May 16th

160516_gfs_500p_pres_loop_eur

Hi All,

Well after not too bad a weekend that gradually got a little warmer and more pleasant as we went on, we are now faced with another week. Unsettled is the theme for this week as we have two low pressure systems that will affect our weather, but the plus side is that the wind will be westerly / south westerly and that means mild nights and consistent, but not excessive growth, just what the doctor ordered for late May.

General Weather Situation

So Monday sees a dry day for nearly all of the U.K and Ireland (and I don’t write that often). In fact for northerly locations in Ireland and Scotland it is probably the only fully dry day of the week. It will start off bright for many but cloud will soon bubble up though it’ll only be thick enough for some coastal drizzle off the north east coast of England and over the far north of Scotland. Winds will be north westerly and light to moderate so milder than of late with temperatures in the mid to high teens in the south of England, slightly cooler on west coasts / Ireland so low teens here. During the day you’ll note the wind will swing round to south westerly / southerly (for Ireland) and that means a mild night compared to Friday / Saturday.

Overnight into Tuesday sees that low pressure start to affect the weather so in the early hours of Tuesday morning we see the rain arrive into south west Kerry (where else?) and push quickly north and eastwards across Ireland. By dawn it is already into the west coast of the U.K and pushing inland with the heaviest rain affecting Scotland. So Ireland and the west sees a wet rush hour start to Tuesday whereas further east and south it’ll be dry, but probably dull. Through Tuesday morning that rain pushes inland across Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the north of England. The far south and east may miss this altogether though. By Tuesday evening, the worst of the rain should have cleared Ireland and Scotland (though they’ll still be showers around), but it will still be affecting the south and north west of England, Wales and further inland over The Midlands. Winds will be moderate and from the south west meaning it’ll be a mild day with temperatures ranging from low teens for Ireland / Scotland up to mid-high teens for the south east of England.

For Wednesday we have a heavier band of rain pushing over Ireland and the west of the U.K overnight. By the morning rush hour this rain will mainly be affecting the south west of England, Wales and north west coast of England, but it will be moving inland slowly through the morning so by late morning it’ll be over Wales and the west Midlands and will largely cleared Ireland leaving just some showers behind. By early afternoon it will be across England and Wales in a line drawn down from Newcastle sort of area and it’ll move slowly eastwards. Scotland will be drier but dull with that cloud bank heavy enough to give some drizzle and light showers in places. By rush hour Wednesday that rain will still be over England and slowly moving off into The North Sea to leave a drier end to the day. A cooler one though with all that cloud cover and rain around so expect low teens pretty much everywhere, maybe higher later on across the west.

Overnight into Thursday a new band of rain will push into south west Kerry (you again lads) at dawn and move across Ireland during the morning from the south west towards the north east. East of this, Wales, England and Scotland look to have a much drier start to the day with a milder feel to it as well. By late morning that rain will still be straddled across Ireland and west and north of this we remain dry. During the afternoon this rain makes its inevitable crossing of The Irish Sea into the south and north west of England, Wales and south west Scotland by the evening rush hour. As we move through till Thursday evening, this rain intensifies over Scotland and the north of England but looks to be lighter over Wales, The Midlands and eastern England.  Winds will remain south westerly and it’ll feel milder for most places with mid-teens in the south and low teens in the north under that rain.

Closing out an unsettled week we have that overnight rain dragging its heels along eastern coasts by dawn but alas a new front is due to push into Ireland for the start of Friday. At this stage it’s likely to affect most of Ireland but maybe Donegal gets away from the worst of it. Further south this rain will be into the south west of England, Wales and south west of Scotland by late morning and it’ll continue to move inland from then. Ireland, Wales and England will see that rain intensify through the morning into the afternoon I’m afraid, but Scotland may just wipe its feet with it, south of The Moray Firth / Black Isle and miss the worst. By late afternoon on Friday we will see that rain still sitting over Ireland, Wales and England and during Friday night it could well intensify over Connacht, Munster and North Leinster in particular. In fact the rain from Friday night through into Saturday morning could be particularly heavy across those areas and then later, south west Scotland / north west England. Again with all that cloud and rain around you won’t expect temperatures to be up to much and they won’t, just tweaking the early teens in most places in that predominantly westerly wind.

So the outlook for the weekend ?

Well it won’t surprise you if I say ‘unsettled’ will it 🙂

After heavy overnight rain, Saturday looks to be a sunshine and showers type of day with possibly the north of England, Borders areas getting the best breaks in the rain and therefore the nicest day. At this stage the rain showers look more likely to affect Scotland, Ireland, Wales and western coasts of the U.K initially, but likely to spread inland through Saturday morning to give a pretty dull affair for most. Temperatures will be low teens in the rain and mid-teens if you get some extended breaks in the cloud cover. Winds will be westerly.

Sunday looks a similar day to Saturday in some respects with periods of rain across the south of England and Ireland punctuated with clearer, warmer spells away from the cloud cover and rain. Slightly milder as well with temperatures easily hitting mid to high teens if you see the sun for any length of time. Winds again moderate from the west.

