asked on Jan 24:

“I don’t remember a winter with so much prolonged cold. I guess my question is:
 
When it does warm up, will strawberries get “back on schedule” for picking to start here ~ May 1 or, even if normal temps return by mid-Feb or early-March, do you feel we are looking at a later season? Our school field trip manager (Amanda) wants to know!”

Have a good evening!

Barclay

p.s. special thanks to Eric Hunter for his comments in today’s advisory!

p.s.s. I was so disappointed not to have been invited last week out to Half Moon Bay, CA for the Mavericks surfing contest.

half moon bay

Fig. 9. Unknown contestant in Mavericks surfing contest – hanging 15?