Significant Change in Forecast: Areas That Were in Low 20s, Now Mid-Teens (8:45am, 2/7/16)

Posted On February 7, 2016— Written By Barclay Poling
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Because of the change in the forecast today, what are growers across the region now thinking/saying/doing?

Ellerbe, NC (6:08 p.m.) Barclay, my Skybit says 14 Thursday, 15 Friday. Our covers came off last Monday because so many blossoms were pushing open. Earlier in the weekend I was not worried about it, as the canopy temperatures were forecast to be around 20. We are likely to try to pull them back on. Thanks.

Clayton, NC (5:22 p.m.)I just got my evening Skybit (2/7) and it is the same forecast as this morning –>  16 F in the canopy this Thursday morning (at least the forecast did not change for even colder). The Editor

Easley, SC “Our forecast has now dropped to 12 degrees on Wednesday night.  The next few nights will be high teens, and tomorrow is a chance of snow showers and rain. We’ll be putting covers on for sure now…we will also be covering our Chandlers for the first time.”  Eric Hunter

Tom Baker, VA Beach: “Hi Barclay, Yesterday a friend stopped by and in casual conversation asked if the crazy weather has hurt our crops.
I intended to tell him that our strawberries got screwed by December’s warmth…blooming, little green fruit, etc. Quite by accident, I misspoke and said that our screwberries got strawed up…I don’t know…but I’m hoping that we don’t have “screwberries” come spring!

After this morning’s berry-mg, I guess we’ll be covering our previously-covered plants by Wednesday. We’re forecast to be c-c-cold Thurs, Fri and Sat mornings. Depending on the AWIS forecast used (Oceana vs. Fentress vs. Chesapeake), we could go as low as 15 with either Friday or Saturday being the coldest. Neither AccuWeather nor NWS see it as cold as AWIS (yet!). To add insult to injury we’re supposed to be pretty windy during the coldest days plus low dew points… (wind + dry air = desiccation). We tend to be a little more “aggressive” with row covers because, being near the coast, we do get a lot more wind than inland locations.

Getting covers out will be a challenge. Today/tonight we have high wind (winds are already too high to pull covers) + rain (none yet, maybe it will miss us?) from a coastal low storm/nor’easter. Rain and wind are also forecast for both Monday afternoon and Tues/Tues night.  I’m hoping today/tonight’s rain will stay offshore and we can pull covers Monday morning!

Good morning (8:45 a.m.),

I was actually not planning to issue an advisory today, other than the weekly Outlook, but from yesterday to today there has been a significant change in forecast.  Please take a look at the AWIS minimum temperature map for Thu 2/11 that has now been issued (Fig. 1)., and then compare it to what was shared yesterday (Fig. 2). 1. Latest forecast from AWIS for this Thursday morning is showing a significant change from yesterday (Fig. 2).

NC Minimum Temp Table: NC Min Temp Table


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

imageFig. 2. This was yesterday’s forecast for this upcoming Thu morning. The yellow (18-20) band was confined mostly to piedmont yesterday, but in Fig. 1 you can see the yellow band is now extending into eastern NC. This could be a “concerning situation” for crops that have already had row covers “on” this winter, as these plants will be MORE SUSCEPTIBLE to cold injury than hardened plants, such as those shown in yesterday’s afternoon’s advisory (see Clyde Gurosik’s photos and text). In other words, hardened plants that have not had any row cover this winter season are ‘more resistant’ to cold injury!

Why I love SkyBit…as I said, I did not really plan to issue an advisory this morning, but when I saw my Clayton SkyBit, I was truly surprised to see a 4 F drop in minimum canopy temp for this Thursday morning from yesterday’s SkyBit forecast for this location. Growers who are now getting their own SkyBits also saw this change today. The first SkyBit is for a location near Richmond, VA, and this location will now likely see a minimum of 14 F on Thursday.  Again, if you have had row covers on this winter, you will need to seriously consider getting them back on now.

20160207st1.VACHL 20160207st1.NCCLY

AWIS Minimum Temp Maps for North Carolina from Wed morning through Friday morning: (1)


AWIS Min Temp Table: VA Min Temp Table

Single digits in Mountains!

single dig in VA


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


Maryland minimum temps next 7 days:MD Min Temps


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


SC Min Temp Table: SC Min Temp Table


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


Georgia Min Temp Table:GA Min Temp Table


Albany_Municipa Alma/Bacon_Co Americus_AP Athens_Municipa
Atlanta/DeKalb Atlanta/Fulton Atlanta_Intl_Ar Atlanta_Paulding
Augusta/Bush_Fi Augusta_Daniel_F Bainbridge_GA Blakely_AP
Brunswick_GA Brunswick/Glync Canton_GA Carrollton_AP
Cartersville_AP Claxton_AP Columbus_GA Covington_GA_AP
Dalton-Dalton_M Douglas_Muni Dublin/WHBarron Fitzgerald_AP
Fort_Benning Ft_Stewart/Wrig Gainesville_AP_G Greensboro_GA
Homerville_AP Hunter_(AAF) Jesup_AP La_Grange
Lakeland Lawrenceville_AP Macon_AP Marietta
Marietta/Cobb Milledgeville_AP Moultrie_Muni_AP Newnan-Newnan_C
Peachtree_City Rome_GA Savannah Statesboro_GA
Swainsboro_AP Sylvania_AP_GA Thomaston_AP Thomasville_AP
Thomson_GA Tifton_AP Valdosta Valdosta/Moody
Vidalia Warner_Robins_A Washington_GA Washington_GA
Waycross_AP Winder_AP