Hi All,

Well I’m all moved in and nearly all boxes unpacked so that’s a result. They say moving house is one of the most stressful situations and I can concur. The good news is within 6 days of me putting food out at night I got my first Hedgepig visitor and I am so happy about that.. 🙂

Probably not the greatest week to be resuming my weatherblog because we have a trough situation in the jet stream forming as we speak and that’ll bring in a succession of low pressure systems over the next 7 days or so, which means rain for all and alot for some.

So lets put some detail on it…

General Weather Situation

So Monday kicks off very windy and a sign that low pressure is already pushing in rain on a cool south westerly airstream. So we see heavy rain first off on Monday morning over Wales, the north west of England and most of Scotland and a vestige affecting East Leinster as well. Some of this rain will be very heavy. I would pick out Wales and the north west / north of England as potentially worst-affected by the rain with accumulations up to 1″ (25mm) likely. During the morning this rain will slowly move diagonally up from The South West, Wales to the north east of England with areas south and east of this seeing showers rather than heavy rain. By the afternoon the first front of rain will be clearing western Scotland but will still be affecting the afore-mentioned areas with the possibility of rain along the south coast of Ireland as well. By tea time the worst of the rain has cleared from all but the east coast of Scotland but it still remains in situ in that diagonal band stretching from The South West, across all of Wales and up to the North East.  Through the evening we see further rain creep up the east coast of Leinster and the main U.K rain front will push east and south overnight to affect all areas. It’ll feel cooler than of late with low to mid-teens likely in a gusty to gale force south westerly wind.

Overnight into Tuesday and we see that rain still affecting a large portion of the U.K from Glasgow south and it’ll be slow to clear away. By the morning rush hour the heaviest rain will be over The Pennines, north of England, but also East Anglia. Ireland and southern Scotland, north, east and west of The Clyde looks to start dry. Through the morning that band of heavy rain will slowly move eastwards clearing western coasts and Wales and bringing heavy rain to the north east of England, east coast of Scotland by early afternoon. Ireland and most of the U.K south of this rain front will have a mixture of sunny intervals and showers pushed along by a strong westerly wind. It won’t be until late on Tuesday night that the rain finally departs from the north east coast of the U.K. We will still see frequent showers across Ireland and the west coastline of the U.K though so not entirely dry. Central and southern regions of England will clear through the afternoon to leave a sunny end to the day. On the cool side again with low to mid-teens likely.

Moving onto Wednesday and we see a much drier picture across Ireland and the U.K, but it won’t last as the next band of heavy rain is set to push into south west Munster by lunchtime and this front will then move north and east across Ireland during Wednesday afternoon to bring heavy rain to most areas of Ireland. For the U.K we are set for a drier day with hazy cloud and some longer spells of sunshine, most likely across the south east and East Anglia. There’s a risk later of light rain into The South West and West Wales on Wednesday evening, a vestige of that Irish rain band. Still strong to moderate westerly winds but feeling a little warmer on Wednesday as most areas enjoy the drier interlude.

Overnight into Thursday and that band of rain crosses The Irish Sea and pushes into North Wales and the north west of England to give a very wet period of weather here. With saturated ground from earlier in the week there’s likely to be some further flooding here. As we start the morning rush hour we will still see thick cloud and some rain over Ireland and this will consolidate into heavier rain for south west Munster as a new rain front pushes in and moves north and east across Ireland during the morning. For the U.K we will have heavy rain affecting the north west of England and Wales principally with thick cloud and lighter rain over Scotland. They’ll be some rain over The Midlands as well during the morning. By lunchtime on Thursday the heavy rain will be across Ireland and the north of England. South and east of this you will miss the worst of it with just hazy cloud cover likely.  Through late afternoon the band of heavy rain continues its march northwards into Scotland and the north of Ireland. By late evening we will see skies clear from the south to leave a nice end to the day. Not so for Scotland and The Borders where the rain will become heavy I’m afraid. Ireland will also see skies clear as the rain pushes north into northern Connacht and Donegal by close of play Thursday. Warmer feeling again on Thursday as temperatures touch high teens away from the rain band across the south of England and perhaps for the south east we may see low twenties and the risk of some thunderstorms as well. Mid teens are more likely under that rain.

Closing out what will have been for some a very wet week indeed Friday looks to start dull with some showers kicking around across the north of England. As we progress into the morning we will see showers push across Ireland and into Wales, but east and south of this they’ll be plenty of sunshine to end the week. This drier sunnier weather will extend north up eastern coasts as well. Scotland looks to hold dry most of the day but with thick cloud there’s still the possibility of showers cropping up later. Through Friday afternoon we will see more showers across Ireland, The South West and Wales and some of these will push inland as well. Closing out Friday we will see further showers affecting western coasts of England, Wales and Scotland and heavier rain move into the south west of Ireland I’m afraid lads.

So how are we looking for the weekend ?

Well not great really for some areas as we have another low pressure pushing in from the south west so I think Saturday looks like being a potentially very wet day across Ireland, Wales, the north  and north west of England and Scotland. I also expect rain for The Midlands and south of England but following the pattern of this week, not as much as the afore-mentioned areas. This low pressure will push in strong westerly winds on Saturday reaching gale force in places so not the greatest of weekends. By Sunday I think the worst of the rain will have passed through and this will leave a drier, showery picture with lighter winds, but plenty of cloud cover and a duller feel to the day. Temperature-wise expect mid to high teens perhaps touching the twenties away from the worst of the low pressure across the south east of England if you see the sun.

