A chilly Monday morning to start the week with our second ground frost. We are set in a very unusual pattern of weather at present with an easterly aspect to the wind and so dominated by a contintental rather than an Atlantic airflow. As usual in life there are positives and negatives for us all, it’s dry and that’s a boon as normally on turf this time of year it’s ‘wet leaves and worm casts’, but it’s colder as well. This may well be the first year for awhile when we don’t have a very warm end to the month, but of course things can change. (and probably will :))
The reason for this change in weather pattern is of course down to our old friend, the jet stream, which is currently weak and fragmented so it won’t be whistling those Atlantic storm systems over any time just yet.
The image below shows how it currently sits vs. a strong winter jet stream which pulls over wet weather.
So how is this week looking for us all ?
General Weather Situation
Well if I picked a word to describe this week’s weather feature it would be like describing a Formula One race….DULL….(How they manage to make a highlight program stretch to more than an hour is beyond me)
With low pressure swirling cloud over us and the origin of the current wind flow somewhere over a cool Poland, it’s no surprise then that Monday’s forecast features a lot of cloud cover. Some of which is heavy enough to bring showers this morning to Donegal and later Connacht. For the U.K, it’s a cold, calm start with light winds picking up through the morning and some breaks in an otherwise dull cloudscape. There’s a ridge of rain sitting all the way along the east coast of the U.K from Newcastle to Kent and at present it looks like it may just move inland off The North Sea to bring showers to eastern areas this afternoon. Winds will be light and northerly intially but will pick up strength through the morning. If you’re lucky you may see some breaks in the cloud cover this afternoon. So a mix of cloud, some rain showers for the west of Ireland and east coast of England, but otherwise a nice, but cool autumn day. Temperature-wise we will just break into the teens in most places after a low single-figure start, but Monday night will be milder with that cloud cover.
Onto Tuesday and very little change really with some rain pushing in off The Humber and Wash inland, probably no further west than the A1 (in my experience) and some breaks in the cloud, the further west you sit, so Wales may enjoy a sunny Tuesday morning experience. Again the highest risk of rain will be along eastern coasts and particularly the north east which inherits the thickest cloud cover for Tuesday with it being heavy enough to bring rain through the morning and afternoon. That wind will now be in the north east and moderate in strength, so it’ll feel cool in it and not much warmer out of it. Dry for a lot of areas again though so I’ll take that.
Moving into mid-week and Wednesday another largely dry and dull day with some breaks in the cloud likely across the west country and Wales, but otherwise it’s a re-run of Tuesday. Any risk of rain will still be confined to The North East and perhaps some showers coming off The Wash again. Ireland should be largely dry with perhaps a chance of a break in the cloud across east Leinster during the afternoon. For Scotland, another dull with thick cloud obscuring the sun and keeping things on the cool side I’m afraid. Winds will now be set easterly and that’s why we are experiencing all this cloud cover.
Moving onto Thursday and a total copy of Wednesday so dull with the best chance of breaks in the cloud across Ireland and the west coast of England. If anything there’s likely to be more cloud cover across the south of England during the day so this will peg temperatures down to low double figures I’m afraid. The wind may again push in showers across The Wash, Humber and North East of England during the morning. Still easterlies in charge but maybe a tad lighter in wind strength.
Closing out a dull as dishwater week, Friday looks to be slightly different as shock horror we see a change in the wind direction to southerlies and that will herald a change in our weather, but not a significant one. Friday will see a rain front push into west and north Connacht in time for the morning rush hour and this rain band will move slowly south and east across country during Friday morning so a wet end to the week of Ireland. It is however projected to be a narrow band so east and west of it will be dry. This band of rain will push into the west and north west of Scotland by late morning / lunchtime and move slowly eastwards giving a potentially wet end to the day for the south west of Scotland in particular, but I’d expect most of it to be wet apart from the north east tip of Aberdeenshire. South and east of this rain we will see a dull day in the south but with some breaks likely to reveal watery autumn sunshine so all is not lost young Phillip. There may be some rain showers affecting the south west and south coasts of England through Friday morning as well. Winds lighter on Friday so it’ll feel just a tad warmer, esepcially if the sun shows its face.