Weather Outlook

Well after an unsettled, but cool week there may be some nicer weather on the horizon 🙂

So for Monday we still have that low pressure begrudgingly moving off to the continent so they’ll still be some rain around on Monday, maybe more northerly and easterly in orientation but by Tuesday things start to pick up nicely.

We have an Atlantic high pressure projected to move in from Tuesday from the west so Ireland you’ll feel those temperatures pick up nicely first but we will all soon follow and experience a drier, warmer, more settled outlook. That’s the way we are set for the week at this stage.

Warm, dry and settled with I think southerly winds straight up from The Med 🙂

Let’s all will those positive vibes that way and ope it comes to pass 🙂

Agronomic Notes

That was one hell of a growth flush…..

Last week we had that fateful combination (for turf managers) of heavy rainfall (in the south of England particularly) and a surge in daytime temperatures leading to one of the biggest spring growth flushes I can remember seeing. Here’s how it looked data-wise..

GrowthFlushTemps

GrowthFlush

This image together with narrative can be downloaded as a pdf here

I’ve used Growth Potential to express the data because it shows that for a period of 7 days the grass growth was approaching maximum and just to confound matters, we experienced between 35mm + rainfall in the middle of that flush.

For many of you (although I know the north missed the bulk of this rain thankfully) this temperature and rainfall combination has brought with it a number of consequences ;

Growth Flush

In the 3rd May blog I stated ;

“Predicted Growth Flush – PGR Slot

If I had to make a choice when I applied a PGR to outfield areas, this week would be THE WEEK for me to get as much ‘bangs for my buck’ out of the application because we have good soil moisture…”

Not banging my own drum, just highlighting the fact that the MeteoTurf module in Weathercheck allows you to see events coming and react proactively rather than after the event…

Many golf courses and sports facilities have had to struggle hard to try and keep on top of growth last week because of the sudden increase in grass growth potential. If you look at the graph above you can see we went from slow growth on the 5th of May to near maximum growth on the 7th May. I can’t remember seeing such a quick transition in the spring. If you look at it in GDD-terms, it took us 98 days since the start of the year to hit a total of 100GDD and just 7 days to double it ! This growth flush lasted until the weekend where it dropped back due to cooler day and particularly colder night temperatures.

Poa annua Seedheads

So many areas of fine turf (and coarse turf for that matter) went from seeing very few seedheads at the end of the week ending 6th May to seeing a mass expression of them by w/c 9th May….Greens turned white literally overnight. I’ve also had feedback that the seedheads themselves are more visible this year and that may be because the plant flushed so strongly that the panicle has extended the seedhead higher up in the turf canopy. (Should be easier to mow and groom out if that’s the case)

Now of course when the Poa annua plant is putting its efforts into seedhead production it is diverting food sources to the top of the plant and away from the base so what we see is that the basal leaves pale off and often become thicker. We also see less tillering in high Poa content swards during seeding so areas will thin out as well regardless of fertiliser input. Now lets hope that a very fast transition to Poa seeding means that the actual longevity of the seedhead flush will be shorter this year. (I’m trying to look on the bright side)

Disease Activity

Of course this rapid increase in temperature wasn’t just going to favour accelerated grass growth, it also had an impact on disease activity with a sudden attack of Microdochium nivale experienced on a lot of sites. If you had the combination of temperature and moisture then this caused mycelium to be present and some damaging scarring though thankfully it will have grown out as fast as it arrived. (As long as your grass wasn’t over-regulated that is :))

The Week Ahead…

MT160516_2

Well across the west and north it’s going to be pretty unsettled rain-wise so you’ll have to choose your slots if you’re looking to apply say a PGR for instance….The same is true further south with the early part of the week much better than the mid / end part in terms of getting good application uptake conditions and a long enough window for product absorption into the leaf…

Ok that’s it for this week,Tempus Fugit and all that…

All the best..

Mark Hunt

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “May 16th

  1. Gavin Simkins

    Hi Mark,
    What is your thoughts on ‘old country’ sayings with regards to weather?
    I’m particularly thinking of Ash before oak, in for a soak. Oak before ash, in for a splash. Most years it is difficult to work out which one comes into leaf first but this year nearly all the oak trees on our course are out in leaf before the ash. So are we in for a splash this summer?
    Kind Regards
    Gavin Simkins

    Reply
    1. mark.hunt Post author

      Hi Gavin,

      It’s an interesting one and not something that I’d dismiss as old country fayre. I have a good friend who is a horticulturist and always sends me a picture of the Oak and Ash trees by his house. From a purely meteorological perspective it’s hard to accept that an event back in April / May has a bearing on July and August, just because I don’t think we have a handle on the weather longer than a 10-day perspective, but we will see. As for a splash this summer ?, August has been the wettest month of the year in 2014 and 2015 for golf courses in the Surrey and West London area so you never know. Looking at the jet stream and its reluctance to shift north and allow warm, dry air to dominate, I wouldn’t rule out a wet summer, in fact I’d say it’s more likely this year, but we will see how the jet stream plays out. Thanks for the question.
      Mark

      Reply

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