Well what a difference a week makes meteorologically…. this time last week we were sitting cool and dry and we start this week on the back of some pretty comprehensive rain for most areas over the last 5 days or so.
We hit 28.9mm of rain on the 17th May and followed that up with another 10mm over the next few days so a really welcome drop of rain indeed.
The rain pushed up from the south coast of England in a pretty tight band (see image left) so I think the far west probably missed the worst because the band then progressed eastwards to give East Anglia and Kent heavy rain…It is a good job we got some too because we have some heat building this week and without it we’d be fried for sure…
General Weather Situation
So we start this week with that low pressure system still bringing unsettled weather to Ireland, the north west of England and Scotland. So it will be the case today with a band of light rain pushing into the west coast of Munster and Connacht through the morning and heading north and east so the middle and east coast of Ireland will probably miss this. This rain band reaches the north west of England, south and north west of Scotland by the afternoon and tracks east over Scotland picking up in intensity as it does so through the afternoon and early evening so a pretty wet day for Scotland. A real north-south divide on Monday because south of The Pennines we have a lovely, settled day with hazy cloud and sunshine. That northerly rain may just dip down over The Pennines later in the day but for most of England and all of Wales, a lovely day with temperatures pushing into the low twenties aided by a light southerly wind. Under the effects of that rain across the west and north you’ll see more like 16-17°C and possibly accompanied by some thunder and lightning as well over Scotland.
Onto Tuesday and we have a dry outlook for all areas, possibly starting off with some low lying, heavy cloud for Scotland and some accompanying mizzly drizzle, but this will clear during the morning to leave a nice settled day. Some again fine and dry with settled conditions and hazy sunshine for England, Wales and Ireland. Later in the day they’ll be more in the way of cloud cover across the west of Ireland, Connacht particularly and this may bring some light rain off the sea. A bit of a shift in the wind to north westerly / westerly will keep temperatures in the very pleasant high teens / low twenties for most areas with just Scotland being a little lower because of that cloud cover. Continuing the trend of being mild overnight so just low-teen night-time temperatures likely.
For Wednesday we have some rain move in overnight into north west Scotland and this will push a little further south and east through the course of Wednesday morning but most of Scotland will stay dry. Another dry day for Ireland, Wales and England with temperatures beginning to push up into the low twenties in the absence of cloud cover the Wales and England, so maybe low to mid-twenties possible as a warm high pressure system comes in from the west. During the afternoon, that rain over north west Scotland fizzles out but leaves a legacy of thick, low cloud cover into the night.
Thursday sees another cracking day on the cards and even warmer I think as that high really establishes itself. So starting the day with hazy sunshine but later that cloud cover will break to give unbroken sunshine for the entire U.K and Ireland and there’s not many days of the year that I type that !
As the heat builds it may get high enough to trigger some thunderstorms but since these could start from heat reflected off the top of a warehouse roof or from cars in a car park, I’m not even going to bother suggesting where and when. Remember you can access the ATD Lightning Detector link by clicking here and this will show you current strikes, frequency and time and will update ever 15 minutes..It may come in handy over the weekend as well. So I think mid-twenties is likely on Thursday with most places in the low twenties easily. Winds will be light to moderate and variable in direction dependent on your location.
So we close out a lovely week on Friday with most areas enjoying another fine and beautiful day and that’s good because I’m moving house and don’t want to do it in the rain !. There is however a low pressure system sitting out in The Atlantic and this may dictate the weather for the weekend and early part of next week dependent on its behaviour. This low pressure system may just bring some rain for west Munster and Connacht on Friday morning and it will push slightly inland as well as tracking north during the afternoon maybe just reaching west Leinster me thinks. Across The Irish Sea into Wales, England and Scotland, another cracking day with hot sunshine after the early cloud cover has lifted. Again we will see a risk of that heat triggering off thunderstorms later in the day.
So are we set for a similar weekend’s weather ?
Hmmm this one will be tricky because of that low pressure system…
So I think we will see another nice day on Saturday for England, Wales and Scotland with plenty of heat around but that low pressure will be pushing some rain over Ireland and I think through the second part of Saturday that moisture will come into the U.K from the west / south-west. When moist air hits hot air then we have a recipe for thunderstorms and this will be the case I think on Saturday afternoon, evening and night with rain likely to push across the U.K overnight. So likely a wet Saturday but drier Sunday for Ireland and a hot Saturday, wet afternoon, evening and then possibly a nice Sunday as that rain quickly exits north and east for the U.K.
