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Counting the Days to Maturity: Calculating planting dates for fall vegetables

Counting the Days to Maturity: Calculating planting dates for fall vegetables

While most of the US is still seeing sweltering hot temps, the cool temps of fall and winter aren’t really all that far away for those of us unlucky (or lucky) enough to not live in a tropical climate.  The tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and other warm-season crops planted back at the beginning of summer are still puttering along, even if they might be getting a little long in the tooth and starting to look a little worse for wear ( especially if disease has ravaged them).  For those who aren’t quite done with gardening for the year or who want to reap the bounty of fall crops and get the most out of their production space, fall gardening can be a great tool to extend the garden season.  But knowing when to plant what is tricky, especially when we are talking about different weather patterns and frost dates all around the country.  So a bit of weather data, info from the seed packet or label, a touch of math, and a calendar can be great tools to figure out when you can plant no matter where you are.  Of course if you do live in one of those warmer tropical areas your planting calendar is kind of turned on its head from what us more northern gardeners face. You may prefer to time your planting to avoid high heat.

The first thing to think about is what you can plant.  Cool-season crops such as the Cole crops (cabbage, kale, broccoli, etc.), leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, Bok choi, etc.), root crops (radishes, beets, turnips, scallions), and some cool weather loving herbs like cilantro and parsley are all par for the course for a garden going into cooler fall and winter temps…

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Heat domes, wet spells, and the weather patterns that tie them together

Heat domes, wet spells, and the weather patterns that tie them together

Do you have a favorite kind of weather that you love to experience? For me, it’s the first warm evening of spring, when the air is just warm enough and the wind just strong enough for the air to feel as though it is dripping off my fingers. On nights like that, I can tell that the air really is a fluid, the topic of this week’s blog.

The wind of spring, Toshihiro Oimatsu via Commons Wikimedia

What causes atmospheric weather patterns?

You may have noticed this year that the weather patterns across both the United States and Europe have been very persistent. That has led to the occurrence of record-setting high temperatures in some locations like the Pacific Northwest and the central US and southern Europe as well as day after day of rain in the Southeastern US. Both of these weather patterns have caused no end of grief for gardeners and farmers, since weather is seldom stuck on day after day of “perfect” conditions (even if you could define what those are).

To understand how weather patterns get stuck, it helps to know how the air moves through the atmosphere. Wind is driven by differences in heating between two areas. That contrast leads to differences in density and pressure between the areas, and the air flows from higher pressure to lower pressure to try to equalize the amount of air between those areas. The large-scale weather patterns across the globe are caused by differences in the sun heating the spherical earth at the equator and at the poles at different angles due to latitude. There are also smaller-scale wind circulations due to differences in heating between land and water (oceans or lakes) that cause the same movement of air molecules…

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Dry Corn Belt Ahead Of Pollination May Spell Disaster For Farmers

Dry Corn Belt Ahead Of Pollination May Spell Disaster For Farmers

Kirk Hinz, a meteorologist with BAMWX, published an agriculture note Thursday which outlines “persisting rains” in some parts of the Southwest but “expanding dryness” in the north.

Hinz concentrates on the corn belt, which spans the Midwest. He said, “expanding drought into a crucial time of the year ahead of pollination.” This means that persistent dry conditions could affect pollination success – and if pollination is not successful this year because of drought and lack of water, then harvest yields this season could come under pressure.

“A lack of consistent rainfall across a big chunk of the US major corn production areas in the Midwest and northern Plains this year continues, with the expanding drought into a crucial time of the year ahead of pollination as well. Weather models have remained volatile recently in regards to how much of these major production areas will receive timely rainfall, but the trend recently has been to push previously forecast widespread nourishing rains further south that’s starting to be a growing concern (plus more heat building back in a mid-to-late month) ahead,” Hinz wrote. 

Here’s what happens to corn if pollination is unsuccessful. 

Here’s the US Drought Monitor, which shows much of the Western US is in some form of drought.

Some rain relief was seen in the week ending June 6, but worsening conditions continue in the corn belt (or Midwest area).

For the four weeks ending June 6, rains increased in west Texas and east New Mexico but expanding dryness in the corn belt.

Over the last two months ending June 6, significant increases in precipitation have been seen from Texas to New Mexico up into Colorado. However, most of the corn belt continues to experience worsening droughts.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Heat Wave!

Heat Wave!

 Find your sunglasses.  Stock up on sunscreen.  And get your shorts and tee shirts out.  You will need them.   A Northwest spring heatwave is about to begin.  

The start to spring has been chilly and damp, but that will be a distant memory by this week.   Consider the latest ensemble forecast (running the model many times, each a bit different) for the NOAA/NWS GFS forecast system (see below). Steadily rising temperatures from the low 60s today to the mid-70s on Saturday and Sunday.

The ensemble members are all very similar, which means we should have confidence in the prediction.

I know your next question.  What about the highly skillful European Center forecasts?  Here they are (below).  Highs of 74 and 73 on Saturday and Sunday, followed by a cool down next week.
What do we owe this turn to torrid conditions? 
A very high amplitude upper-level ridge of high pressure over the eastern Pacific.   The forecast of upper-level (500 hPa, around 18,000 ft) conditions at 5 PM Wednesday, shows the upper-level ridge extended into BC, with troughs (the L’s) on both sides.  This is known as an OMEGA block, because it looks like the Greek letter omega.  Very persistent.
And by Friday afternoon the ridge of high pressure amplifies right over us.  Such high-pressure areas are associated with sinking air (therefore cloud-free) and warming conditions aloft.  At the same time, there is easterly or offshore flow at low levels, which isolates us from the cool Pacific Ocean.
To really warm you up, let me show you the predicted air temperatures just above the surface (2-meters).
The forecast for Wednesday at 5 PM, shows temperatures rising into the mid-60s on both sides of the Cascades, with moderate northerly and northeasterly winds
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Record Warmth In Plains, Midwest?; NYC To Top 60s This Week 

Record Warmth In Plains, Midwest?; NYC To Top 60s This Week 

About ten days ago, we penned a weather note to readers titled “”Early Spring, Winter Is Over?” – New Weather Models Suggest Warmer Weather Nears,” outlining how after a polar vortex split poured Arctic air into much of the US, wreaked havoc on power grids, but there was light at the end of the tunnel as the first half of March would expose much of the country to warmer weather trends.

Well, eight days into March and more than 100 million Americans across the Southwest, West Central, East Central, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast will experience warmer than average temperatures this week.

“The ridge of high pressure over the East will allow southerly winds to spread spring warmth northward and influence conditions for most areas east of the Rockies. Meanwhile, cooler than average temperatures will develop in the West, particularly in the Southwest,” according to The Weather Channel

The mild setup for this week is a relief from last month. Highs could be 10 to 25 degrees above average in the East, except for Florida, by Tuesday. By Wednesday, most parts of the Northeast could be in the 60s.

Here are some of the forecasted temperature highs this week for major metro areas. By mid-late week, NYC could be averaging in the mid-60s.

“High temperatures will be 20 to 35 degrees above average from the Northern and Central Plains into the Great Lakes region through Wednesday. Highs in the 60s and 70s are anticipated with 50s toward the Canadian border. Temperatures near 80 are even possible in parts of the Central Plains,’ The Weather Channel said. 

Temperature anomalies show the widespread warming that will affect more than 100 million people.

Could the US planting season begin earlier this year with warming trends?

NYMEX Henry Hub Natural Gas futures blew through the 2.70 support level.

The warmer weather is expected to last through Mar. 15, with slightly colder temperatures afterward. At this point, Americans will take any warm weather as the tail end of winter has been miserable. 

Clarifying Wind Turbines

It is possible to include heating elements in wind turbines to prevent freezing. They never took that into consideration in Texas where the wind turbines probably supply as much as 10% of the power. The same problem took place in Germany. Nobody seems to have done their research into historic weather patterns.

I have said many times that in school, I was confronted with a real conflict between Physics class and Economics. The first said nothing is random and the latter said everything was so the government can manipulate the economy i.e. Marxism.

Lorenze

The Father of Chaos Theory is Edward Norton Lorenz (1917–2008) who was an American mathematician and meteorologist. Lorenz was certainly THE pioneer in Chaos Theory. A professor at MIT, Lorenz was the first to recognize what is now called chaotic behavior in the mathematical modeling of weather systems.

During the 1950s, Lorenz observed that there was a cyclical non-linear nature to weather yet the field relied upon linear statistical models in meteorology to do weather forecasting. It was like trying to measure the circumference of a circle with a straight edge ruler. His work on the topic culminated in the publication of his 1963 paper Deterministic Non-periodic Flow in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, and with it, the foundation of chaos theory. During the early 1960s, Lorenz had access to early computers. He was running what he thought would be random numbers and began to observe there was a duality of a hidden repetitive nature. He graphed the numbers that were derived from his study of convection rolls in the atmosphere. What emerged has been perhaps one of the most important discoveries in modern time.

LORENZ (3)

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New Year’s Week Storm Could Cause Havoc Across US 

New Year’s Week Storm Could Cause Havoc Across US 

A new storm will sweep across the country next week, just like the last one, from Southwest to the Plains to Midwest to East, spreading rain and snow along the way.

As 2020 concludes and 2021 is just days away, it appears more wicked weather is on the way. The storm will unfold in two phases, according to The Weather Channel.

The first phase will begin on Sunday night.

Volatility in Weather is Spot On! Are Pole Shifts Part of the Process?

Volatility in Weather is Spot On! Are Pole Shifts Part of the Process? 

QUESTION: What proof do you have that there is higher volatility in weather? I think you just make this up. I have not seen anywhere else with claims of new high and low records. Humans are responsible for climate change. You are spreading propaganda yourself.

JG

ANSWER: Well here is the list published by the NOAA that shows there have been 17,082 new record daily highs and 17.068 new record lows. If this is what you believe, then stop heating your home in the winter or using air conditioning. Quit your job, stay home. Do not use any public transportation. Grow your own food because even buying a head of lettuce means a truck has to deliver it to the store. You better not read a newspaper, for you are continuing to cutting down trees that suck up CO2. Then again, turn off your computer because even reading this consumes electricity and you are destroying the planet every second, according to your theory.

Do all that and if you are still alive after one year, then let me know how you survived.

For the rest of us who are objective, the VOLATILITY our computer has been forecasting is precisely on target. We have just over 17,000 new record highs and over 17,000 new record lows. That is what we call VOLATILITY in market-terms.

What is difficult to forecast short-term is the polar shifts. The magnetic North Pole is wandering about 34 miles (55 kilometers) a year. The North Magnetic Pole has moved so much, so fast, that a group of scientists rushed to change a model that helps guide shipping, airplanes, and submarines to know where they are in the Arctic Ocean.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“We’re Already Starting To Ration Our Corn” – Perfect Storm Could Send Spot Prices Higher

“We’re Already Starting To Ration Our Corn” – Perfect Storm Could Send Spot Prices Higher

Corn is extensively used to feed livestock, but the surge in spot prices has forced US farmers to search elsewhere for low-cost substitutesreported Reuters.

The persistent wet weather that swamped the Midwest this spring is now reducing corn yields.

More recently, dry, hot weather continues over large swaths of the Midwest, is also wreaking havoc on corn yields. Volatile weather as a whole, in 2019, could lead to one of the lowest corn harvests in years.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) last month projected 2019 corn production at 13.88 billion bushels, an 8% drop YoY.

Agricultural organizations, equipment dealers and factories that convert corn into ethanol have already felt the pressure from farmers because of millions of acres went unplanted due to wet weather across the Central and Midwest, including corn and soybean belts.

Accurate picture of how the spring of 2019 has been so far. (Yes, that is a turtle swimming in the corn)

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Reuters spoke with meat producers who are now rushing to find substitutes to avoid margin compression from skyrocketing corn prices; they’re attempting to stretch out supplies of corn held in storage.

Experts have warned spot prices of corn could jump once harvesting begins this fall because declining yields will be realized.

Higher prices for corn could translate into higher meat prices, which are already soaring after China’s African swine fever crisis has led to the deaths of hundreds of millions of pigs.

USDA supermarket data showed retail pork prices had soared 9% YoY versus this time last year, while beef prices are up 2%. Rising food costs are occurring at a time when the overall economy is rapidly slowing.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

It’s the Volatility – not the Temperature!

It’s the Volatility – not the Temperature! 

