April 11th – Mini Update

Hi All,

After another two days of rainfall when areas have received between 15-40 mm falling on what is already saturated ground, one could be forgiven for retiring to a dark place and sitting with your head in your hands, rocking gently back and forth.

Coupled with that, yours truly here gave you a brilliant blog (not) this week imparting the news that next week looks pretty dire as well with a deep Atlantic low pressure system on its way mid-week, next week.

It seems very much to me like Groundhog day doesn’t it but this isn’t funny, businesses are struggling for cash flow with course closures, loss of buggy and F&B revenue to name but just some of the issues facing golf clubs. Cancelled fixtures on sports pitches and a looming cricket season are also ‘in your face’ pressures on the Groundsman side of the fence.

So it’s nice to be the purveyor of some better news with a change in next weeks synopsis 🙂

That low pressure system due to arrive mid-week, next week, is now projected to come to a grinding halt courtesy of a continental high pressure system. Now as we know when a low and high pressure system butt up against each other usually it either means north winds or south winds dominate the weather picture.

Well this time it looks like it’ll be south winds and that means they’ll pull up warm air from The Med. So by this time next week expect us to be looking at 18-20°C and possibly higher for the south of England.

There’s still some discussion about the exact position of the high and the low, east / west, but the effect of funneling southerly winds and warmer temperatures is clear.

Here’s a Netweather graphic to illustrate the temperature gradient next Thursday…

Image courtesy of Netweather.tv

South winds and warm temperatures will mean E.T rates will ramp up and so that means we will get some really good dry down of surfaces. Now I know we have a lot of moisture to shift but believe me it’s better to be looking at this scenario than the one I posted on Monday and you’ll be surprised just how quickly surfaces change.

Now that low pressure will still be out in The Atlantic so it’s likely to still affect the west of Ireland next week before moving off but even there it shouldn’t be the end of the world and temperatures will pick up afterwards.

Growth Spike

Looking at the Meteoturf readouts below from 4 geographical locations you can see the predicted GDD / G.P figure for the next 7 days is already high and that’s really before the heat arrives in earnest mid-week.

To put it into perspective, some of those forecasted GDD totals for the next 7 days exceed the total amount we got in February and March combined !!!!

So we are going to see a really significant flush of growth next week as those temperatures kick in and the plant responds to elevated soil temperature and available moisture.

Not a major problem on greens unless you have heaps of N down, though speed may suffer for a short while. The issue is likely to be outfield areas, tee and bunker banks and the like where just getting machinery out to cut will be challenging in the early part of the week. Hopefully the situation will improve as we go through the week and you’re able to get on top of it.

Will it last ?

Well according to Metman James, who is currently living it up in Vienna attending the snappily named ‘European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018’ event ( 🙂 ), temperatures will settle back down again by the end of the week / weekend.

Looking at the 850hpa output below on his Twitter feed you can see the spike in temperature quite clearly with only one model predicting otherwise….(we will ignore that for the sake of everyone’s sanity)

Image courtesy of Metman James (https://twitter.com/metmanjames?lang=en)

So ok some more rain to come this week before things pick up but at least we have something around the corner that will help our major issue at present, that of saturated playing surfaces.

True, it’ll throw us another turf curve ball in terms of a growth spike but from where I’m currently sitting in my dark room, rocking on my well-worn office chair, I’ll take that any day of the week.

All the best.

Mark Hunt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *