Hi All,

As I type this I can hear the neighbour scraping ice off his car windscreen before going to work and the air temperature is sitting at a cool 1.5°C. Still we’ve had a lovely week and a better weekend than I thought, as the north winds didn’t get up to the strength I predicted. Well my hunch that the weather looks to be changing appears to be correct and in one sense it’ll be a welcome change as I expect all areas to receive some rain over the next two weeks. Whether the movement of the blocking high pressure out into the Atlantic is a permanent one remains to be seen, but one consequence of this is that it’ll allow cooler, wetter air from the north to affect our weather patterns. So the other part of the change won’t be so welcome, because it’s going to get noticeably cooler, particularly during Tuesday to Thursday this week.

General Weather Situation

Monday will be a settled day, bright and sunny and nice after a chilly start with localised ground frost. For Connact and Munster there’s some rain kicking around and also for Scotland and The North of England, where those showers will turn to snow on hills as that colder air pushes into the north. During Tuesday, that colder, wetter air, sinks southwards and brings rain, sleet and some snow (higher ground) across the U.K, reaching the south by the afternoon. That rain and sleet hangs around overnight so that will keep the frost away and this cold rain / sleet won’t clear the far south till the morning rush hour on Wednesday. Ireland I think will have sunshine and showers for Tuesday, but again noticeably cooler, so don’t forget your buff 🙂 .Wednesday will be a brighter, cold day after a frosty start, with sunshine and showers, though these will be few and far between, pushed along on a chilly north-east wind. Again I’d expect a frost on Wednesday night, but as we go into Thursday temperatures will start to recover as a warmer high exerts itself. Since this high is in the Atlantic, Ireland will feel the benefits first although I expect some showers in the north and Leinster later in the day. The U.K will be dry after another frosty start on Thursday, but as we go through the day it’ll feel warmer. For Friday, rain moves into Scotland and pushes down southwards through the day, but amounts will be light and will fall as showers. I think that will also mark the end of the frosts for the time-being.

Outlook

The Bank Holiday weekend looks like starting off cool on Saturday with a chilly north-east wind and the chance of showers along the coasts so wrap up well. Sunday looks a better day, warmer as the winds swing round to the North-West, with a chance of showers practically anywhere, but as we go into Monday, the winds strengthen and this signifies the arrival of a new low pressure system which is set to bring welcome rain for the first part of next week. Ireland, you’ll have it similar to the above, but slightly warmer as you’ll be closer to the high pressure, so temperatures will be pretty typical, early teens. With winds and cloud cover, I don’t expect frosts next week, so growth should pick up.

Agronomic Notes

Last week’s warm temperatures did eventually dry surfaces out, as E.T rates increased, but only in the top 5-6mm as below that moisture was present.

This was illustrated well for me when I looked at some  fairways areas that had been overseeded 4-5 weeks ago. The seed took 7-10 days to germinate and in the 3 weeks that it’s been growing, some of the rye seedlings had developed a root system of 15-20mm !. That works out as 5-7mm of root development per week and is some going in my books. It also illustrates the benefit of drill seeding because it gets the seed into or in close proximity to the soil and crucially below the surface fibre layer, which is subject to drying out and crusting. (see photo)

The arrival of rain this week will be welcome to many I think, even though it’ll co-incide with a cold blast. Soil temperatures will remain low this week, because although it was warm during the day last week, the cold mornings and frequent frosts have kept the soil temperature down. You can see this on the weather stats for March below (Thanks Sean) where during the day, the maximum air temperature was > 20°C, but the minimum was 0°C, so the soil temperature never really broke into double figures for long.

So growth will continue to be slow and practically non-existent on greens, no bad thing I guess before the Bank Holiday, but if you want recovery from aeration, it’ll make life a bit harder. Next week’s rain and milder night and day temperatures(if they come to fruition) should kick things off nicely and I think we’ll see our first true growth on all areas, so let’s all generate some positive vibes and hasten some decent growing weather in 🙂 !

All the best….

Mark Hunt