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong, in relating your comments on weather and how the winters will spike to record cold and then the summers will spike to record highs, is this the same as a panic cycle in markets?

HC

ANSWER: Yes. Our computer looks at the weather the same as it does with the price in a market. Patterns emerge and you can understand the causes ONLY by correlating the trends with everything else. This is indeed a Panic Cycle where we exceed the previous high and penetrate the previous low. This coming weekend will see temperatures break 100 in the Northeast. I have lived in New Jersey and there were plenty of summers where we have days at 103. This is NOT abnormal. What is abnormal is the volatility how we can go from a winter where it was colder in Chicago than it was in Antarctica and then we break the record highs in July. It is the VOLATILITY – not the empirical level of temperature we should be paying attention to.

Another “Bomb Cyclone” Hammers U.S. Plains And Midwest

Another “Bomb Cyclone” Hammers U.S. Plains And Midwest 

As the storm reaches “bomb cyclone” criteria on Thursday, more than 200 million people in the United States will feel the impact of this dangerous weather system sweeping across the Plains and Midwest.

Heavy snow has developed and will continue to fall on the northern Plains, a portion of the central Plains and Upper Midwest into Thursday night as arctic air rushes in, reported Reuters

Into the overnight, heavy snow will extend from northeast Colorado and northwest Kansas through Nebraska, South Dakota, southeast North Dakota, Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

“It is a bomb cyclone, the second we’ve had,” said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist at National Weather Service (NWS) in College Park, Maryland. “This is like a slow-moving snowstorm inside a hurricane.”

PowerOutage.Us shows 13,660 homes and businesses are without power in Minnesota, and about 9,500 in South Dakota around 7 am est.

Between 4 am and 8 am, there are 61 airport delays across the U.S., mostly seen at Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport, according to Flight Aware.

The region in focus is the Central U.S., the same area where a “bomb cyclone” hit last month and unleashed deadly flooding and blizzards. A little over $3 billion in damage was done to property, crops, and livestock in Nebraska and Iowa alone.

“The heaviest snow so far is piling up in South and North Dakota, with some areas getting 17 inches, and more is on the way,” Hurley said. “We’re expected another 10 to 15 inches before this is done.”

The snow adds new woes to Midwest farmlands which have been slammed by President’s Trade war and last month’s “bomb cyclone.”

NWS said this storm is a “historical springtime snowstorm.”

The storm is expected to crossover the Great Lakes area and northern Michigan on Friday, bringing more rain and snow to the East North Central U.S.

Here’s how Britain’s changing weather is affecting wildlife

Here’s how Britain’s changing weather is affecting wildlife

The Beast from the East, a polar vortex which brought freezing conditions to the UK, arrived on February 26 2018. Two days later there was a minimum temperature of -11.7°C (10.9˚F) at South Farnborough in Hampshire, and a maximum of only -4.8°C (23.4˚F) at Spadeadam in Cumbria.

In sharp contrast, on February 26 2019, temperatures reached 21.2˚C (70.2˚F) at Kew Gardens in south-west London – the warmest winter day since records began. In February 2019, bumblebee queens were out looking for nest sites, adult butterflies were emerging from their winter hibernation and blossom appeared on some trees and shrubs. But what will be the long-term effects of 2019’s early spring?

The relatively new science of phenology examines the timing of the seasons by plotting the calendar records of first plant bud, first flower, first nesting behaviour and first migrant arrivals. Over the past three decades, these records have confirmed that spring temperatures are generally arriving earlier in the year.

Embedded video

Kew Gardens has reached 21.2 °C which is the UK’s new maximum temperature record for February, winter and the year so far.

As the days get longer and warmer in the northern hemisphere, bird species such as the barn swallow follow these natural cues to depart for British habitats, where they nest and rear their young. These insectivorous migratory birds time their breeding season to coincide with insects being present in sufficient numbers to feed their young. 

While the main trigger for birds to migrate from their overwintering grounds to Britain is the length of daylight, temperature will also fine-tune the arrival date. An early spring means that insects could emerge and breed before migratory birds arrive.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is this the Coldest Winter in 83 years?

Is this the Coldest Winter in 83 years? 

Vancouver, where it rarely snows, has had five snow storms this year. It has even been reported that snow has fallen in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Now that is an extremely rare event by itself in addition to Vancouver.