Weather Outlook

So after a stormy week with lots of rainfall for some and strong winds, are we looking any better for next week ?

Yes, I think we are with high pressure pushing in from The Atlantic to bring us some crucially drier weather and a little warmer as well to boot. So a drier week is predicted for next week, still with the risk of some rain across the south of England perhaps but essentially dry and settled for all of us with lighter winds and warmer temperatures. By the end of next week we have a southerly low pressure creeping up from The Bay of Biscay and this might bring an unsettled end to the week / weekend across the south.

Agronomic Notes

First off we visit our usual GDD location of The Oxfordshire, Thame to see how May 2017 stacked up as a GDD month.


Well looking at the GDD stats we can see that May 2017 was the strongest growing May temperature-wise we have recorded since we started this process back in 2010. A total monthly GDD figure of 254 represents a 22% increase over 2016 and in reality means we can log May 2017 as one hell of a growth month. (Obviously I’ll be putting more detail onto this later :))


Cumulatively the strong GDD month of May hikes 2017 above the previous best growth year, 2011, and effectively means we have experienced nearly 55% more GDD this year than we have at the same point last year (end of May), that’s some increase. At this stage I’d like to point out that of course temperature is only one part of the growing equation and we know that many areas didn’t see this growth through the spring because of lack of rainfall in April particularly. Setting that aside, it’s some increase, global warming I hear you say, who knows ?, well not  Trump anyway as he does a brilliant impersonation of an Ostrich, bury your head in the sand, sweep it under the carpet and it’ll all go away matey……..unreal.

Local Situations – GDD and Rainfall – May 2017

So how do we look across the U.K using May data ?


Well a pretty even picture growth-wise as all locations showed high GDD and pretty consistent rainfall as well after the drought that was April, 2017.


For Ireland we have lower GDD totals but very consistent and for once Claremorris in beautiful Co. Mayo is right up there with their friends in Kerry (not that there’s any rivalry there like 🙂 ) Another feature of May 2017 was the consistency of the rainfall and even Valentia didn’t lead the way this month (though I suspect it will in June 2017 !).

All in all nothing we can really complain about from a GDD and rainfall perspective so if you couldn’t grow grass in May this year then you have a problem closer to home maybe. More to the point I think this month the problem wasn’t growing grass but stopping it growing !

Local Situations – Growth Potential and Rainfall – May 2017


You can see from the graph above the extent of the growth during May 2017 and particularly during the latter part of the month, when the last 10 days represented optimum growth on a daily basis. Moisture wasn’t limiting either because of the rainfall in the middle of the month, so really a perfect storm from a growth perspective, a warm soil and moisture.

This much growth means that surfaces were growing very fast on a daily basis, clipping yields were (and remain) high and so greens speeds will have suffered accordingly.

I expect a lot of you would have been applying PGR’s during May to various areas be that greens, tees, outfield turf, bunker banks and the like.

You should remember however that the latest work from the U.S suggests that Trinexapac-ethyl lasts about 120GDD in the grass plant before it comes out of suppression in a greens model. (Actually they state 200GDD but its calculated at a base temp of 0°C and this is roughly equivalent to 120GDD using a 6°C base). If we applied a PGR on the 1st of May, the calculated longevity on greens was 18 days for the first application, but only 11 days for the next one applied towards the end of the month…(see graph below)


I stress this is a greens-based model and doersn’t apply to outfield where the height / frequency of cut, sward composition is very different. You can read about TE-PGR longevity and its relationship with temperature here

Ireland wasn’t quite as severe from a growth perspective but you can see the same growth flush towards the end of the month. Continuing my Co. Mayo bias, here are the stats for Claremorris…Again you can see the flush at the end of May but it wasn’t as severe or sustained as it was for the U.K.


Moisture = humidity + temperature = disease…


You only have to look at the above graph showing the high daily G.P and the almost continual  100% humidity recorded during May to understand that conditions have been very conducive to disease activity.

Being out of the loop for a week means I can’t give you totally up to date feedback but I’ve seen lots of Red Thread on Fescue and Rye surfaces, plenty of Microdochium nivale activity (although it’s generally being grown out as fast as it is forming itself) and I also imagine that Superficial Fairy Ring will have been very active. The latter tends to really come into the peak of its activity when we have rain after a prolonged dry spell. It wouldn’t surprise me either if temperatures and humidity were high enough during the latter part of May to trigger the commencement of Anthracnose, although it’ll be another 4-6 weeks before we see actual symptoms on the grass leaf (and of course by that time it’ll to be late to do alot about it)

Getting spray days to treat disease and in particular keeping a surface dry will be tricky over the next week or so especially in Ireland, Wales, the north / north west of England and Scotland, good luck to you on that one…

Ok that’s it for this week, onto the in-tray, well I would do if I could see it, I think it’s packed in the box marked ‘Office-avoid opening under all circumstances’ 🙂

All the best…

Mark Hunt