January 9th

Hi All,

After last weeks high winds and rainfall, this week is going to be quiet and pretty uneventful with high pressure dominating, so reasonable temperatures, not a great deal of sunshine, little rain and light winds. Towards the end of the week, temperatures will drop and the risk of ground frost increases. For my continental friends (Chris, Michael, Tommy) who haven’t seen the sun for awhile now and have had plenty of rain, I think you’ll also dry up, but it will feel colder 🙁

Thanks to all of you so far who’ve sent me rainfall data, I can tell you that the driest place in the U.K and Ireland received 223mm in 2011 and the wettest, 2670mm ! Keep them coming please, particularly any from the South-West, North-West and North East of England, Scotland and Wales.

General Weather Situation

High pressure is in charge for this week as the graphic above shows, so that means pretty settled conditions and a chance for all of the disruption from last week to be put right. Monday will be settled with light westerly winds and light showers over mid-Wales, the North of England, elsewhere it’ll be dry and a little dull. Tuesday looks a similar picture only with some light showers moving across Connacht, Munster and later Leinster. Wednesday follows a similar pattern with some light rate into Scotland, but again, elsewhere dry, if a little dull with hazy sunshine. Temperatures should be 9-10°C during the day and only a little cooler at night. Thursday sees some rain in Scotland, but again pretty dry elsewhere and the same on Friday, though by this stage it’ll feel colder and there’s a strong risk of frost towards the end of the week, particularly in Scotland and The North, but extending south by Friday.

Weather Outlook

For the weekend, it looks dry and settled, a little breezier on Saturday from the south-east, but it’ll feel noticeably cooler with a widespread frost on Saturday and Sunday expected. For the early part of next week the next low pressure system begins to exert its influence so that means the winds pickup from the west / north-west and the likelihood of rain increases, with winds strengthening from Tuesday / Wednesday onwards and heavy rain moving through. Once again we’re protected from the worst because of the resident Atlantic high, but it’ll be cold, windier with some of those showers being wintry in nature.

Agronomic Notes

The feedback from most people is that the Christmas period showed only light Fusarium activity if disease populations had been kept low through October and November. Coupled with milder weather towards the end of December, greens responded well to pre-Christmas tonics and this has brought them into the New Year in a good, healthy state by and large. That’s not to say that Fusarium has been absent, just that the majority of clubs have come through reasonably clean, but no doubt they’ll be some horror stories.

If your site is dry enough (and I appreciate many aren’t), this week would provide a good opportunity for vertidraining, spiking , slitting because the reasonable temperatures and low level of top growth will be encouraging the plant to bias its energy towards root development, instead of shoot / leaf production. That said, I’ve noticed outfield, higher height of cut areas have put on some new growth over the last 7 days, though I think this will come to a halt by the weekend.

All the best..

Mark Hunt

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