AWIS Weather Update for Regional Strawberry Growers (12.6.17)

— Written By

Fig. 1. Colder temperatures will be pouring into the region over the weekend. This map shows the minimum temperatures expected across NC next Monday morning, 12/11/17.

Good afternoon,

I received a call this late afternoon from a strawberry grower near my home in Williamsburg, VA, who had some concerns about colder temperatures headed our way this weekend. His weather source was indicating lows in the Chesapeake area ranging from the  mid-teens to lower 20s on Monday (12/11/17), and he was very concerned about getting his row covers “back on.”   As he explains below, he just pulled his covers back off because it was nearly 70 F in this area of VA yesterday.


  • We pulled row covers OFF Camarosas and Ruby Junes Monday afternoon (12/4/17) so covers would not be on during yesterday’s nearly 70-degrees/partially-sunny-part-of-the-day weather.
  • Today (now 1 p.m.) it’s about 50, Thursday’s high ~50, Fri and Sat highs to be mid-40s; nighttime lows mid-upper 30s until Saturday night 31.
  • Covers are damp (not soaked) from <0.2” rain last night.
  • Forecast to get about 0.015” more rain tonight (very little).
  • Thursday (tomorrow’s) forecast probably no more rain, so should be able to pull “damp” covers back over Cams and RJs tomorrow (Thursday). A bit of a chore but they aren’t “soaked.”
  • Friday to mid-day Saturday forecast is for another 1”-plus of rain, so covers would be far too wet to pull Saturday or Sunday; gotta pull ‘em tomorrow if at all.
  • Sunday’s forecast is cold mid-40s, mostly sunny, quite breezy so covers, if re-pulled tomorrow would probably dry on Sunday.

He also asked this question:  “how long” do berries that were covered to enhance fall floral initiation but recently (Monday) un-covered need to be cold-acclimated?

Let’s start by checking with another weather service (AWIS) to see what they have to say about next Monday’s low? 

Hourly Detailed Weather Forecast-Ches

If AWIS was calling for 14 or 15 F for next Monday morning, I would be racing out tomorrow (Thursday) to pull covers back on. But, as you can see from this pdf file for Chesapeake, AWIS is calling for a minimum of only 25 F on Monday, Dec. 11thwhat a relief! And, if temperatures only drop to 25 F on 12/11/17, I don’t see any real problem.

At this time of year, the goal is to “enhance plant hardiness” and temperatures just below freezing, and even into the mid-20s, are very beneficial for plant hardening-off. In the case of plants that have been under row covers for much of the fall, you can safely assume that they have not had an opportunity to harden-off as well as plants that have been uncovered all fall season.

With a forecast for only 25 minimum for a few hours next week, I am doubtful there will be any potential for cold injury in the Chesapeake area. But, for growers in areas that may actually experience mid-to-upper teens and low 20s early next week, I could see potential for cold damage to newer leaves, especially if the plants have had row covers most of the fall. In that scenario, I would be inclined to  re-apply covers. Here are the 10-day forecasts from AWIS for various locations in VA, NC, SC, MD and GA.


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


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


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


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


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

Hope this helps,