Onto the all-important weekend and Saturday doesn’t look great especially for the western coast of the U.K as that vertical band of rain which affected Ireland on Friday has moved eastwards overnight, so early doors Saturday it’ll stretch from the south west of England, up through Wales and all the way to the north of Scotland. To the west of it, Ireland looks like having a largely dry Saturday with some sunny intervals across the east coasts and maybe some light showers across the west. During Saturday morning that rain will move slowly eastwards but fizzle out as it does so, so maybe not reaching The Midlands and the central regions of England. Further north, it’s likely that Scotland and the north of England sees that rain move slowly across from west to east through the day I’m afraid. Tricky to call really as it’s likely to change through the week and will either move more or less eastwards than forecast today and this is due to a low pressure system moving up from The Bay of Biscay (the one I warned about last week). It should feel milder though.
Sunday sees that low pressure begin to push a more showery, but crucially milder feel to the weather for the east and south of England and those showers maybe preceded by the odd thunderstorm, probably not till the afternoon though so maybe some sunshine to start the day but they’ll be rain around as well, especially p.m. Since the low pressure is southerly-orientated, it’s likely that the further north and west you are you’ll miss the worst of its initial focus. So another dull day I think for many with the highest chance of seeing some sun across the west and north west with a chilly north easterly wind as a companion.
The start of next week is pretty straight-forward to forecast because with low pressure sitting in the Bay of Biscay it’ll funnel easterly winds with rain across the U.K, so I’m predicting a cool and wet start to next week I’m afraid. As we progress through the first part of the week, that’s the way it’s set with a continuing easterly / south-easterly airstream (that’ll be three weeks now) pushing sunshine and showers across the U.K, but with more emphasis on the east and south. The rain wil begin to slink away as we get into Wednesday and temperature-wise it could well be that the north and west sits slightly warmer as they’re furthest away from that low pressure system. They are however likely to pick up a low pressure system pushing rain and westerly wind in from later on next week, maybe Thursday onwards. Tricky thereafter as most of the models disagree, some say a more northerly aspect to the wind will pull that low down, others say an Atlantic high pressure will pull in and stabilise the weather. I’ll go with the latter.
With two air frosts so far this October, it certainly is a colder than usual start to the autumn or it feel like it anyway. That said when I look back at last year’s temperature and wind stats we did have a drier than normal start to October in 2015 and the reason was precisely the same as this year, an easterly / south easterly airstream due to a fragmented jet stream.
We also dipped close to freezing at night in the first part of October 2015, so before we all start heralding this as the forerunner of a severe winter because the current weather is making your ears and tip of your nose tingle, let’s not forget that last November and December were the mildest on record ! (see air temperature stats below)
From a turf maintenance perspective you’ve got to take this type of weather over the alternative, a westerly mild and wet airstream which brings higher humidity and for sure more disease pressure. So I’m happy to write at present that I’d expect disease pressure to be reasonably low this week with maybe an increase on the cards towards the end of the week.
In terms of applied fungicide longevity, with the cooler temperatures and hence slower growth rate, I’d be expecting your fungicide’s efficacy to be extended through this month so no rush to apply anytime soon if you’re in week 2 or 3 of an application but do keep an eye out this weekend if we get that predicted hike in temperature and rainfall as well.
You can see this uptake window quite clearly in the GDD / G.P information on Meteoturf with a significant increase expected over the weekend along with some rainfall as well. If you are due your next application (i.e say you’re coming to the end of week 4 since your last application) then you will pick up good activity if you’re able (wind strength) to apply prior to this coming weekend.
The same applies to nutrition, if you have areas where you’re scheduled to make a granular application then applying prior to this weekend will be ideal because with rainfall and temperature, you should gain a good response.
With this autumn likely to be our last with Cabendazim (though Ireland lost it awhile ago) and our first without Chlorpyrifos, it’s sure going to be interesting seeing what Mother Nature has in store for us over the coming winter and spring. Can’t say I noticed the ‘plague’ of Daddy Long Legs predicted 3 weeks ago, so let’s hope the cooler weather will work against activity going forward though a number of clubs are reporting significant Chafer Grub activity with Badger damage the main issue relating to that. Unfortunately I can’t see any chemical replacement for either on the horizon, Brexit or no Brexit 🙁
Short and sweet this week..
All the best.