NC Frost Update (6:15am, Friday, 3/3/17)

— Written By Barclay Poling
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Fig. 1. AWIS minimum temp map for this morning – it should be interesting to see if areas in light blue (34-36) are experiencing frost this morning? Clayton Central Crops is in this light blue zone.

Fig. 2. At this hour (6 a.m.),it would appear that Clayton Central Crops may drop to around 34-35 F as a minimum – at 6:03 a.m. it was 35.6 F. But, what is quite interesting is how much lower the canopy temperature is than the air temperature at weather shelter height (about 6 1/2 ft). Take a look at the SkyBit below (this was issued last night at about 7 p.m. – this is for this exact site at Clayton).

Fig. 3. Note how the temperature down near ground level could reach a minimum of 30 F this morning! The temperature at the height of 2 m (~6 1/2 ft) is expected to be 34. However, with a temperature of 30 F in the canopy, there is an excellent chance of frost formation as winds at ground level are only about 1 mph at this time in Clayton, BUT the dewpoint at 2 m is relatively low (~ 22), so I will be interested to hear from the folks at Clayton this morning as to whether saw much frost on the ground?

Well, here is the AWIS NC Frost/Freeze update for tonight (I wish they did this for other states in the region – right now, it is done for NC and GA). Some things to pay attention to are areas where “hard freeze” is expected. In areas like Louisburg (Franklin County), it could get to 27 F at weather shelter, but I suspect it will be MUCH COLDER at strawberry canopy level, and my guess is that Louisburg could see another 5 degrees colder at the canopy, or 22 F (take a look at the difference between the canopy level min air temp for Clayton for Sat morning of 24, and at weather shelter 29). Honestly, 22 F at canopy can do TERRIFIC DAMAGE to not only open blossoms (they will be toast), but it will take out the popcorn stage and also cause damage to more advanced tight bloom stages. Yes, this hard freeze for Saturday morning may not produce much frost due to very dry air, but it will definitely be cold enough to do a lot of damage (technically, this is a black freeze). This is the real deal! A single row cover of about 1-1.25 oz will work to protect the tight buds (hopefully), but the open blossoms and popcorns will not be fully protected adequately if it gets down to 22 F. I would definitely double up my row covers in a location like this.

  • North-Central NC                        
    Franklin County Area                              
    
    **** HARD FREEZE ****
    **** LITTLE IF ANY FROST ****
  • Saturday morning is the REAL DEAL in areas like Franklin County! See the statewide map:
  • Fig. 4. Growers in those “orange-red zones” could be in for one heck of a night! These are areas where I would double up on row covers – if available. A single row cover of 1 – 1.25 oz will not likely confer enough protection to protect open blossoms and popcorn stages if temps at canopy level get this low. If you are going to irrigate on top of row covers, please be mindful of the importance of using a digital thermometer with thermocouple inserted in the strawberry blossom so that you can know the actual temp of the bloom. Don’t play games with your start up time. When that blossom is reading 32-33 F, you better be running the water! The air is going to be extremely dry. Check out the hourly dewpoints for locations across NC at bottom of this advisory.
  • North/Central NC                        
    Alamance County Area                              
    
    **** HARD FREEZE ****
    ****    PATCHY FROST  ****
AWIS Weather Services, Inc. North Carolina Frost/Freeze Forecast
Produced at  504 a.m. CST on Fri Mar  3 2017

... Forecast for Tonight ... Northeast NC Coast                      
Currituck/Camden/Pasquotank/Tyrrell Counties      

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
**** LITTLE IF ANY FROST DUE TO WIND **** 

Lowest Temperatures:      28 - 36
Elizabeth_City Min          28 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  6
Durations at/below 28:     0 -  0
Range Dewpoint Temps:     15 - 30
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     27 - 41
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW 11                          
AVG Sky Condition:         Clear    

