Field Observations on a Frosty Night Always Make You More Confident and NC, SC, GA, VA, MD, KY Updates (2:30pm, Thur. March 15, 2018)

— Written By Barclay Poling

Good afternoon,

Fortunately, most strawberry growers know from experience that it is always a good idea to do “a little wandering around in the field in the early morning to see what is really going on.”  One grower in North Carolina’s Inner Bank region in Hertford County, shared with me that his wife thinks, “I’m a little nuts to wander around in the cold in the wee hours of the morning when it isn’t really necessary.”

However, this morning it was! None of the forecasts for his area predicted just how cold it got this morning in his location, and I had several calls this early morning from growers in VA (near Richmond), Faison, NC and Sanford, NC, where temperatures went below the minimums that were in the forecast. This sort of thing does happen, and by walking your field(s) “in the wee hours” of the morning, you can “keep yourself out of a problem.”   As one veteran strawberry grower said to me this morning, doing these field walks, “makes me more confident.”

A South Carolina grower, Clyde Gurosik, commented in a recent advisory about the value of having REAL TIME weather data! You may recall his comments in an advisory on 3/4/18 (https://strawberries.ces.ncsu.edu/2018/03/north-carolina-awis-frost-freeze-forecast-for-tonight-1230 p.m.-sunday-3-4-18/), and  how he is using UGA’s  weather data service  www.weather.uga.edu to monitor in real time temperature, dew points, wind direction, wind speed and wind gusts. Clyde is fortunate that his farm in N. Augusta tracks very nicely (in real time)with the the weather station in Clarks Hill-SC.

I have always been a big fan of the NC Climate Office’s CRONOS system: https://climate.ncsu.edu/cronos, and you can go on their  home page your can point and click on a weather station closest to your farm. When I was at NC State, I would go to Central Crops Research Station to get hourly data retrieval on things like air temperature, dewpoint, wind speed and direction – similar to what Clyde is doing with UGA system (they are updating every 15 min).

In this 2 p.m. advisory today, Mark and I simply wish to provide you with the latest updates from AWIS, and one thing I can say for sure, is how incredibly variable conditions can be from location to location in North Carolina, or any state for that matter in mid-South. And, it is a good idea for you to try to figure out which of these AWIS locations really is the best fit for your farm?

A grower from the Inner Banks wrote to me today:

“You ask yesterday if Edenton AWIS worked for me and I said that I used Edenton and Ahoskie AWIS and go by the lowest one .Last night was a good example.Edenton showed temps in the mid 30’s and no frost while Ahoskie showed temps in the mid 20’s and frost. Our temp this morning was 27 at eye level and 25 on top of the covers.Bloom temp was 35. I did run the drip starting about 1:30 a.m.”

So, please check out the AWIS locations nearest your farm to try to see which one works best?

Before signing off for today, I just got this photo from John Gross in Sanford (where it got incredibly cold this morning), and because his row covers did not completely dry out yesterday, he did not chance it last night, and he ran water again. He got some of his covers off today, and sent this photo just now. He said he had some losses (especially from last Friday), but he felt it was definitely worth it!

North Carolina

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

South Carolina

10-DAY DETAILED HOURLY WEATHER FORECASTS

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

Georgia

10-DAY DETAILED HOURLY WEATHER FORECASTS

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

Virginia

10-DAY DETAILED HOURLY WEATHER FORECASTS

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

Maryland

10-DAY DETAILED HOURLY WEATHER FORECASTS

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

Kentucky

10-DAY DETAILED HOURLY WEATHER FORECASTS

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)