Regional Frost Update on Thursday, March 22, 2018 (2 pm)

— Written By Barclay Poling
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strawberry field

Fig. 1. South Carolina grower, Clyde Gurosik, sent us this photo of his Camarosa crop in N. Augusta on Monday of this week (3/19), and another photo was taken yesterday (3/21) — see the SC section of advisory!

Dear Agents, Agronomists, Growers & Friends,

As was pointed out in this Monday’s “Weather Forecast Outlook for 21 March – 15 April (issued on 3/19/18),” we are now experiencing temperatures well below normal, rains, and we also had snow in many areas! In speaking yesterday afternoon to John Gross in Sanford, NC, I learned that significant rainfall occurred in his area, and row covers were sopping wet going into last night. The last thing you want to have happen is for that wet row cover to “freeze to the plants” during the night — that can cause major damage to flower and fruit parts. And, I gathered this morning in speaking with Whit Jones down in Faison, NC, that row covers at their location did not freeze up (thank goodness). Today, all those wet covers should be able to dry out well in advance of tonight’s cold event (and the next day as well), and that’s a really good thing! With all this nice sunshine today, the covers should build up plenty of heat for going into this evening.

So, let’s do a real quick check on how cold and frosty it may getting in different parts of the region? I am going to begin with Maryland and Virginia, and then tackle the Carolina’s next.

Maryland

I am not sure how far the strawberry crop is advanced in different parts of MD today, but I keep getting these messages that the peak bloom for Cherry Blossoms in DC keeps getting pushed back on account of these very cool temperatures (and snow yesterday). Currently the National Park Service is saying March 27-31. And, it is interesting that these dates would put the cherry blossom peak right on the historical average – I wonder if the strawberry crop in MD will now be coming in at about a “normal time?”

One thing we do know, is that MD and the whole Mid-Atlantic are in for some very cold temperatures tomorrow morning through this weekend.Minimum temperature mapFig. 1. Mid-Atlantic region minimum temperatures for Friday morning, 3/23

Minimum temperature mapFig. 2. Mid-Atlantic region minimum temperatures for Sat morning, 3/24

Minimum temperature mapFig. 3. Mid-Atlantic region minimum temperatures for Sun morning, 3/25

10-DAY DETAILED HOURLY WEATHER FORECASTS (MD)

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

Virginia – YOU CAN GET A FABULOUS ROUNDUP OF EVERYTHING HAPPENING RIGHT NOW WITH THE VA STRAWBERRY INDUSTRY BY BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE VA STRAWBERRY ASSN (INCLUDES A VERY ACTIVE FACEBOOK GROUP). CONTACT TOM BAKER AND HE CAN GET YOU SIGNED UP! tomandannebaker@cox.net

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

North Carolina –   How interesting that last year at this time a number of strawberry operations in Eastern NC were underway with commercial picking by this date! It could be that these same operations will be picking a few berries the first week in April? Or, could it be more like mid-April? One thing you can see from these next 5 AWIS minimum temperature maps, its going to stay quite cool into next week. Everyone should be checking the AWIS 10-Day forecastst for their area very very carefully (next section), and plan accordingly!

    mapmapmapmapmap

Tonights frost/freeze (just for NC)

AWIS Weather Services, Inc. North Carolina Frost/Freeze Forecast
Produced at  505 a.m. CDT on Thu Mar 22 2018

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

**** NEAR FREEZING COLD LOCATIONS  ****
** PATCHY FROST COLDEST PROTECTED AREAS **

Lowest Temperatures:      33 - 39
Elizabeth_City Min          33 
Range Dewpoint Temps:     25 - 34
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     29 - 40
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  7                          
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)

  03/24/18  03/25/18  03/26/18  03/27/18  03/28/18  03/29/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   34 - 40   35 - 41   36 - 42   36 - 43   40 - 47   51 - 57
--------

East Central/SE NC Coast                
Carteret/Pamlico Counties                         

**** FREEZE COLD LOCATIONS  ****
** PATCHY FROST COLDEST PROTECTED AREAS **

Lowest Temperatures:      31 - 35
Morehead_City Min           35 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  2
Range Dewpoint Temps:     25 - 31
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     29 - 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)

