Hi All,

General Weather Situation

After a simply glorious weekends weather for many, it’s all change for the start of the week as the warm, high pressure that’s dominated proceedings begins to slip away and a cooler low moves in by mid-week. With a slower jet stream speed, this means that low pressure system will stay in charge for a good while, bringing rain, cooler temperatures and a brisk wind over the next week, with an increasing chance of heavier rain by the start of next week.

Regional Specifics

Monday brings a band of showers over Ireland, that move steadily westward into Scotland, the West and North of England and with it cooler temperatures on a northerly wind. As the skies clear behind those showers, temperatures may drop to give a ground frost in places, but that’s probably the only frost risk this week.

A heavier band of rain reaches Ireland on Tuesday afternoon /evening and briskly pushes west as the low pressure begins to exert itself. Winds will swing round to the west / south-west, bringing rain into the Wales, the West of England by Wednesday a.m and the rest of England by Wednesday p.m, though it will lessen in intensity as it moves eastward .  It’ll then be cool, with daytime temperatures ranging from 11 – 14°C and night times from 5 – 8°C, mainly dry with only light showers around for the rest of the week, and a good deal of sunshine. Winds will be from the West – South-West, but not too strong, so acceptable for spraying.

Outlook

The slow jet stream speed means the low pressure will not be moved out of the way quickly, so I expect it to still be in charge next week and intensify bringing cooler / colder air down from the North, with the possibility of heavier rain as we move into Easter week, particularly mid-week.

The wind for next week will swing from the west to the north, so it’ll be colder than this week and at present that low pressure looks reluctant to shift.
For Easter, it’s still too early to say, you’ll have to wait to next Monday to see if it’s stay indoors weather or a bucket and spade job.

Agronomics

After the big temperature hike last week and over the weekend, areas will have dried out significantly, but I expect all areas to receive some rain over the next 7-10 days, so that will mean steady growth with no night frosts and no growth checks. There’s been a good deal of Fusarium around with the high temperatures and heavy dews and I expect this to hang around for awhile yet, but slowly the growth rate of the grass should begin to exceed the speed of infection / spread.

If you have granular fertiliser to go out, this week’s the time because the chance of a rain window is high over the next week or so and with cooler temperatures, a granular will be handy to maintain a consistent growth rate or gain good recovery from any April aeration.

It wouldn’t surprise me if greens lose a bit of colour this week, even if the growth rate is acceptable, this is normal for this time of year and it won’t be long before Poa seedheads become the main concern for many. Normally it’s the start of May for England and at least 10 – 14 days earlier in Ireland, but I’ve already had reports of the commencement of seeding on higher height of cut areas, so it isn’t far away folks. Remember, with the dry March and warmer temperatures, it’s likely that the Poa plant will hit the survival button earlier this year. That said, the cooler weather that’s predicted may just put this on hold and we’ll end pretty close to that May date for the commencement of seeding.

All the best.
Mark Hunt