AWIS Weather Forecast: Cold Weather Ahead

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Cold Weather ahead from Monday to Wednesday

In collaboration with AWIS Weather Services

Dear all,

Winter-ish is finally here. After a short period of rain and warmer weather tomorrow (Sunday Jan 8), temperature will drop again from Monday to especially the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, when large areas of VA and NC are in the teens (see Figure 1). In regions where the minimum temperatures are below 20, we recommend to use row-covers to avoid injury to the crowns. If you already have row covers on your plant, do NOT remove them for Sunday. As usual, we start with a short discussion of weather and then recommendations.

Weather discussion:

*** Briefly Warmer Sunday/Early Monday
*** Mostly Rain Event Ahead Of Next Cold Front
*** Much Colder Again Later Monday Into Early Wednesday
*** Periods of Cold Continue Into Late January
*** Potential To Trend Back To Warmer/More Frequently By End Of January

The most recent snow storm affected areas a little further North and West
than previous storm, with heaviest totals from the Northern areas of VA/MD
Westward into the Central Appalachians, where 6+ inches of snow were
reported. Much lesser totals to the East and South, in areas where the
heaviest snows were focused with the previous storm.

This storm is now well out into the Atlantic, so the next cold event
will take place tonight. Surface high pressure will drift Eastward
towards VA by daylight Saturday morning. This will allow winds to
subside to periods of calm, particularly Northern and Western Carolinas
Northward to VA/MD areas. With dew points in the lower teens North to
mid-upper teens South, expect rapid fall in temps at sunset tonight,
with minimums near to just after sunrise Saturday morning.

Minimums as cold as recently can be expected in many areas, perhaps even
colder Southern areas than recent past. That puts them into the lower
end of teens inland Mid-Atlantic, perhaps even into the teens colder
Northern and Western areas of NC, into parts of NW SC.

Given light winds, the usual coldest pockets will show up a few degrees
lower tonight as well, with added risk of colder minimums over areas
with recent snow still on the ground. Temperatures near the ground
surface are typically 5+ degrees lower than those measured at the
“official” 5 foot level under such conditions.

Then warming up a little more significantly ahead of next front
late this weekend, with mostly rain moving in late Sunday into
early Monday, perhaps changing to snow before ending Monday over
Northern areas..

The next potential colder air mass may arrive around the
following week, Sat-Mon, Jan 15-17, mainly Mid Atlantic.

Cold days ahead

Figure 1: The nights from Monday through Wednesday will see temperature below 20F in some areas in Southeast. The coldest night will be the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. Large areas of central NC and VA will experience temperatures in the mid teens or lower.

Cover your plants

Temperatures below 20F are suitable to cause damage to strawberry crowns. While the temperatures at crown level can slightly be different than the air temperatures that are predicted, we recommend to use precaution. This is especially true for the nights from Jan 10 -11 and Jan 11-12.

Please check your local short term weather forecast what the predicted temperatures are in those nights at your location. If temperatures are predicted to be at or lower than 20F, we recommend to use row-covers to protect plants from potential cold injury. Row-cover should be latest applied Monday afternoon.

I hope everyone get’s through this cold period without a lot of damage. As always, we will keep you updated and I hope this helps,