So next week looks like being a re-run of this week with high pressure set to push in and bring settled, warm and potentially hot conditions for the first part of the week at least. Thereafter there’s a risk of low pressure coming in to bring rain and cooler temperatures and again a likelihood of thunderstorms if that is indeed the case. The only potential fly in the ointment is that low pressure system and there is a rick it may hang around early next week, we will see, opinions on this are divided.
Not suprising really when you have an increase in humidity / soil moisture after a sustained period of dry weather that we see a corresponding increase in pathogen activity.
Lots of Superficial Fairy Ring and general mushroom growth triggered by that rainfall. These fungi tend to increase the hydrophobic nature of the rootzone and so you’ll see signs of water repellency and grass stress where they are active. Key to management is to ascertain at what depth the fungi is active and to do this take a core from the affected area, lay it on its side and drop water along the profile. Where the water beads up the soil is hydrophobic and this is where you need to concentrate your wetting agent application and if you’re so inclined a Strobilurin fungicide. If it is deep then consider light spiking before application.
That humidity is also likely to have triggered off some Waitea Patch (above) because it is a disease that loves moisture / humdity . Though its appearance is very similar to Superficial Fairy Ring, it is from a completely different pathogen family being a Rhizoctonia rather than Basidiomycetes species. The difference is that there is no mushroom type smell in the rootzone, no depression in the patches and sometimes you may see mycelium on the surface. Fortunately the same fungicide actives tend to work on both diseases so if you can’t tell the difference and you decide to treat it isn’t the end of the world.
Plenty of Microdochium nivale around as well especially at the end of last week and over the last weekend, though I expect activity to decline as heat builds this week and we lose surface moisture. That said it could re-occur again when and if we get those thunderstorms during the latter part of the week / weekend. Treatment with a fungicide at this time of year is tricky because as you’ll see from the next section, we will have a lot of growth this week. The flipside of this is that although you may indeed see a lot of Microdochium patches, if the disease hasn’t damaged the crown of the grass plant then it will be able to regenerate and grow out quickly in the week ahead.
Growth Flush and E.T Stress…
The first thing you’ll notice (hopefully) is the amount of GDD and Growth Potential forecast for this week, in short, it’s alot. For instance a projected G.P of 6.7 for this area of England (North London) will mean that turf is growing in close to optimum temperature conditions. Bearing in mind the highest G.P reading you can get is 1.0, then the maximum for any 7-day period is 7.0. So 6.7 represents turf growing at close to 96% of optimum, temperature-wise.
PGR Applications..Lot’s of clippings likely this week !
On this score it’s a good week to use a PGR to lock down turf and I’d be doing it early in the week before it goes under any stress. I mention stress because you can see for England and Wales, the predicted E.T loss from the turf is 29mm and 23mm respectively so we will lose a good chunk of what we got last week in evaporation from the rootzone surface. This is why in those areas you need to apply anything that might knock turf back a bit early in the week before the heat (and E.T) and stress builds.
With a Selective Herbicide..
Applying a selective herbicide and a PGR will work well this week provided the two products are compatible both in the spray tank and biologically when applied to the grass plant (always check with your supplier on both counts). Treating weeds on outfield, bunker banks and the like and applying a PGR (with maybe a light rate of tankmix compatible iron) is a job well done in my books under these conditions. Bear in mind with your PGR rate, the type of grasses you’re applying to because as we know, not every grass species reacts the same to a T.E PGR application with Perennial Ryegrass the least-affected and Poa annua var. annua, the most I think.
Two months of contrast – April 2017 and May 2017….
You know we spend alot of time racing along and seldom do we look back at yesterday, last week or even last month, such is the pace of modern-day life (or maybe it’s just me :)), but I thought it would be useful to look back at April and then contrast it with May to date (and projected data to month end) so you can see how strinkingly different the two months are from a growth perspective.
April was characterised by cool, easterly winds, no rain and low night time temperatures and you’ll see from the data below, there were only two days out of 30 that the Growth Potential exceeded 0.6, in other words, good growing conditions.
Contrast that with May then during which I think we will have 20 days where the G.P will exceed 0.6 !
You can download these graphs here
Ok that’s me…
They’ll be no blog next week as I am moving house and therefore taking some time off. (The chance of BT not screwing up my Broadband is I think low)…..The good news is one of my Hedgepiglets obviously survived whatever took four of them a month ago and was out feeding last night. Little does he or she know that as soon as I have my new garden looking less like an extension of a dining room and more like a naturalised garden, he will be ‘moved’. I also intend to offer it as a site for Hedgehogs from animal rescue
All the best…have fun with the clippings this week and dig out that factor 30, you’ll need it…