The winter cold has been severe this year. It appears that we are heading toward this trend in the next 8.6-year cycle if we see this unfold again next year. Given the outlook for food prices into 2024, something just does not look normal on the economic front.

Meanwhile, it is now official. February has been the COLDEST month in 83 years! The global climate pattern is now transitioning from a global warming cycle, which peaked in 1998 on a long-term basis and 2015 on a short-term basis, to a global cooling long-term and short-term cycle. Both the Arctic and Antarctic entered the next global cooling cycle in 2015 and have been dramatically cooling during the past 3 years. In the UK, according to the Central England Temperature (CET), a record of monthly mean temperatures dating back to 1659, December 1890 was marginally colder, with a mean of -0.8°C. The data is available that demonstrates this is a cycle and it predates the Industrial Revolution.

In Arizona, the temperatures have broken even a 122-year previous record low.

Major Weekend Snow Storm Expected To Batter Northeast

A series of winter storms traversing the country will bring significant snow and ice to the Midwest and Northeast this weekend followed by an ice storm that could paralyze travelers.

Approximately 100 million people are currently under a winter storm watch, warning or advisory across the US.

Travel has already been disrupted, with 500 flights canceled as of Friday morning, according to FlightAware.com.

Vallee Weather Consulting meteorologist Ed Valle warns of heavy snow, with blizzard-like conditions, could leave parts of the northern Mid-Atlantic and Northeast with a “plethora of precipitation,” specifically, several feet of snow in parts of the interior Northeast.

“A strong storm will move into the Northeast over the coming days, delivering a plethora of precipitation types and hazards. Snow will be the main precipitation type from northern Pennsylvania into northern New England with 1 to 2 feet of snowfall expected. Amounts of 30-36” locally are possible in the mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine – perfect conditions ahead of a long holiday weekend at ski resorts. Heaviest snow is expected from Saturday evening through Sunday morning is these regions. Further south, a nasty mix of precipitation types is expected from south-central PA into central and southern New England including Harrisburg, Pa., Allentown, Pa., Hartford, Ct., and Boston, Ma. Here, snow will be the initial hazard, transitioning to an icy mix of sleet and freezing rain overnight Saturday.

A modest accumulation of snow (4-8”) along with locally 0.25-0.50” icing is expected. Closer the coast, snow Saturday evening will change to rain overnight from Philadelphia to New York City, but not before a few inches of accumulation. As colder air rushes back in Sunday afternoon, a flash freeze is expected as temperatures tumble into the single digits above and below zero Sunday night. This will lead to any slush and standing water freezing quickly on roads and sidewalks. Brutally cold air will impact the entire Northeast Monday,” Vallee reported.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Forget El Nino, StormFest is about to Hit the West Coast

Forget El Nino, StormFest is about to Hit the West Coast

Things often calm down after January 1 during El Nino years….but not this year…with the U.S. West Coast from central California to Washington State about to be pummeled by a series of storms.   Rain, snow, wind?  Plenty for everyone.

A view of the latest infrared satellite imagery shows an amazing line-up of one storm after another stretching way into the Pacific.  A traffic jam of storms.
Let’s examine our stormy future, using a series of sea level pressure forecasts from the UW WRF weather forecast models (solid lines are sea level pressure, shading in lower atmosphere temperature).
At 10 PM today, a  strong low is just off the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
10AM Saturday brings an energetic low center into northern CA.
10 PM Sunday?   Another storm hits central Oregon!  And another system is in the wings.

That storm is right off our coast late Wednesday.

El Nino late winters generally have less action—not so this year! 
What about precipitation you ask?   Do you really want to know?  The accumulated total through 4 AM next Thursday is impressive, with 5-10 inches over many mountain areas and even 10-20 inches over parts of northern CA, the Olympics and southern BC.
 
Snow?   There will be abundant amounts.   For example, here is the accumulated snowfall for the 72 hours ending 4 PM Wednesday.  2-3 feet for the high terrain from the central Sierra Nevada to southern BC.  Our winter ski season is secure.
Wind?  You bet.  Each of these storms will bring strong, damaging winds to a favored area of the coastal zone and mountain peaks.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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