Frost Update (1:30pm, Thur, 3/17/16)
Dear Agents, Agronomists and Growers,
In reviewing the AWIS forecast information, it would appear that there is a good chance of frost in many areas on Tuesday morning (next week). Yes, it will be also very chilly on Sunday and Monday mornings (first and second maps). Whether a frost occurs on Monday morning will depend on whether conditions favor frost, or not? It will certainly be cold enough for frost to happen, but the question right now is whether the sky will be clear, and the air still? If it remains overcast Monday morning, or winds stay up, a frost is less likely. Growers using row covers for frost protection will want to apply covers in advance of precipitation events in their areas this weekend. Farmers I met with yesterday in Greensboro area, for example, said they would cover up this Friday (tomorrow).
Here is the minimum temp map for Tuesday morning (below), and you will notice that it is actually warmer than Monday morning (Fig. 2)
Fig. 3. Tuesday morning minimums – to evaluate the frost hazard in your local area next week, you can click on the town/city nearest your farm (below), and see if there is indication for frost (F) for any morning from Sunday through Tuesday next week.
Example: Raleigh/Durham – if you study the AWIS forecast for Sun-Tue, you do not see indication for F (frost) until Tue morning. There will be OVC (Overcast) conditions and winds on Sunday morning (3/20). If winds subside on Monday, it could frost! So, a grower in this area of the state should be ready to go with frost protection on Monday morning in case winds calm down and skies are clear. Tuesday looks very probable for frost. If you are using row covers, you would need to apply these while they are dry. I suspect many growers will apply covers tomorrow (Friday) before the precipitation. GOOD LUCK!