Well we are nearly half way through November already and this week we will see a marked contrast in temperatures, starting off mild with a warm westerly wind in place but by the weekend we’ll have some really chilly northerlies calling the shots and likely snow showers in some areas of the north. Below is the Unisys schematic of today and Saturday to illustrate the difference between the start and end of the week.
Driving home from fishing yesterday evening I noticed how large the moon looked and gather tonight we are in for a 1 in 20 year event when we have a full moon at the same time when it is closest to the earth (and so appears larger), a so-called ‘Super Moon’. Sadly judging by the amount of cloud about I don’t think many of us will get to see it.
So onto our topsy-turvy weather….
General Weather Situation
So as intimated above we have a cloudy start to Monday with very few of us seeing the sun. We have plenty of rain showers around today especially down the west / north west side of the country. Ireland also will see plenty of showers but amounts shouldn’t be too heavy, more like light rain / thick drizzle. The north east of Scotland and England will if they’re lucky see some sunshine later in the day and that might just give them a glimpse of the Super Moon, lucky you. Winds will be from the west, moderate to gusty and that’s what will be rattling those showers against the west coast fo Scotland, England and Wales through the morning especially, but it will be very mild with temperatures hitting 15°C in many areas. Further south those winds will be much lighter.
Onto Tuesday and we have some overnight rain pushing into the west of Scotland, north west of Ireland and this will have moved south by dawn to give rain for the north west of England, North Wales and the south west of Ireland. As we progress through the morning this rain will become isolated to Wales and possibly eastern England with other areas drying up and possibly seeing some hazy sunshine pushing up those temperatures again to the mid-teens. Through the afternoon we will see most of that rain fizzle out with maybe just the possibility of that east coast rain drifting south into the south east of England as we approach dusk. It’ll be another very mild night with temperatures not dipping below 10°C. Winds will continue from the west but later on will drop and swing more northerly.
Mid-week means Wednesday and overnight we see a band of rain push into north west Scotland and drifting south. Some of this rain may indeed be heavy. Likewise we will also see some light rain pushing into Connacht in time for the morning rush hour in Sligo 🙂 Through the morning the rain over Scotland will sink south into north west England but lighten as it does so with areas brightening up after it has passed through. By lunchtime we will see that rain isolated to north west England, West Wales and possibly across the North Devon moors. East of this we look dry with some good breaks in the cloud across the east especially. Ireland looks to have a mainly dry day with just some coastal showers for Connacht. It’ll be cooler though as the wind picks up and begins to draw in some cold air for Scotland so those showers over the north west and Central Scotland will become wintry in nature as we go through the afternoon, especially over higher ground. Cooler down south as well in that strong westerly wind but temperatures are still likely to hit double figures / low teens.
Moving onto Thursday and that cold air begins it’s move southwards pushing a mix of mainly cool rain and some wintry showers across the west of Scotland, England and Wales. Ireland also looks to start Thursday with plenty of rain across the country. Yet again the south and east of the U.K comes out better with dry conditions and some sunshine as well through the day. That western rain stays pretty much entrenched along the western coastline of the U.K stretching all the way from Scotland down to Cornwall. Plenty of showers for Ireland too through the day as well. Feeling much cooler on Thursday as the cold low is sinking south and again it’ll be very windy with tightly-packed isobars. I’d expect a marked drop in temperatures because of the wind chill factor with only mid-single figures over Scotland and high-single figures for England, Wales and Ireland.
Onto Friday and we will see a vestige of showers, now wintry in nature across the west of Scotland, The Lakes, Wales and the south west of England for dawn on Friday. The same for Ireland with the west / south west likely to see showers but a brighter, cold day for the east of Ireland. The same for central and eastern U.K regions with plenty of sunshine around but feeling raw in that strong, cold westerly wind. Through the afternoon those showers over the north west of England may slip slightly inland across The Pennines but this will be the only blot on an otherwise dry and sunny landscape. Cold again though as we are now fully gripped in that northern low pressure system so I think mid-single figures is all you’re likely to get wherever you happen to be. As skies clear temperatures will drop and I think we will see a frost starting off proceedings on Saturday.
