Just a quickie update on the weather front heading our way for Friday.
My hunch on Monday appears to be correct and this looks to be falling as rain rather than snow during Friday morning / afternoon, though initially there may be a brief period of snow as it hits that cold air over the south-west of England and Wales in particular.
The rain is due to reach Kerry around about midnight and then move across Ireland during the night. It’ll then push into the south-west of England and Wales early doors (7 ish) and move across country (north and east) through the morning, reaching ‘The Smoke’ and The Midlands around lunchtime, by which time it’ll have cleared most of Ireland (except the north) and by late afternoon it’ll be into the lowlands of Scotland, again falling as snow initially before turning to rain. Air temperatures will begin to rise with the advent of the rain to 6 – 8°by midday, so a rapid thaw will set in. The rain will take the best part of the day to clear the U.K and fortunately will be followed by a relatively dry Saturday before more rain arrives over Ireland and the north-west of England / Scotland for Sunday.
The problem with this temperature rise and rain combination, is that it is falling onto very frozen ground, with sand-based greens in particular frozen to a depth of 3-4″, by my reckoning. The rain will cool quickly as it hits the soil, so will only slowly thaw out the rootzone below. This means a high likelihood of flooding for all areas until the rootzone is thawed through, preceded by that very tricky initial phase when the surface becomes unstable as the thawed surface rootzone slides across the frozen rootzone beneath.
This intial phase represents potentially high damage to the grass sward with root shear, and in addition will also present a health and safety issue with a very unstable surface underfoot. My advice would be to keep golfers / players on temporary greens where practically feasible until enough of the surface has thawed out to impart stability underfoot. It will probably be pretty academic advice anyway because the rain could be reasonably heavy in places (12mm ish is my best guess) so if this is falling onto frozen ground, it’ll probably close the course itself due to flooding. (but you never know with the golfing fraternity)
The good news is that after this initial period, we look to be into a spell of mild, westerlies, so no White Christmas (damn and blast to my bets on Paddy Power), with little in the way of frost. There will be rain though 🙁
All the best.