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

  03/05/17  03/06/17  03/07/17  03/08/17  03/09/17  03/10/17
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   28 - 35   38 - 44   51 - 57   51 - 57   43 - 49   35 - 41
--------

East Central/SE NC Coast                
Carteret/Pamlico Counties                         

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
**** LITTLE IF ANY FROST DUE TO WIND **** 

Lowest Temperatures:      30 - 33
Morehead_City Min           33 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  3
Range Dewpoint Temps:     18 - 28
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     27 - 40
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  9                          
AVG Sky Condition:         Clear    

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

  03/05/17  03/06/17  03/07/17  03/08/17  03/09/17  03/10/17
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   26 - 32   34 - 41   47 - 52   50 - 55   45 - 47   38 - 40
--------

Southeast NC                            
NWS FORECAST ZONES 87-90,96-101                   

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
** PATCHY FROST PROTECTED AREAS **

Lowest Temperatures:      27 - 32
Elizabethtown Min           30 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  5
Durations at/below 28:     0 -  2
Range Dewpoint Temps:     17 - 30
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     27 - 42
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  7                          
AVG Sky Condition:         Clear    

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

  03/05/17  03/06/17  03/07/17  03/08/17  03/09/17  03/10/17
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   28 - 32   34 - 44   45 - 54   51 - 56   41 - 47   31 - 41
--------

North-Central NC                        
Franklin County Area                              

**** HARD FREEZE ****
**** LITTLE IF ANY FROST **** 

Lowest Temperatures:      21 - 30
Louisburg Min               21 
Durations at/below 32:     3 - 11
Durations at/below 28:     0 -  8
Range Dewpoint Temps:      9 - 18
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     21 - 36
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  4     Long Periods of Calm 
AVG Sky Condition:         Clear    

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

  03/05/17  03/06/17  03/07/17  03/08/17  03/09/17  03/10/17
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   25 - 32   31 - 38   45 - 51   45 - 53   35 - 43   31 - 39
--------

North/Central NC                        
Alamance County Area                              

**** HARD FREEZE ****
****    PATCHY FROST  ****

Lowest Temperatures:      23 - 29
Graham_AG Min               25 
Durations at/below 32:     5 - 10
Durations at/below 28:     0 -  6
Range Dewpoint Temps:     11 - 18
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     22 - 36
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  4     Long Periods of Calm 
AVG Sky Condition:         Clear    

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

  03/05/17  03/06/17  03/07/17  03/08/17  03/09/17  03/10/17
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   27 - 32   32 - 38   45 - 51   47 - 55   36 - 41   33 - 38
--------

South/Central NC                        
Richmond County Area                              

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
** PATCHY FROST PROTECTED AREAS **

Lowest Temperatures:      28 - 30
Ellerbe Min                 30 
Durations at/below 32:     3 -  5
Durations at/below 28:     0 -  0
Range Dewpoint Temps:     16 - 22
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     26 - 39
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  7                          
AVG Sky Condition:         Clear    

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

  03/05/17  03/06/17  03/07/17  03/08/17  03/09/17  03/10/17
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   28 - 32   37 - 40   49 - 52   46 - 53   38 - 44   35 - 38
--------

Interior/EC-SE NC                       
Wayne County Area                                 

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
** PATCHY FROST PROTECTED AREAS **

Lowest Temperatures:      28 - 31
Goldsboro_AG Min            30 
Durations at/below 32:     2 -  5
Durations at/below 28:     0 -  0
Range Dewpoint Temps:     21 - 28
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     28 - 41
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  5     Periods of Calm      
AVG Sky Condition:         Clear    

Extended Forecast: Range of Lowest Min Temperatures in the Above Zones
Min Temps Valid For Morning of Given Date (May NOT include ALL cold pockets)

  03/05/17  03/06/17  03/07/17  03/08/17  03/09/17  03/10/17
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   26 - 30   35 - 39   46 - 51   49 - 57   42 - 44   34 - 38
--------10-DAY DETAILED HOURLY WEATHER FORECASTS
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


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