2022 Christmas Freeze Advisory

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Be prepared for the upcoming 2022 Christmas Freeze

in collaboration with AWIS Weather Services



An upcoming freeze will push cold air from Central Canada all they way to the Mid-Atlantic, Mid-West and Southeast. In parts of Tennessee, Northern Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, West Virginia, Kentucky and others, temperatures can get even into the negative teens!

Temperatures in the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic will be mostly in the single digits or the teens, starting the night from Thursday (12/22) to Friday (12/23). The cold airmass is transporting quite some rain/snow, which will mostly fall, starting Wednesday-Thursday in our region.

This deep freeze will be accompanied by higher wind gusts, especially on Friday, 12/23 in most regions that we cover (Southeast, Mid-Atlantic). Sustained windspeeds of 10-15 mph (gusts of 30-40 mph) are predicted for the NC mountains, up to 40 mph (gusts 60 mph) at the entire coast line.

It will get slightly warmer and less windy on Christmas day and the week later.

Recommendations:

This is a serious situation that warrants the use of floating row-covers to protect your strawberry plants in most areas. An exception would be when the minimum temperatures in your area does not fall significantly below 20 F AND your strawberry plants are fully dormant. This can be the case for coastal NC, coastal SC and parts of GA.

It is important to check you weather update daily (see table below).

The vast majority of the area face different problems. If the predicted min temperatures are in the low teens or single digits, protection with a 1.0-1.5 oz floating row cover is warranted. At even lower temperatures, you might think about double covering, if you have the resources.

With the predicted wind-speeds, it is very important that the covers are secured and no holes or other openings are visible. Make sure and double check if your covers are secure before Thursday night.

There is also a chance that covers will cause damage to plant parts, especially to leaves. However, during this event you first and foremost want to avoid crown damage.

Unfortunately, especially if the temperatures get into the low single digits or even below zero, there is not a full guarantee that you will be able to save all your crop.

Last but not least, monitor your weather and reach out to me or your regional specialists/agents/consultants if you have any questions.

As always, I hope this helps and I wish everyone good luck through then next days.

General Discussion:

*** Bitter Cold, And Wind Pushes East And South Into Christmas

Deep low pressure will dig Southeast from the Central High Plains
into the Mid South, then turn East/Northeast through the
Ohio Valley into the Great Lakes Region late this week into the
Christmas Weekend.

A cold front will drag behind this low pressure with bitter arctic
air following it on Brisk N/NW winds.

There will be some accumulating snow on the back side of this
low pressure, mainly from Northern Tennessee and points Northward,
and along the Appalachian Mountain chain.

The main story will be a hard freeze for a large part of the
Eastern and Interior Areas of the Southeast from just before
Christmas to just after Christmas Day.

Some of the Northern and Western areas may not get above freezing
for a 2-4 day period.

Coldest minimums will range from single digits to below zero across
the Ohio Valley Regions, with teens deep into Northern areas of
Interior Southeast.

Strong winds will accompany this cold invasion at its beginning
from Friday into Christmas Day.

Growers will need to monitor the latest forecasts for their area.

Please be advised by consultant specialists on how to handle this
cold event with use of crop covers, and timing of their placements
and type of cover(s) to utilize.

A warming pattern is anticipated by the middle of next week, between
Christmas and New Years, with no additional significant cold events
into the beginning of the New Year.

Next significant rain chances for most areas will come towards the end
of this year and beginning of the New Year.

Updated Maps for Friday (12/23) and Saturday (12/24)

Figure 1: Updated map for predicted minimum temperatures Friday (12/23) and Saturday (12/24).

Regional Forecasts:

North Carolina


FORECASTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THESE LOCATIONS:
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:


FORECASTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THESE LOCATIONS:
Aiken_AP Anderson_Co_Air Barnwell_AP Beaufort_Cnty_AP
Beaufort_SC Bennettsville_Je Camden_AP Charleston_Exec_
Charleston_Muni Cheraw_AP Chester_SC_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:


FORECASTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THESE LOCATIONS:
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 Waycross_AP
Winder_AP

Virginia:


FORECASTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THESE LOCATIONS:
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 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:

FORECASTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THESE LOCATIONS:
Aberdeen Andrews_AFB Annapolis_Naval Baltimore_Sci_Ce
Baltimore/Wash Cambridge/Dorche Camp_David_HEL 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

Written By

Mark Hoffmann, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Mark HoffmannSmall Fruits Extension Specialist, Assistant Professor, Strawberry and Grape Call Dr. Mark Email Dr. Mark Horticultural Science
NC State Extension, NC State University
Posted on Dec 20, 2022
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