What 2 Growers Are Saying This Morning About Potential for Easter Frost…(8:48am, Fri., 4/3/15)

— Written By Barclay Poling
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In this advisory

A. What Growers are saying this morning about potential for Easter frost

B. What two VA Growers said about Frost on April 2

 C. Other comments being heard – Drip Irrigation

D. AWIS 10-day Hourly Weather Forecasts for NC, SC, VA, MD, TN, KY

A. What Growers are saying this morning about potential for Easter frost:

1. Faison, NC – Ron Cottle

“This weather is driving me crazy. Can’t seem to get anything done..thanks for the update (the table below was sent to Ron early this morning)

faisonTable 1. Ron’s operation is located in Faison, and it would appear from AccuWeather that this area could see some frost on Sunday morning. Note the clear skies, dew points near freezing (32), light winds, and minimum temp of 35 at 5 a.m.

2. VA Beach – Tom Baker


AWIS is not telling us what we want to know. These were/are AWIS forecasts for Easter Sunday morning:

AWIS forecast    “Chesapeake”    “Fentress”           “Oceana”

Thurs eve             4 hours frost       dew only              dew only

Fri morning         7 hours frost       2 hours frost       2 hours frost

The biggest AWIS change is current forecast has winds significantly lower. Temp forecast is just slightly lower.

This morning’s SkyBit is similar.

AccuW has also lowered Sunday morning temp forecast by about 2 degrees.

We need a training meeting for weather forecasters so they can learn how to get us better weather! Do you think they would come?


Tom & Anne Baker and Amanda McCann
Brookdale Farm
2060 Vaughan Rd, Virginia Beach, VA  23457

Editor’s reply – to be very frank, I don’t think we would attract many forecasters. The whole AG area has not been as attractive for these professionals to work in, and many former AG meteorologists  are working in energy field. Its all about those greener pastures!

B. What two VA Growers said about Frost on April 2:

1. Tim Miller, McKenney, VA (comment from last night at 8:30 p.m., Thur, April 2)

The warning (April 1) wasn’t an April Fool in our area. Low of 33 with heavy frost still out at 7:00 a.m.. Problem was I didn’t check the forecast or advisory yesterday afternoon or evening (we use only row cover); didn’t catch the changes and lost my first flush of blooms on Sweet Charlie. Chandler are still building up steam for first blooms.

2. Tom Baker, VA Beach (8:56 a.m., Thur, April 2)


A check soon after sunrise showed not a “humdinger” frost but a “good” frost everywhere including the ground.

WeatherUnderground lows were near 6:45 a.m., 33.8 F at Pungo, 32.2 (!) at Chesapeake. Winds were dead flat most of the night, especially at coldest times. (I was sawing logs but Wunderground charts are amazing!)

Frost is long-gone now; temp is 46 at 8:45 a.m., headed to highs near or above 70 today, depending on who you believe.

Of note:  We have a lot of black-lesions damage on leaves. Wondered if we “did” something but Roy Flanagan was on four farms Tuesday, including ours. Roy attributes it to tender foliage damaged by the March 28 freeze. Newly-emerged leaves are fine.


Tom & Anne Baker and Amanda McCann

Editor reply:  I sent this photo to Tom and Roy last night from a strawberry plant on my back deck in Raleigh – I believe it had some of this damage:

injury 3.20 poling deck

 C. Other comments being heard – Drip Irrigation & Crop ripening

Eric Hunter, Easley:

“Its funny you mention heat and drip (Editor – I sent Eric a note last evening about his watering practice right now). I noticed yesterday that a few of our Camarosa plants were wilting. I don’t think I have been as proactive with the watering as I should have been – we have had several days in the low 80s. I will start being better with that tomorrow – I’ll do about 2 hours or so tomorrow, and probably get onto a daily schedule of 2 hours as long as its warm. I usually try to do 2 hours every other day under normal conditions.”

Lowell Yoder, Rustburg, VA

Interesting to note we’re still running behind last year in GDD’s. Last year we were only open a few hours Mothers Day weekend.
Overall, I thought we were slightly ahead just by observing plants, though we just can’t seem to get those Chandlers to bloom.

Thoughts? (Editor’s reply – I will address crop ripening early next week – I am asking for grower reports like yours to make this a valuable report – I have asked SC Specialists and Agents for input this morning on SC crop)

Thanks for the advisories.