Typical really that we have mild weather at the start of the week and then Ice Station Zebra for my last weekend of fly fishing for the season. Expect a bah bah grumpbags Mr Hunt for anyone foolish enough to engage me in conversation this time next week 🙁 So as intimated above a cold Saturday and overnight we will see a mix of rain and wintry showers push into the north west of Scotland and Ireland so by dawn on Saturday we will see this mix of rain and sleet across Ireland, Wales and the north west of England. Maybe also some snow showers across The Highlands as well. It wouldn’t surprise me to see some snow on the tops of the Wicklow Mountains either with a potential for a dusting on Lugnaquilla. Through Saturday this band of wintry showers drifts south and east into northern England and possibly the North Midlands as well. Other areas will be bright, cool and sunny after a sharp frost. Much lighter winds though for Saturday after the strong winds of the preceding week with a change in wind direction to the south west heralding the arrival of a more north westerly low pressure. Sunday looks a drier day for most parts except Ireland where that change in wind direction will push a good lot of rain across the country during the day, maybe a good day to get sorted for Christmas ! By Sunday afternoon that westerly rain will have crossed The Irish Sea and will be affecting the west coast of the U.K, quickly pushing inland through the late afternoon, evening, pushed along on a strengthening south westerly wind. Temperature-wise, nothing to shout about with high-single figures likely initially but they will rise through the day as milder air pushes in so a midl night in store for next Sunday.
Not surprising when we finish the weekend with a south westerly low pressure in place that we start next week windy, wet and mild with a lot of rain likely across all areas, but mild for sure. As we progress through the first part of the week the low sinks south and weakens so the winds will be more southerly-orientated but it won’t necessarily remain warm with increasing risk of first I think for the second half of the week. Plenty of rain around as well for the south west and south but because the low is in the south it means Scotland may get the lions share of the drier weather. So starting off mild, getting cooler as we progress through the week and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we get a heavy lump of rain towards the end of next week / weekend.
Before I start the agronomics I’d just like to say thanks to all the lads and lasses in the Devon and Cornwall BIGGA Section for making me feel so welcome last week when I was down that way giving a couple of talks. You’re a long way down for sure from sunny Market Harborough but it was very enjoyable, so thanks Graeme, Jason and Tracey in particular for making it a good day. I will get copies out of my talks later today to anyone who has requested them.
No surprise really to be talking about disease during November and if you look at the Growth Potential chart above featured on Meteoturf you can see a strong peak for tomorrow due to the mild overnight temperatures and high day time ones as well. Since the atmosphere is humid this will mean very strong disease pressure (I suspect you’ve already seen it overnight) for the start of this week so best keep an eye out. If you suffered from activity at the end of October then it’s likely you’ll see some re-occurrence of this on scarred areas, particularly around the circumference of the scar where the disease population is highest.
It may be worthwhile just putting a little dab of paint on the edge of any larger scars just to see if it’s moving because sometimes it’s hard to tell.
I’d expect to see some aggressive Red Thread as well with the temperatures and humidity coming over the next couple of days but this should also conincide with a growth flush so we should be cutting it out as quickly as it appears.
Above are two images, the top one had an iron treatment with a smidge of N and the bottom one had nothing. Not the best photo in the world but top centre in the bottom image is aggressive Red Thread mycelium so it shows that turf health still has a part to play with respect to the intensity of Red Thread as a disease.
Once we get to Thursday this week then we should be fine as temperatures will be dropping away and as we saw last week, disease activity follows suit. You may also see a little activity in Anthracnose-affected areas with the wet weekend weather saturating the surface and then mild temperatures promoting fungal growth and it will be more Basal Rot orientated.
Looking ahead I think we will see the same events unfold at the start of next week as well as milder weather pushes in after a chilly interlude. It’ll be tricky to get a good srpay window this week with the rain and also strong winds later in the week so I’m hoping you’ll have everything buttoned up coverage-wise from your fungicide.
Now that we have had some rainfall and temperatures are heading south later in the week, now would be a good time to get granular Mosskiller products out on mossy areas because the moss will be well wetted up and most affected by your iron application.
The same goes for wear areas, pathways from green to tee and the like because soil moisture levels will be up now and so you’ll see some benefit whereas a couple of weeks ago we were still very dry in some places.
I appreciate applying nutrition in the autumn / winter is always tricky but I believe that if your turf health is good, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages and this is especially true on winter season pitches, tees, etc that receive plenty of wear through the winter.
We know that moss for example tends to colonise grass swards aggressively from November to February. This lesson was taught to me many moons ago when we still had the active Diclorophen or Super Mosstox as it was also known. I visited a customer who had applied the product on greens at the beginning of November but had run out so his last green received nothing. When we looked at the same greens in the early spring, the one green without treatment had a much higher moss population. I think during this period of the winter when light levels are low, moss will out-compete grass so if we can hold it back with an iron treatment and at the same time encourage the grass to grow to tip the balance in its favour, I think that will mean less playing catch up in the spring. The latter can also be tricky applying a moss control product in the spring as you need consistent growth and no plant stress. The last two spring’s have been cool and dry so this makes applications hard to make.
Ok a short blog this week because I still have to complete my talk for the BIGGA South West and Wales Regional Conference as Tracey will not be a happy bunny 🙂
All the best..