October 21st

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Hi All,

TinyLast week, I was walking from our office at Cambourne, Cambridge, in search of some decent coffee when I happened upon this little fella crossing the path. I gave him a helping hand to a nearby pond and on the way I decided to nickname him ‘Tiny’, why I hear you ask? Because he’s my-newt 🙂 arf arf

Ok, I can hear the collective groan from here… I’ll stick to the day job in future, I just thought a little humour was in order as it looks so grey, wet and miserable outside…

As forecast, this week was set to be unsettled and wet, with low pressure in charge and that’s exactly what we’re going to get for the most part…….

General Weather Situation

For Monday, we have plenty of rain around with a pulse of rain pushing into the south-west of Ireland / U.K early doors then moving north east to affect all areas through the day, with only the south-east of England and Scotland likely to miss the worst of it till later. Temperatures will continue mild though buoyed by the strong, southerly airstream.

For Tuesday, that rain will be predominantly affecting the west coast of the U.K initially, with just some lighter rain across the east coast of Munster / Leinster. Through the morning, that rain pushes eastwards to affect most areas west of the A1, with the east coast of England possibly brightening up and staying dry.  The Irish rain is also on the move, pushing across most of the country through the late morning and then by evening rush hour, a heavy burst of rain is expected into Munster, moving up later to also affect Connacht / Donnegal into the evening. Temperatures will stay mild, maybe a little down on Monday and the wind will stay from the south and be moderate / strong in nature.

Wednesday, sees another rain band crossing the U.K overnight and that intense rain pulse over Ireland is expected to sit over Donnegal early doors. The rain will be mainly west and north-orientated, so affecting Scotland more than earlier in the week, but further south in a line drawn down from Nottingham, there’s a chance of seeing the sun between the rain bands, particularly towards the east, south-east of the U.K . The same holds true for Ireland geographically in that the east / south-east coasts may end up drier by the afternoon. Temperatures similar to Tuesday, mid-teens with a south-westerly / westerly wind, moderate / strong in intensity.

Catch it while you can on Thursday, but we look to have a dry day on the cards, save for some light rain over The Highlands of Scotland. It will feel noticeably chillier though as the wind swings round to the south-east temporarily and pulls cooler air from the continent, so fresh, bright and breezy is the order of the day. I did say enjoy while you can though because more rain is projected to push into the south west of the U.K and Ireland on Thursday evening and this looks to give the north Midlands and north of England, a particularly wet start to Friday.

So we have heavy rain early doors over northern England and central / north-west Ireland, brightening up during the morning before more rain arrives into the south-west / west of Ireland / U.K and pushes north-east to affect most areas during the late morning / afternoon. Only the south-east / east of England looks set at this stage to escape this end of week rain. Temperatures will finish off the week mild again as the wind swings round to the south once again.

The outlook for the weekend looks a little drier you’ll be pleased to know, but cooler for most parts. That said, the west of Ireland and the U.K will play host to rain on Saturday morning and that may indeed linger through the day. There’s also the suggestion of another heavy band of rain pushing into Ireland overnight on Saturday and then moving east to affect the south-west of England and Wales on Sunday morning. I say a suggestion because models don’t agree on this. Either way for the U.K, I think Sunday will be the pick of the two days, outside the areas I’ve already outlined. Winds will be back in the south-west as a new low pressure system builds in The Atlantic, just in time for next week and it’ll be chillier than of late 🙁

Weather Outlook

So how’s it looking longer term? Bearing in mind over the last 5 years, 4 of them have seen us go into November mild to warm. Well, I don’t think we’re going to be tropical, but next week looks like continuing mild, with a south-westerly airstream and that means there’ll also be rain, with the chance of a heavy burst on Tuesday and towards the end of next week. At present there’s no sign that the mild, wet theme is going to end anytime soon. The jetstream is pretty much where it should be and currently it’s pushing in a succession of low pressure systems from The Atlantic, one after another, so that means mild and wet. There’s the vaguest suggestion that it may settle down towards the 2nd week of November, but that’s too far away to be accurate.

 Agronomic Notes

Disease Pressure…..Spray Windows…..Ho hum..

With the mild and wet weather of late (18.5°C here on Saturday / Sunday afternoons before the rain arrived), it’s no surprise that disease pressure is still high and the problem this week is that finding a spray day is going to be very difficult with the wind strength and the frequent rain. It depends on where you’re located, but overall Thursday is the only day in the week when you’re going to get a good window of opportunity I’m afraid.

Good Soil Temps !

On the positive front, the mild air is keeping the soil temperature up, currently I’m measuring 13.7°C, that’s 2-3°C higher than the same time last year, so that means growth will continue, allowing any scarring to grow out, It also means (as I pointed out last week) that uptake of XMS systemics will be good, though since the same conditions will also be encouraging disease populations, don’t expect to see an immediate knock-back when you apply a systemic. I reckon that it’ll take 5 days minimum before you start seeing anything in terms of efficacy, even with the mild soil temperatures.

There’s not much in the rain…

We currently aren’t getting much nitrogen in the rain by the way because I measured the nutrient content in the middle of a rain storm the other day (as you do, get’s the neighbours curtains fluttering).

I think it’s to do with the  direction the low pressure systems are coming from (South Atlantic), in fact there’s pretty much nothing in it from a nutrient perspective, it’s sitting at pH 6.0, which is normal and it’s within a gnats doo-dars of inert, in other words like distilled water.

Moss

If you can get out on the golf course and the wind and rain allows it, it’s a great time to treat moss with iron-based granular mosskillers, as the moss is well and truly wetted up by now. In addition, these type of products (low N – high Fe) work really well on low-play, tee areas – back tees for example, where there is a requirement for presentation, but not for growth. As you will no doubt have noticed, these areas receive minimal play and hence wear and tear, so build thatch more readily than ‘in play’ teeing surfaces. The fact that they build thatch makes them more likely to have moss as well, for reasons explained in my blog last week.

What’s in store for the Winter ?

A lot of people are asking me what’s in store for the winter, are we due another hard one like some people say ?

As you know I’m not a great fan of long-range forecasting, but it is interesting to compare where we were in October 2012, with now in October 2013. If you look below at the 2 snapshots taken from Unisys Weather, you’ll see the pattern of weather October 2013 (left) vs. the same day in October 2012 (right) is practically identical, though the jet stream is sitting a little lower in 2012.

Oct20132012Comp

Does this mean that we’re in for the same again ?

Well nature thinks so because the Fieldfares and Redwings have already started arriving from Scandinavia, (I saw the first ones 3 weeks ago or rather I heard them at night) though that may just be because they know this is a ‘Mast Year’, i.e the fruit and berry crop is outstanding due to the cold winter in 2012.

For all of our sakes, I really hope that the early indicators are wrong, as I lost more hair between November 2012 and March 2013 trying to run this business with my colleagues, than I did in the last 5 years prior to that, very worrying ! 🙁 Let’s see how things pan out but my bet is mild through to Christmas, so no flutters on Paddy Power for me this year 🙂

The truth is we don’t know really yet as most forecasters claim that the signals for winter weather tend to build through October into November, so at present it’s only just starting…For a really interesting and detailed explanation, take a look here

That’s all for now, hope you can stay dry .. 🙂

Mark Hunt

 

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