Significant Change in Forecast: Areas That Were in Low 20s, Now Mid-Teens (8:45am, 2/7/16)
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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).
NC Minimum Temp Table: NC Min Temp Table
Fig. 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.
AWIS Minimum Temp Maps for North Carolina from Wed morning through Friday morning:
AWIS Min Temp Table: VA Min Temp Table
Single digits in Mountains!
Maryland minimum temps next 7 days:MD Min Temps
SC Min Temp Table: SC Min Temp Table
Georgia Min Temp Table:GA Min Temp Table