D. AWIS 10-day Hourly Weather Forecasts for NC, SC, VA, MD, TN, KY

1. NC



Ahoskie-Tri-Cou Albemarle_AP Andrews Asheboro
Asheville_Munic Beaufort-Michae Boone_NC Burlington-Burl
Cape_Hatteras_AG Chapel_Hill-Hor Charlotte Cherry_Point
Clinton_NC Concord_NC Currituck_NC Edenton-Northea
Elizabeth_City Elizabethtown_NC Erwin-Harnett_C Fayetteville_AP
Fort_Bragg/Simm Franklin/Macon_C Gastonia-Gaston Goldsboro_AFB
Goldsboro_NC Greensboro Greenville_AP_NC Hickory
Jacksonville Jacksonville_(A Jefferson_AP_NC Kenansville-Dup
Kill_Devil_Hills Kinston_AP Lexington-David Lincolnton_AP
Louisburg_NC Lumberton_AP_NC Mackall_AAF Manteo/Dare_Co
Maxton Mcalf_Bogue_Fiel Monroe_AP_NC Morganton-Morga
Mount_Airy-Moun New_Bern North_Wilkesbor Oxford_NC
Piney_Island_Bom Pope_AFB Raleigh-Durham Reidsville_AP
Roanoke_Rap_AP Roanoke_Rapids_R Rockingham_NC Rocky_Mount-Wils
Roxboro_AP Rutherfordton Salisbury-Rowan Sanford_NC
Shelby_AP_NC Smithfield_AP Southern_Pines Southport_NC
Statesville-Sta Tarboro_AP Wadesboro_AP Washington-Warr
Whiteville_NC Wilmington_AP_NC Winston-Salem

2. SC:


Aiken_AP Anderson_Co_Air Barnwell_AP Beaufort_Cnty_AP
Beaufort_SC Bennettsville_Je Camden_AP Charleston_Exec_
Charleston_Muni Cheraw_AP Chester_AP Clemson-Clemson
Columbia-Columb Columbia/McEnti Columbia_Metro Conway_AP
Darlington Florence_SC Georgetown_AP_SC Greenville_Donal
Greenville_Down Greenville-Spart Greenwood-Green Hartsville_AP
Hilton_Head_AP Kingstree_AP Lancaster-McWhir Laurens_AP
Manning_AP Marion_AP_SC Moncks_Corner_AP Mount_Pleasant_A
Myrtle_Beach Newberry_AP North_Myrtle_Be Orangeburg-Oran
Pickens_AP Rock_Hill Spartanburg_Down Summerville_AP
Sumter_AP Sumter_SC Walterboro_AP Winnsboro_AP

3. VA

7daytemp.at.4 (1)


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

4. MD


Aberdeen Andrews_AFB Annapolis_Naval Baltimore_Sci_Ce
Baltimore/Wash Cambridge/Dorche College_Park_AP Cumberland_AP
Easton_MD Fort_Meade Frederick_MD Gaithersburg_AP
Hagerstown_AP Leonardtown Middle_River Oakland_MD_AP
Ocean_City_AP Patuxent_River Salisbury Stevensville_AP
St_Inigoes/Webst Washington_DC_AP Westminster_AP

Dr. Jay Schlegal’s Mid-Atlantic Update:

Another round of cold air will move into the mid-Atlantic region Saturday,
setting the stage for frosts and freezes as far south as North Carolina Sunday
morning. Warmer weather will return Monday and last until more cold air arrives
on the 8th. Frost is possible Thursday April 9th if enough cold air arrives.
After April 10th, temperatures should be more seasonable, averaging 1-3
degrees F below normal for the remainder of the month.

Precipitation should be close to average through April.

Growing Degree Day (base 50F) accumulation for year to date:
Region      2014     2015       average high/low
SE PA          85          44       upper50s/upper30s
E MD          181        114       low 60s/low 40s
E VA           305        243       mid 60s/mid 40s

Note that these values were derived by averaging several stations in each region

The Great Lakes ice cover peaked at about 88% this year, not far from the 91%
reported last year. Like last year, this may portend a moderate summer as we
experienced last year. In the late 70s, we had back-to-back years with very
high ice cover that were followed by moderate summers.

5. TN



Chattanooga/Lov Clarksville_TN Crossville_AP Dyersburg
Elizabethton_AP Jackson_TN Knoxville_AP Memphis_AP
Millington Nashville_Metro Oak_Ridge_TN Smyrna

6. KY



Bowling_Green Covington Danville-Powell_ Fort_Campbell
Fort_Knox/Godma Frankfort_AP Glasgow_KY Henderson_City
Jackson_KY Lexington_KY London_Corbin Louisville_AP
Louisville/Bowm Middlesboro_AP Monticello_KY_AP Murray_AP
Owensboro_AP Paducah Richmond_Madison Somerset(AWOS)

Next update will be Saturday morning.

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
“An idealist believes the short run does not count. A cynic believes the long run does not matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.”

Sidney J. Harris, In: Reclaiming a Lost Heritage – Land-Grant & Other Higher Education Initiatives for the Twenty-first Century