NC Update: Tonight’s Forecast and Tomorrow Night as Well (4:30pm, Tuesday, March 13, 2018)

— Written By

Good afternoon,

I know that everyone is looking forward to some warmer, spring-like weather, and perhaps we will see on Friday a significant change in the weather pattern — with southwest flow developing across the region and a warming trend to above normal temperatures. In Figure 1 you can see the minimums for tomorrow morning. The  dark purple bands indicate minimums in range of 28-30 F (at weather shelter height), and light gray areas indicate a forecast of 26-28 F.

Fig. 1. These are “pretty cold” temperatures for tomorrow morning! But, nothing like last year during this very same week — see Fig. 2

Fig. 2 (2017). One year ago NC growers experienced a devastating windborne freeze with minimum temperatures that were actually below what was shown on this AWIS forecast map that was issued on this same day of the week (Tue). Those lighter red areas were for lows of 22-24 F. But, the real problem last year had to do with “howling winds.” Thankfully, NC growers will not be facing anything like this tonight and tomorrow morning!

In checking in with a few NC growers this morning, I did learn that there was a light snow yesterday afternoon/evening in Sandhills (Fig. 3) and areas in ENC.

Fig. 3. Sunrise in Sanford this morning on a strawberry farm that irrigated on top of row covers. This grower got about 1/2″ snow, and was concerned about cold injury to blossoms beneath the covers. A little after sunrise, the grower checked digital thermometer temperatures of blossoms in this field, and got measurements in range of 29.6 to 32.9 F. Later in day, he checked, and everything seemed to come through OK (see Fig. 4).

Fig. 4. Sweet Charlie plants from under the row cover after “being snowed on” and “irrigated on” last night and this morning! The only loss was a bloom that was killed last week – the blossom was in direct contact with the cover. Photo taken at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, 2018 (Sanford, NC). This has potential for Easter!

Fig. 5. Maximum temperatures today in NC in the Lee Co. area (below Wake and RDU) were only about 48 F.

With maximum temperatures today of only about 48 F in Lee County (where Sanford is located), the covers are now (5 p.m.) about half dry, so it may  be necessary to repeat this procedure again tonight. The minimum temperature for Sanford on Wed. morning will be 29 F (Sanford Hourly), and that is “borderline dangerous.”

AND,  the following morning (Thursday) will be even colder (Fig. 6),  — going to 27 F, and there is a good possibility this grower will need to run water on top of covers tonight and tomorrow night as well.

Fig. 6. Thursday morning minimums in NC.

So, please take a look at your temperature situation over these next few nights, and let’s hope for some warming conditions by the weekend, and a chance to FINALLY get these covers off!

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
AWIS Weather Services, Inc. North Carolina Frost/Freeze Forecast
Produced at  306 p.m. CDT on Tue Mar 13 2018

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

**** FREEZE COLD LOCATIONS  ****
****  SCATTERED FROST  ****

Lowest Temperatures:      30 - 36
Elizabeth_City Min          31 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  3
Range Dewpoint Temps:     22 - 31
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     32 - 37
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  SW  6     Long Periods of Calm 
AVG Sky Condition:     Partly Cloudy

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)

  03/15/18  03/16/18  03/17/18  03/18/18  03/19/18  03/20/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   30 - 36   37 - 45   29 - 37   34 - 41   41 - 48   37 - 48
--------

East Central/SE NC Coast                
Carteret/Pamlico Counties                         

**** FREEZE COLD LOCATIONS  ****
****  SCATTERED FROST  ****

Lowest Temperatures:      31 - 35
Morehead_City Min           35 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  2
Range Dewpoint Temps:     25 - 31
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     30 - 37
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  SW  5     Long Periods of Calm 
AVG Sky Condition:     Mostly Cloudy

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)

  03/15/18  03/16/18  03/17/18  03/18/18  03/19/18  03/20/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   28 - 32   41 - 45   35 - 39   40 - 43   45 - 50   44 - 54
--------

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

**** FREEZE COLD LOCATIONS  ****
****  SCATTERED FROST  ****

Lowest Temperatures:      30 - 35
Elizabethtown Min           34 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  4
Range Dewpoint Temps:     20 - 31
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     31 - 38
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  5     Long Periods of Calm 
AVG Sky Condition:     Partly Cloudy

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)

  03/15/18  03/16/18  03/17/18  03/18/18  03/19/18  03/20/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   27 - 31   42 - 46   36 - 45   40 - 44   44 - 51   48 - 56
--------

North-Central NC                        
Franklin County Area                              

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
****    PATCHY FROST  ****

Lowest Temperatures:      26 - 32
Louisburg Min               26 
Durations at/below 32:     1 - 10
Durations at/below 28:     0 -  4
Range Dewpoint Temps:     18 - 24
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     25 - 33
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:   W  4     Long Periods of Calm 
AVG Sky Condition:     Mostly Cloudy

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)

  03/15/18  03/16/18  03/17/18  03/18/18  03/19/18  03/20/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   23 - 30   35 - 42   29 - 37   35 - 42   39 - 45   41 - 48
--------

North/Central NC                        
Alamance County Area                              

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
****    PATCHY FROST  ****

Lowest Temperatures:      26 - 32
Graham_AG Min               30 
Durations at/below 32:     1 - 10
Durations at/below 28:     0 -  4
Range Dewpoint Temps:     18 - 24
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     25 - 33
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  5     Long Periods of Calm 
AVG Sky Condition:     Mostly Cloudy

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)

  03/15/18  03/16/18  03/17/18  03/18/18  03/19/18  03/20/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   25 - 30   37 - 42   31 - 36   37 - 42   40 - 45   42 - 47
--------

South/Central NC                        
Richmond County Area                              

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
**** LITTLE IF ANY FROST **** 

Lowest Temperatures:      29 - 33
Ellerbe Min                 33 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  5
Range Dewpoint Temps:     18 - 29
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     27 - 36
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  6     Periods of Calm      
AVG Sky Condition:     Partly Cloudy

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)

  03/15/18  03/16/18  03/17/18  03/18/18  03/19/18  03/20/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   27 - 30   40 - 44   36 - 39   40 - 42   44 - 46   47 - 52
--------

Interior/EC-SE NC                       
Wayne County Area                                 

**** FREEZE COLD LOCATIONS  ****
**** LITTLE IF ANY FROST **** 

Lowest Temperatures:      30 - 36
Goldsboro_AG Min            32 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  5
Range Dewpoint Temps:     23 - 32
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     31 - 36
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  5     Long Periods of Calm 
AVG Sky Condition:     Mostly Cloudy

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)

  03/15/18  03/16/18  03/17/18  03/18/18  03/19/18  03/20/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   27 - 31   40 - 45   34 - 39   38 - 43   43 - 49   46 - 54
--------

For more detailed information visit www.awis.com or call 888-798-9955. Copyright 2018 AWIS Weather Services, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Written By

Photo of Barclay Poling, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Barclay PolingFormer Professor and Extension Specialist, Strawberries and Muscadines (919) 515-5373 (Office) barclay_poling@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science - NC State University
Updated on Mar 13, 2018
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