AWIS Winter Weather Advisory: Rain, Followed by Freezing Temperatures

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Rain next week, and freeze around christmas

in collaboration with AWIS Weather Services

Dear all,

Most of central and western NC as well as most of the mid-Atlantic will experience minimum temperatures in the teens or even single digits (higher elevations) at the end of the coming week, right around Christmas Eve (Figure 1). Rainfall is expected in most of the area, beginning on Tuesday (12/20) all the way to Thursday (12/23).

Figure 1: Predicted minimum temperatures for the region for 12/23, 12/24 and 12/25 2022.

Why protect?

First, it is important to understand why you want to protect your plants at this time of the year. The most valuable part that you want to protect is the crown: freezing temperatures can cause non reversible damage to a strawberry crown. This will lead to low yields or even dead plants in the worst case scenario.

Fully dormant strawberry plants usually don’t show crown damage until temperatures at crown level reach drop below the teens. Generally, if you are in an area in which the predicted min. temperature doesn’t fall below 20F, AND your plants are hardened off and dormant, there will be no need to cover the plants.

There is not a ‘one fits all’ approach.

However, I can’t stress enough that this is not true for plants that did not had enough hardening time and are still active. This might be the case in some areas in Eastern SC, Southern GA and Coastal NC. If that is the case, we recommend to protect those plants, even if the min temperatures are predicted to be in the low 20s.

In many areas in Central and Western NC, Western GA, North Western SC, most of VA and the mid-Atlantic, min temperatures are predicted to be in the teens or even single digits. There are reports of fully dormant ‘Chandler’ that did withstand low teens without damage. However, with freezing temperatures approaching early in the season, at this point of time we highly recommend to use floating row covers to protect your crop from those temperatures.

The situation becomes more difficult because rain is predicted from 12/20 to 12/23 for most of the region, and temperatures are predicted to drop fast after the rain. That does not leave a lot of time to deploy row-covers between rain and the predicted low temperatures. In most cases, it would be advisable to protect your crop with row-covers before the rain: coming Sunday (12/18), Monday (12/19) or Tuesday (12/20).

Be prepared that even with row cover protection, especially your canopy can still suffer cold damage, depending on the condition of the cover and the experienced minimum temperatures.

We will be monitoring the situation closely and will follow up with updated before Christmas.

As always, I hope this helps,

Mark

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