As predicted the first rains for pretty much 6-7 weeks arrived at the end of last week and very gratefully received they were too by golf course, sports pitch and garden alike.
Above is a schematic of the rain currently moving north east across the U.K and Ireland so you can see the some areas are in for a clattering. Last week I did a talk to the south west Scotland BIGGA section near Irvine, it was the driest I’ve ever seen Scotland and I promised them rain and better night temperatures, well lads you have it now and sorry my talk kept you from your golf 🙂
There’s plenty more rain to come this week, but it’s not all good news. Last week’s rain brought the first humidity we have experienced for a good while and that triggered a number of turfgrass pathogens into action. We will see more of that this week I’m sure…..
General Weather Situation
So starting off Monday we have a heavy rain front crossing Ireland and the U.K from the west and moving north and east. So during the morning this rain will push north and eastwards across Ireland and the U.K moving into central and eastern parts by the early afternoon. It won’t be particularly heavy rain for most with the exception I think of The Lake District and the south west / Central Scotland where it could be potentially heavy. Pushed along by moderate to strong southerly winds we will see a succession of showers across the U.K and Ireland but potentially the south east of England will miss the majority. Before you curse your luck down there, your time will come this week 🙂 Ireland should see a brighter afternoon as will the U.K across some parts but still plenty of showers around. Temperature-wise, mid to high teens are to be expected after a mild night but perhaps touching 20°C across Ireland on Monday.
Overnight into Tuesday and another tight band of rain is expected to just brush south east Munster and Leinster and then push into the north west of England, south, west and north Wales and The Borders by the morning rush hour. South and central areas of England are set to start dry and noticeably warmer after a very muggy night indeed when I expect temperatures to remain low to mid-teens. Through the morning and afternoon we will see more persistent rain across North Wales, the north west and far south west of Scotland as well as northern England. For Ireland they’ll be plenty of showers across the west coast of Munster and Connacht and some of these may push across to Leinster during the morning. By the late afternoon these will clear across Connacht and leave a dry end to Tuesday for you. The same is true for the U.K, a dry end to the day with only the risk of showers moving along the south coast / I.O.W type area as darkness falls. Temperature-wise, the heat builds across the southern half of the U.K with warm south westerly winds, so expect low twenties here. Further north for northern England and Scotland a couple of degrees lower under that cloud cover. The same for Ireland.
Moving briskly along to Wednesday and we’ll see rain pushing into the southern half of the U.K overnight, especially along the south coast and south east of England which has missed out on the majority of the rainfall action up until now. Further north and west of this band of rain, it’ll be a dry, pleasant morning with plenty of cloud but also some sunny intervals. During the late morning, afternoon the rising tempertaure will kick off some showers across Ireland and the north west of Scotland. At the same time, that heavy band of rain affecting the south of England will move north slowly (great it’ll follow me home then 🙁 ) during the afternoon on Wednesday pushing into The Midlands, East Anglia and eastern England up to The Humber Estuary I think. That band of rain will be very slow moving so that means it’ll be heavy and if you are under it, expect some heavish rainfall totals. By Wednesday night it will still be affecting the East Midlands and eastern England whereas the rest of the U.K and Ireland should finish dry. Feeling much cooler on Wednesday as the winds swing round more northerly / north westerly.
For Thursday we see that band of heavy rain finally clear the east of England but it wouldn’t surprise me if some areas receive an inch of rain through the course of Wednesday and early Thursday. Once that rain clears east it’ll be a dry start for most on Thursday with milder temperatures as well as the wind swings more westerly again. So a drier day on Thursday for all initially but during the late morning we will see some showers push into the west coast of Ireland and the south west and west coast of England and Wales up to The Borders. These showers will push eastwards over the course of Thursday afternoon and potentially consolidate across the south and east of England as we go through the day with a risk of some very heavy rain for the far south east on Thursday night. Milder on Thursday with mid-teens for most but feeling cooler than this across Ireland and Scotland with low teens here.
