30 Day Ag Weather Outlook VA – TN- NC – SC (Last Updated 12/14/14)

— Written By Barclay Poling

In general – Looks like temperatures won’t stray too far from the seasonal average over the next couple of  weeks. The way it is looking now, the next possible well below normal cold outbreak in the region  will likely hold off til at least the very end of Dec. Take a look at the Outlook discussions for 29 Dec–5 Jan and 6 Jan –13 Jan. There will be 2 more forecasts posted in Dec. (Mon Dec 22 and Mon Dec 29).


Forecast discussion day 3 – 5 (17 Dec – 19 Dec) Temperatures start near average then drop to slight below average by mid period. Temperatures start off near seasonal average but quickly drop to slightly below seasonal average levels behind the passage of a cold front as a strong low moves into the Canadian Maritime.  The period starts off with highs in the low 50s and lows in the low 40s.  Then temperatures drop to slightly below average with highs in the upper 40s and lows in 30s.  Periods of light, very widely scattered rain and snow showers during the period.  Precipitation expected to be light and scattered in the 0.05- 0.10″ range.


Forecast discussion day 6 – 8:  (20 Dec – 22 Dec) Temperatures continue slightly below the seasonal average this period.  A low pressure system is expected to form in the Louisiana area and move through the southern portion of the region by mid period.  This will keep temperatures slightly below seasonal averages with a period of rain (some snow higher elevations) about mid period. Temperatures will remain slightly below average with highs in the upper 40s and lows in 30s through the period.  Precipitation is expected to be in the 0.20 – 0.30” range. 


Forecast discussion day 9 – 11: (23 Dec – 25 Dec) Temperatures near seasonal average.  Temperatures start the period near average under a strong dry, but mild high pressure system.  Mid period a low pressure system is expected to move north out of the Gulf with mild temperatures with a large area of heavy rain moving into the area late in the period. The period starts off near the seasonal average with highs in the upper 40s to low 50s and lows in the low 30s.  The temperatures warm to above average by mid period with highs in the mid-50s and lows near 40.  Periods of rain likely late in the period.  Precipitation expected to be in the 0.20 – 0.40″ range, with heavier amounts in the southern portions of the region.


Forecast discussion day 12 – 14:  (26 Dec – 28 Dec) Temperatures start mild with rain, and then drop to slightly below normal by mid period.   The low pressure system moves through the region during the period.  It will likely bring heavy rain and mild temperatures to start the period. Then skies clear and temperatures drop to slightly below seasonal averages by mid period.  Temperatures early in period expected to be above average with highs in the mid to upper 50s and lows in the 40.  Temperatures are then expected to fall by mid period to slightly below average with highs in the mid-40s and lows in the 20s.  Precipitation is expected to be in the 0.30 – 0.55” range.

Outlook discussion day 15 – 22: (29 Dec–5 Jan): Mild with rain followed by below average temperatures. Early indications are this period will see another strong low come out of the Gulf of Mexico bringing mild temperatures and rain to start the period.  The early indications are this low will draw cold air from Canada and below average temperatures into the region mid to late period.

Outlook discussion day 23 – 30:  (6 Jan –13 Jan): Below average temperatures. Early indications are this period will see below average temperatures for the season.

DECISION-TIME:  The 1st of the Year is Creeping Up on Us! If you would like to see these Strawberry Weather Alerts continue next year, let me know which option you would prefer (only 2 choices):

1. Make a personal financial contribution to the NC Ag Foundation, and this would allow continuation of these weekly OUTLOOKS (like today), as well as state by state AWIS forecast map and general strawberry weather updates (written by me). The advisories also give growers information on production issues, as well as frequent grower discussions and crop photos. An average grower contribution to this service last season was $250. Industry members contributed $500. We also had  support from the VA Strawberry Grower Association, as well as a few consultants. We raised almost $15,000.


2. I am interested in a fairly priced private subscription service including these weekly Outlooks, as well as state by state AWIS forecast maps and general strawberry weather and production updates (written by me).  I am in the process of costing out a private service this week and next, but it would also include SkyBit (below).


YOU CAN SEND ME AN EMAIL (barclay_poling@ncsu.edu, or strawberrydoc@gmail.com)

And, just say Option 1 (public ), or Option 2 (private).

Last season, I offered the SkyBit service to individual growers “at my cost” … if you are unfamiliar with this product, here is an example of my SkyBit for Clayton this morning:


AWIS weekly minimum temperatures by state/region:

North Carolina:  NC min temp table

coldest day NCFig. 5. NC’s coldest morning this week will be Friday, 12/19. These are not threatening low temperatures to strawberry plants that have been exposed to a series of nights below the freezing point since before Thanksgiving. Also, Clyde Gurosik, grower in SC (N. Augusta), said in a note to me this morning, “Experience here has confirmed better economic results by delaying row cover applications until after mid February, for STRATEGIC FORCING, and for potential back-up protection for airborne freezes in March and early April.”  I completely concur.

South Carolina:  SC min table

7daytemp.se.8Fig. 6. AWIS does not produce an individual map for SC – something I could request? This shows minimum temps across SE on 12/19

Virginia:  VA min temp table

VA7daytemp.at.8Fig. 7. Minimum temps in VA and Mid-Atlantic, 12/19

Tennessee: TN min temp table

(the AWIS graphic is same as SC)

Georgia: GA min temp table

7daytemp.ga.8Fig. 8. Georgia minimum temperatures for this Friday morning, 12/19

Kentucky: KY min temp

Arkansas: Ark min temp  (colder on Wed morning)

Wed min ArkFig. 9. The coldest morning in Arkansas this week will be Wed, 12/17

Maryland: MD Min Temp Table

Grower report today – Clyde Gurosik, N Augusta, SC


clyde 2

Figs. 10-11. Clyde writes, “Excellent, vibrant, “TOTALLY CLEAN”, cold acclimated Lassen Canyon Camarosa cut-offs exactly 2 months old today. The size difference is exactly as planned due to different field sun exposures and row orientations. The 12″, triple crown plants are in a field with a slight southern  exposure on East-West rows, maximizing sun exposure.

clyde 8 inchFig. 12. Clyde also writes, “The 8″, double crown plants are in a field with a slight northern exposure on North-South rows, minimizing sun exposure. All plants have experienced many low 20’s and one 15F exposure in mid-November,remained unscathed and are now well acclimated and remain totally “CLEAN” with near 100% establishment without any replanting. The plant consistency correlates well with the “California bare root plant standards”

Editor’s note:  Thanks Clyde for this very nice update!

Have a great week!

Dr. E. Barclay Poling
Professor Emeritus (Strawberry Plasticulture Researcher)
Department of Horticultural Science
Campus Box 7609, 162A Kilgore Hall
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7609