  03/24/18  03/25/18  03/26/18  03/27/18  03/28/18  03/29/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   33 - 38   38 - 41   36 - 40   35 - 40   41 - 46   56 - 57
--------

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

**** FREEZE COLD LOCATIONS  ****
****  SCATTERED FROST PROTECTED AREAS ****

Lowest Temperatures:      31 - 35
Elizabethtown Min           34 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  2
Range Dewpoint Temps:     22 - 32
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     31 - 40
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  6                          
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)

  03/24/18  03/25/18  03/26/18  03/27/18  03/28/18  03/29/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   35 - 40   38 - 44   34 - 39   35 - 40   42 - 45   53 - 59
--------

North-Central NC                        
Franklin County Area                              

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

Lowest Temperatures:      27 - 34
Louisburg Min               27 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  7
Durations at/below 28:     0 -  2
Range Dewpoint Temps:     16 - 23
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     26 - 36
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  6     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)

  03/24/18  03/25/18  03/26/18  03/27/18  03/28/18  03/29/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   29 - 37   30 - 38   28 - 37   30 - 37   36 - 43   50 - 55
--------

North/Central NC                        
Alamance County Area                              

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

Lowest Temperatures:      29 - 34
Graham_AG Min               31 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  4
Range Dewpoint Temps:     15 - 22
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     27 - 36
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  6     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)

  03/24/18  03/25/18  03/26/18  03/27/18  03/28/18  03/29/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   32 - 37   33 - 37   30 - 35   32 - 37   38 - 43   51 - 56
--------

South/Central NC                        
Richmond County Area                              

**** FREEZE COLD LOCATIONS  ****
** PATCHY FROST PROTECTED AREAS **

Lowest Temperatures:      31 - 34
Ellerbe Min                 34 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  2
Range Dewpoint Temps:     17 - 25
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     30 - 38
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  6                          
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)

  03/24/18  03/25/18  03/26/18  03/27/18  03/28/18  03/29/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   34 - 39   39 - 41   33 - 36   35 - 37   41 - 44   55 - 57
--------

Interior/EC-SE NC                       
Wayne County Area                                 

**** FREEZING TEMPERATURES ****
****  SCATTERED FROST PROTECTED AREAS ****

Lowest Temperatures:      30 - 34
Goldsboro_AG Min            32 
Durations at/below 32:     0 -  3
Range Dewpoint Temps:     27 - 31
Range Wetbulb  Temps:     33 - 40
AVG Wind Direction/Speed:  NW  6                          
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)

  03/24/18  03/25/18  03/26/18  03/27/18  03/28/18  03/29/18
  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
   33 - 37   36 - 40   34 - 38   34 - 41   40 - 46   52 - 57
--------

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 (and regional maps) for Fri – Tue

Southeast US mapsSoutheast US mapsSoutheast US mapsSoutheast US mapsSoutheast US maps

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

SC Grower Report (N. Augusta, 3/21/18)

Friends,

Today winds are forecast to gust to 40mph, then drop tonight, along with the temperatures. With Gods’ help we’ve saved them totally, thru 9 frost freezes, so far in March with overhead sprinkler protection. Looks like 2 more nights this week. Already used over 3,000,000 gallons of water and 400 gallons of diesel fuel. Excellent pollination, with very uniform fruit set on all King bloom. Phone is ringing off the hook. Our customers want those true, vine ripened, flavorful strawberries. They say they have had enough of the “CHEAP, HALF GREEN, BEAUTIFUL DISAPPOINTMENTS” shipped in and marketed at all box stores. Opening here on Saturday, 3/24/18 and should be in HIGH COTTON by Easter & Masters week. Please see  attached, dated photo taken today. Good luck. Hope this is helpful.
Sincerely,
Clyde Gurosik

strawberry fieldPhoto by Clyde Gurosik, 3/21/18 (Camarosa)

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

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)