Multiple Nights of Frost Coming! (9:20am, Sat, 3/19/16)
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Dear Agents, Agronomists and Growers,
I a quick review of the latest AWIS weather forecasts for North Carolina and the mid-South, it would now appear that some areas will be experiencing multiple nights of frost starting tomorrow morning (Sunday) in some western piedmont and foothills areas. For example, North Wilkesboro, NC, will likely see frost around 5 a.m. on Sunday morning. I hope growers in this area have already applied their row covers! Table 1. Western Piedmont and Foothills will begin to experience frost events tomorrow morning (Sunday), and it now looks like these areas have multiple frost events coming — there is now a chance of Frost even next Wed morning.
Closer to home, I noted an important change this morning in the Raleigh-Durham forecast, and this area can now expect frost on Monday morning as well as Tuesday.
How can you determine the potential of frost in your area? One way is to simply click on the “live” link for the town/city closest to your farm in the tables below. I begin with listing the MD 10-Day Detail Forecast, and end with Georgia. A second thing you should do is continue to consult your twice daily farm-specific forecast from SkyBit. These forecasts are unique in their ability to also tell you a canopy forecast that is customized to your farm location, and not a nearby town/city.
I believe the recommendation made on Thursday to apply row covers on Friday while conditions were still dry was a good one. First, precipitation events will be starting on Saturday, and it is never a good idea to be applying covers in rain! If the rains have not started in your area yet today, you still have time to get the covers on. Row covers are the best way to handle these multiple frost events, and I don’t see temperatures becoming so cold as to justify sprinkling on top. That procedure can be justified under more extreme cold, but it is very unlikely that we will be seeing the kinds of extremes in this upcoming week that we have seen in other years.
It never hurts to review critical temp information for popcorns and open blossoms (below), and the one thing to keep in mind about the kinds of frost events coming tomorrow morning and early next week is that you can get a blossom-damaging frost even when air temp at weather shelter height might be 36 F. Just take a look at Table 1, and note the minimum air temp is 36 F! Yet, there is chance of frost at 5 a.m. at the canopy level — where it is colder! Open blossoms can be killed if frost forms on them! Sometimes they survive a light frost, and sometimes they don’t! What’s your risk tolerance? Mine is pretty low, and so that is why it is going to be a very good idea to have those row covers ON.
Detailed forecasts for MD, VA, NC, SC and GA