Frost Reports on Tuesday at 8:30am and 2 PM (3/22/16)

— Written By

bloom15Fig. 1. Hopefully, this is what you are seeing this morning! So far, I am not aware of any problem areas? If you wish to provide a frost report, I am happy to post today. Strawberry blossom critical temps: At 27-28, the open blossom can be killed (without seeing frost). If there is frost, then 30-32 is dangerous to blossom stage. Something else that is dangerous to good fruit shape is poor pollination, and IMMEDIATELY today you want to get those row covers OFF.

pollination issueFig. 2. I went back to locate this file photo sent by Eric Hunter, 4/16/15. Note the much larger fertilized seeds (achenes) by comparison to the very small, unfertilized seeds. This is a pollination problem! In the berry on left, it is quite clear that the smaller seeds in the “grooves” were not fertilized, and I don’t see the more general blackening of areas of the fruit that are associated with partial frost damage to blossoms. At the end of March 2015, row covers were on this particular Camarosa crop (for bloom protection against a serious freeze event 3/28-3/29). There is always this terrible dilemma at this time of year associated with row cover use for frost protection! Think about it, most growers across our whole region applied row covers on Friday of last week for a rather simple radiation frost event this morning that could have been easily handled by sprinkling! Mr. Hunter continued his comments from last year by saying, “this problem was quite prevalent in his first flush of blooms, and he added that he was also seeing some distorted fruit in second and third output of blooms. Could that have been some blooms touching the row cover during the last freeze (March 29)?”


(1a) Clayton, NC – “Light frost in some areas. Row covers were on strawberries.”(8:15 am)


(1b) Yadkin County, NC – “Started OH @ 1:15. Turned off @7:15. Good ice layer. Skybit was off 3 degrees to start with but spot on by the morning. 3rd night sleeping in my truck.”


(1c) Chocowinity, NC

We have one field that we didn’t have under covers and had to run water last night. A portion of the field is in the shade and even at 9am the ice has not melted in those areas. We started frost protection at 3:30 as it got colder quicker here than expected. We were making ice by 4am. I don’t want to make a mistake by turning off too quickly. I do not have an internal bud temp set up.


Editor – I asked the grower when they finally turned off? This email was received at my university email, which is the one you get if you respond to the advisory. Unfortunately, I do not see these emails on my phone. If you want to reach me quicer, email to

Follow-up later in the day (Chocowinity)…

I waited until 9:30 to be on the safe side. Ice on plants in the sun had melted much earlier. We had great results with irrigation and also with the 2 fields under row covers. We have 30 plus open blooms and small fruit per plant on all varieties so we could not take any chances.



(1d) Franklin Co, Louisburg, NC – “Barclay, I fired up our system at 11pm last night. Air temp was 37 but the temperature right at the bloom was 32. Frost was just beginning to form on row cover at the edge of the field. My crop is uncovered but I keep some row cover out there for moments like this for an early warning sign. You know how tricky it is out here in our little frost pocket and this is a perfect example. Here I was thinking we would fire up around 2am but it happened much quicker.”

(1e) VA Beach – “Barclay, BIG frost on cars/trucks and good frost on the lawn here in Pungo at 2:10 a.m. SkyBit for Chesapeake had predicted frost hours at 12, 7, and 8 a.m. Tom Baker

Editor’s note: We did not see frost in N. Raleigh area, as some clouds came in during night and temps weren’t quite as cold as expected.  I commented yesterday on difficulty of trying to pin down a time for frost occurrence, and growers using sprinkling must make the determination as to when to cut on based on careful field monitoring (meaning you do often get to spend the night in your truck).

(1f) Westover Farm, McKenney VA


Good evening, Dr Poling.
This season certainly has been a bit wild so far. We had 24 degrees Tuesday morning with most of our strawberries in full bloom. We had double covered so made out OK. We don’t have opportunity for sprinkling so we had everything covered from Saturday.   We are about three weeks early and looking like we may be picking here by April 10 – 15. I appreciate your advisories, they have been very helpful in anticipating events like we had over the last month.

Tim Miller

(1g) N. Augusta, SC – “With 2 large Cummins diesel pumps now online, I took a few minutes to try to answer some good questions that Tom Baker raised. Please see the referenced attachment.” ANSWERS TO TOM BAKERS QUESTIONS 3

Editor’s note:
I am (still) planning to produce a more complete advisory including Clyde’s notes and photos a little later today.

(1h) Easley SC

We dropped to a low of 25 last night and 27 the night before last. These temps were a couple of degrees lower than any forecast we had. The forecast for tonight is 35-36. I want to take the covers off today but I’m a little scared to do so with it being that close and the forecasts being off a few degrees.

I think I’m going to take the covers off here at our house where the temps are usually a few degrees warmer than our other farm. I’ll have my overhead ready to go just in case I have to protect.

More Frost NOTES:

Maryland –

Great report. looks like covers come off Tuesday and may need to go back on in some locations before sat am.
Have a great day.
Bob Rouse
Agri. LLC

Next frost event?

Of course, I expect there will be more updates on frost coming later today, but one thing everyone would like to know is when will be the next frost, or freeze event? So, I invite you to spend a minute now scanning the AWIS forecast for your area over the next 10 days in the region of MD, VA, NC, SC and GA?

Detailed forecasts for MD, VA, NC, SC and GA


if you look at MD 7-day forecast, there is no apparent frost issue for next week:MD min temps for 7 days


if you click on Frederick, MD you will see a FROST possible on 3/30

frederick 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


VA 7 day forecast

Here is example of Sat frost in Roanoke, VA


Just check out city/town near you 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


NC forecast next 7 days


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


SC forecast next 7 days


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


GA Forecast next 7 days


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

Written By

Photo of Dr. Barclay PolingDr. Barclay PolingFormer Professor and Extension Specialist, Strawberries and Muscadines (919) 515-5373 (Office) barclay_poling@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science - NC State University
Updated on Mar 24, 2016
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