Coldest Air of the Season! Special VA Report…many Areas in Single Digits on Thursday Morning (6pm, Mon, 1/5/15)

— Written By Barclay Poling
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Good evening!

My sincere thanks to VA Growers and the VA Strawberry Assn for their wonderful support of this advisory service in 2015, I am providing a special update this evening for VA growers.

First, please note how many areas of Central VA will be in the single digits this Thursday morning:

central va

In western VA, note that some locations are even in minus territory!

western va

Here is the latest minimum temperature table from AWIS for the entire : AWIS VA Min Temp

AWIS MAPS for VA: 1. Minimum temperatures for Thur morning, 1/8/15. Note the magenta colored areas in western VA will be in the 0 – 5 F range, and nearly all of central VA will be in 5 – 10 range (pink). 2. Minimum temperatures for Friday morning, 1/9/15.

Here is this evening’s SkyBit for a location near Amelia , VA. Please note that on Thursday morning the minimum will be 10 F in the canopy and 12 F at weather shelter height.


In Ashland, VA (north of Richmond),  note a minimum of 12 is expected on Thursday morning. Further, the duration of subfreezing temperatures will be  from about 5  pm (1700) on Wed until 10 a.m. Friday!


Please find detailed hourly temperatures for these Va locations over next 10 days


Abingdon Ashland_VA Charlottesville Chesapeake-Ches
Culpeper Danville Dublin/New_Riv Emporia_VA
Farmville Fort_Belvoir/Da Fort_Eustis/Fel Franklin/J_B_Ro
Hillsville Hot_Springs/Ing Langley_AFB Leesburg/Godfre
Louisa-Louisa_C Lynchburg Manassas_Muni(A Marion/Wythev
Martinsville Mecklenburg/Bru Melfa/Accomack Newport_News
Norfolk_NAS Norfolk_VA Oceana Orange_VA
Petersburg_(AWO Quantico Richlands_VA Richmond
Roanoke Shannon_Arpt Stafford_AP_VA Staunton-Shenan
Suffolk-Suffolk Virginia_Tech_A Wakefield_AP Wallops_Island
Washington_Dulle West_Point_VA Williamsburg_VA Winchester_Rgnl

Feedback from VA growers in last 24 hours: (Jan 4)

Hi Barclay,

Today you said, “The “textbook” minimum temperature threshold for crown damage is 10 F for dormant strawberry plants.”

Well, today we reached 71 F at Pungo, after a “morning” low of 56 at midnight. Chesapeake reached 73 after a midnight low of 55. Yesterday’s afternoon highs were !52 both farms before starting to rise about 11 p.m., so…are our plants really “dormant” now?

Monday and Tuesday the highs will be ~ 50 and the lows ~ 30, before falling to Thursday/Friday morning “lows” of, as forecast by AccuWeather, 16/18 (Chesapeake) and 18/21 (Pungo). Thursday morning looks like a “clipper” with NW winds forecast at 23  (Virginia Beach) and 14 (Ches.), so canopy temps probably won’t be below the weather shelter temps. Thursday morning dewpoints are forecast to be around 0 degrees F.

Are two days at hi 50, low 30 enough to return strawberry plants to dormancy after today’s high temps? (((Thankfully we were almost totally cloudy today so we had no “additional” heat buildup under the Camaorsa row covers!)))

It could be worse! We have experienced 50- to 60-degree temp changes in just 24 hours in the past, and no doubt will again.

We plan to pull covers mostly on Tuesday, our day with the lowest forecast winds. Except for the already-covered Camarosas, our covers are dry, still in the barn. Hopefully the fields will dry out a little after the nearly approx 0.4” of rain we had yesterday and last night. Things are pretty soggy from all the recent rains.


Tom & Anne Baker and Amanda McCann

Thanks Tom!


Final note – this cold we are seeing is beginning to look like a repeat of last Jan 6-7!

Barclay Poling