Closing out what will have been for some a wet week and Friday is set to bring heavy rain overnight to the south east and east of England and this will still be present by morning rush hour pushing up central and eastern England into the north and east early doors. Another day of showers for Ireland but skies will clear across England as that main rain front pushes through. So during Friday afternoon that rain is projected to affect northern England and southern Scotland clearing The Midlands by tea time just in time for me to go out and get muddy on the mountain bike :). Again that rain front will be slow-moving so the north of England and southern Scotland along with the North of Ireland may see a very wet end to the week indeed. Closing out Friday that rain will clear the north and push into the north east of Scotland turning wintry over the hills and mountains. Temperature-wise, low to mid-teens I think for most and maybe a little cooler again across Ireland and Scotland with light to moderate westerly winds in situ.
So how are we looking for the weekend ?
Well as you can see from the above weather projection for Sunday, we have a cool, low pressure system set to sit right over us so that means cool and unsettled with potentially more heavy rain across the east and central areas of the U.K later on Saturday and through Sunday as well. As you can see the colours are greens and light blue which means cool as well as a north easterly wind is set to take the edge off the temperatures through the course of the 2nd part of the weekend. So my prognosis is plenty of rain around for the U.K and Ireland over the whole of the weekend with cool temperatures courtesy of that northerly airstream.
So it looks like we will start next week cool and unsettled with that low pressure system still sitting over us and it’ll only slowly move away eastwards over the course of Tuesday leaving a dry day for Wednesday. Enjoy it because by late Wednesday we see a new Atlantic low pressure system set to rattle in so that’ll displace the cooler temperatures and bring a milder, south westerly airstream but will plenty of rain so brace yourselves for a wet, windy and wild end to next week if the weather pans out as I think it will.
The rainfall was welcome for sure but it is always a game of plus and minus this turf lark and you rarely get one without the other !
So with rainfall comes humidity and with humidity a wet grass leaf and with a wet grass leaf comes disease…
You can clearly see from the graph below the significant effect on night temperature and humdity a change in wind direction and rainfall brought about last week…(Black box area)
From the above you can clearly see how the night temperature (blue dotted line) increased markedly from 11th May and you can also see the effect on humidity once the rain arrived. It shot straight up > 95% which is ideal for the development of turfgrass pathogens.
So if you’re seeing Microdochium nivale, Superficial Fairy Ring, Waitea Patch, maybe Red Thread (though I haven’t as yet) possibly, then this is the reason why….
Just to add a further sprinkle of negativity I’d expect to see more this week because we have a temperature spike this week that’ll result in both a grass growth and a disease flush on Tuesday for the southern and central regions of the U.K, whereas Ireland will be getting their growth flush today because of the warmer temperatures out west. Scotland will also see a mini-version of this over Monday and Tuesday.
Time to work surfaces…
This growth flush may be very welcome where greens and other areas just needed a bit of a helping hand to get a surface back to 100%. Importantly it’ll also mean that you have the ability to start verticutting, brushing and grooming, light spiking, microtining, etc and then topdressing because we have consistent growth.
Now ok it’ll go cool after this flush and then coolish at the end of the week / weekend but I still think we will be warm enough to keep some consistency of growth going thereafter and for sure the soil will be a whole lot warmer. A good time to work an overseeder over thin areas from winter wear or as I saw last week, on tees affected by grazing from resident Leatherjacket grubs..
Plenty of large resident grubs about currently and I’ve seen the first Daddy Long Legs adults emerging so that’s the first hatch of the year.
Nutrition and PGR’s going forward…
So no immediate need for nutrition this week because we will have the afore-mentioned growth flush and with mild night time temperatures for the first part of the week, that’ll keep us ticking. Yes we will go cooler after this but I think the warmer soil and rain will keep consistent growth through this period until we return to the milder, south westerly airstream mid-week, next week, so maybe just iron to maintain colour and keep any disease pinned back for the time-being. Do we apply a PGR with this knowing that the growth is flushing ? Well I don’t think we will need to rely too heavily rate-wise with a PGR application, but keeping things under control with a light application of TE wouldn’t go amiss for sure with a higher rate on areas like tees, outfields and the like. My point is with the wildly fluctuating temperatures we shouldn’t go too heavy-handed with any application until we have stability.
Ok that’s it for this week, enjoy (if that’s the right word) the rain 🙂
All the best.