Hi All,

As my mini update suggested last week (sorry if some of you received it twice, our server had a bad morning), the temperatures are set to change significantly from tonight as a northern trough pushes down to influence our weather. (See graphic below)


Image courtesy of Meteoblue

It certainly won’t be the Snowmageddon being reported in the papers, there will be some snow about this week, with a higher risk on Thursday, but more to the point, it will feel extremely cold for a few days, before temperatures rise a little as we move into the cold, dry period I forecast for the end of this month.

Cold, dry in my books is the best winter weather, we can still get golf around, do winter projects and function, it’s far more preferable to the extremely wet end to November we had in 2012.

General Weather Situation

For Monday we have a band of rain moving diagonally (/) down the country, it’s just cleared Ireland and presently stretches from west Wales up through northern England to the eastern border coast. This will sink slowly south through the day, reaching The Midlands for late afternoon (wet run tonight then 🙁 ) and the south of England, this evening. Say goodbye to mild air because it’s much colder air that’s following it down.

Overnight into Tuesday, that cold air is already here, pushing wintry showers into north west England and possibly north-west Munster. As day breaks, those wintry showers have moved down the west coast of the U.K and will give rain, sleet and snow over north Wales, before slinking off. Elsewhere for Ireland and the rest of the U.K, we’ll have a cold, bright day after a frosty start, with a bitter northern wind keeping temperatures to low single figures, quite a change I think you’ll agree…

Overnight into Wednesday, a new band of wintry showers moves into north-west Scotland and pushes slowly south giving falls over the mountains for sure.  As it moves south, it’s forecast to mainly fall as rain over northern England during the morning, reaching The Midlands by lunchtime. Temperatures will be a bit up on Tuesday, as the wind breifly swings round to the west, but as it strengthens, it moves to the north-west, increasing the windchill. A band of isolated rain is also due to move down the Leinster coast on Wednesday afternoon pushing into Munster before it fizzles out during the evening. The U.K rain reaches the south by the evening, so another wet, cold end to the day, but by evening, it’ll have cleared away to leave most places dry, clear and frosty. I say most places because there’s a risk of wintry showers over North Wales and the Highlands again for Wednesday evening and it’s this band that may cause the most issue going into Thursday.

For Thursday, those wintry showers over north Wales are projected to sink south and affect most of Wales early doors, falling as a mixture of snow, sleet and rain depending on your altitude. Amounts will be light though and I expect the showers to have dissipated by daybreak. The wind will have strengthened even more from Wednesday pushing in from the west, north and north-east through the day and adding significant windchill. More significant is the front moving down from Scotland, which looks to start off Thursday with snow over the north-east of England, by daybreak it’s projected to reach northern England and fall as a mixture of snow, sleet and rain. Again there’s a risk of wintry showers running down the east coast of Leinster, most likely isolated to Wicklow and I expect Lugnaquilla to have a Christmas Pudding topping by the end of the week 🙂 . During the morning rush hour, this band of wintry showers should have reached The Midlands, pushed along on a strong north-west / north-east wind again (and again it’s a ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ of snow, sleet and rain that will fall). At present it’s projected to affect central and western parts, rather than the east, south-east of England, but since wintry showers tend to be very difficult to forecast, it’s this front I’d be concentrating on with my forecast modules, i.e keep an eye on it during late Wednesday / early Thursday.

We close out the week with the wind changing round to the north-east and pushing rain in from the continent, some of which may fall as snow further north. At this stage it looks like the east side of England (north and south of The Wash) will pick up most of the rain, but the south-east may be in for some as well. Ireland looks on the most part dry, save for some rain flirting with the east coast of Munster and Leinster during the day. During the afternoon, that east coast of England rain moves west to affect The Midlands and Wales, pushed along by a strong north-west wind. The only benefit of the north-east windstream (in my books at least) is that it’s likely to push a lot of Waxwings in from Siberia / Scandinavia, hitching a ride so to speak.

The weekend looks like being a bit grim really, with a strong north-easterly wind and lots of cloud cover blown in off the North Sea, so dull, dreary and cold, with a biting wind keeping temperatures down in the low single figures. Further north and west, I think you’ll have the best chance of the sun maybe, for Saturday at least.

 Weather Outlook

BlockingHighNov2013As mentioned a few weeks ago, I predicted the formation of a blocking high for the end of November and lo it has come to pass 🙂  As you can see from the graphic, this high will push wet air above and around it, though it’s worth keeping an eye on that south Atlantic low later on next week. From the early part of next week, it should go dry, remain cold, but we’ll lose those strong, north-easterlies, though the wind will still be that way inclined (or easterly / south-easterly) so the chance of frost at night, but daytime temperatures should be high-single figures, so not bad really.  Looking slightly further ahead for the end of November / start of December, I think that South Atlantic low will push in, changing the wind around to the south and bringing some rain, but milder temperatures as well. It’s worth stating that the models don’t agree on this, one says the low will push in, the other that the blocking high will stay in place.

 Agronomic Notes

My mini-update last week was intended to give a ‘heads up’ to the onset of cold conditions, specifically because I knew a lot of lads were looking to spray at the end of last week and for me it was important to get the product applied on Friday, so it had 3-4 days of uptake potential before the temperatures dropped off. Hopefully you all managed to do so because from now on things will be getting trickier from a spray and uptake perspective.

Personally I’d leave things be this week, let the cold winds / weather pass through and then look to next week to do any application of fungicides, turf tonics, etc. At least dry, cold means that the risk of Fusarium will be decreasing and so the disease pressure should reduce significantly from now on (for the foreseeable that is)


Changing holes in the winter…

A bit of lateral thinking required here, but I was watching the latest circular from the USGA Record Section, always a great source of free information. Their latest video highlights the issue of constantly changing holes on UltraDwarf Bemuda, now stay with me….their issue is that new hole plugs looks unsightly because they don’t blend in as the grass is dormant during the winter, so they cut 3 permanent winter positions in their greens and use a plastic cover to hide the pin cup when not in play, they then just take the cover off and put the pin in when they want to move the pin position.

It got me to thinking whether this isn’t a viable process over here during the winter, so instead of having the issue of trying move pin positions on greens during extended periods when the ground is frozen (if you play in frost that is), you have one pin position already cut and covered by a plastic cover (see video here) and you just take the cover off and put the pin in when you want to use it. So this allows you to move play during extended periods of frost without having to try and take a new hole plug and of course get the old one to blend in. Now you may already be doing this, I may be totally off the beaten track (not uncommon), but have a look at the video and see what you think…

Ok that’s it for now, full intray and all that….wrap up well this week from tomorrow…

Mark Hunt