Some Risk of White Frost Saturday Morning That Could Damage Open Blossoms (10am, Thur., April 6. 2017)

— Written By Barclay Poling

Good morning!

In a quick review of this morning’s AWIS minimum temperature map for North Carolina on Saturday morning, it is apparent that a larger area of the state may now see a ‘white frost’ type of event that could be damaging to open blossoms exposed to the sky (see Fig. 1). With the crop in very heavy harvest right now across the Carolinas, there may be some question about the worth of saving these blossoms? I think the answer to this question lies in whether you are interested in having more red ripe berries in a month? With so much Camarosa fruit being picked in early to mid April, there is concern about a production lull, or gap, in late April-early May. Mother’s day falls on May 14.

Fig. 1. Frost damaged strawberry blooms. Any areas with minimum temperatures of 38 F, or less, could be prone to frost on Saturday morning (Fig. 2). It takes about 27-28 days for an open blossom to develop a red ripe berry. The impact of blossoms lost this weekend would be felt in early May.

NC Frost Watch:

In taking a quick look at the newest AWIS minimum temperature map for Saturday morning (Fig. 2), we can see that there has been some change! And, it will be colder across a larger region than what we anticipated just last night.

Fig. 2. You can see sort of a ‘swelling’ in the teal colored region southeast of Raleigh since last night’s update (Fig. 3). Teal color = 36-38 F, and that is definitely cold enough for a white frost at strawberry plant level on Saturday morning IF winds die down enough?

Fig. 3. This was the minimum temperature map issued last evening for Saturday morning.

If we look at an area like Kinston, NC (Lenoir County), it has gone from the powder blue color (Fig. 3) to teal (Fig. 2), and if we take a moment to examine the AWIS pdf for Kinston , we can see there is potential for a short duration frost on Saturday morning — even with a minimum air temperature of 37 F. What you have to remember is that the air temperature minimum of 37 F is for weather shelter height, but under radiation frost type conditions, it will be colder at the ground level (strawberry canopy), and if it drops below 32 F at the strawberry crop level, there is a very good chance of seeing frost form (the air is going to be very very moist). Fig. 4. NC County Map

With air temperature minimum of 41 for Sunday in Kinston area, I see very little potential for frost. But, areas that may be in the 36-38 F range for Sunday morning, need to keep very careful watch, and even areas in powder blue (Fig. 5) could see patchy frost.

Fig. 5. Some areas may be seeing frost on Sunday morning as well.

Please check out these latest detailed hourly weather forecasts for a location near your farm in North Carolina


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

Other states:



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



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

South Carolina

I had a very helpful update from Eric Hunter yesterday at noon, and at that time they were under tornado threat (as we are now in Williamsburg, VA). He is still seeing a fair number of blooms with his Camarosa crop, and his plan is to use row covers for protection. Due to the fact that row covers interfere with pollination, he is planning to pull his covers back during the day on Saturday, and then re-apply late in the afternoon,or early evening, on Saturday (for Sunday morning frost). The last I spoke with him, he indicated concern about tonight, and his plan was to row cover. He may provide an update today, and I will add his update to these comments.


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



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



Bowling_Green Covington Danville-Powell_ Fort_Campbell
Fort_Knox/Godma Frankfort_AP Glasgow_KY Henderson_City
Jackson_KY Lexington_KY London_Corbin Louisville_AP
Louisville/Bowm Middlesboro_AP Monticello_KY_AP Murray_AP
Owensboro_AP Paducah Richmond_Madison Somerset(AWOS)