Hi All,

Just thought I’d sneak in an update before setting off to the GCSAA Educational Conference / Show for the duration of next week.

General Weather Situation

As predicted we’re currently sitting in the grip of a deep low pressure that is rattling in gale force westerly, but mild winds over the south of the UK and cooler, wintry showers over Ireland, the North of England and Scotland. The air temperature here in the Midlands is a balmy 10.7°C and the soil temperature is currently sitting at 7.2C, but it’s definitely hang onto your hat weather :P.

Looking ahead, I can see a line of low pressure systems forming off the east coast of America and this suggests a strong Jet Stream will dominate for the time-being, so it’ll be a slow, bumpy flight out to Orlando, but a well-quick one coming home. The outlook is one of mild, low pressure, punctuated by short periods of colder, calmer weather as one weather system moves through and before the next one arrives.

Regional Specifics

Over the weekend, the wind will continue to be strong / very strong and it will push rain into Ireland, Wales, the Midlands and Northern England with wintry showers in Scotland on Saturday. The main rain pulse will push diagonally across the U.K and Ireland on Sunday and will give a wet day for Ireland and Scotland, but elsewhere, dry and mild (Wexford and Wicklow may stay dry till mid-Afternoon).

After this rain band, the weather will settle down, so the start of the week will be quieter and cooler with clear skies and possible ground frost on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, however the next low pressure system arrives into Ireland on Wednesday and across the U.K on Thursday, so winds strengthen, swing round to the south-west and temperatures rise again. Rain is expected to reach Western Ireland and Scotland by Tuesday night, early Wednesday and then move into the rest of the U.K over Thursday and Friday, so a potentially wet end to next week.

Next Weekend and Outlook

Next weekend looks like being mild and calmer, as we experience another temporary lull, before the next low arrives early w/c 14th February.

Agronomics

We can’t really complain because for the last three years, the start of February has brought very cold weather and snow cover, so this is a welcome change in my mind.
With mild temperatures, we start to see growth on higher height of cut areas and it gives a chance for areas affected by the winter snow to begin to recover.

With soil temperatures >6°C, we will see growth initiated on alot of areas, so it’s the first chance to grow out dull, damaged, winter grass.

None more so than on tees, approaches and collars, some of which have been battered with Snow Mold.

I’d be looking to scarify / verticut / brush these areas in order to remove the dead and matted grass and then give them a light, quick release granular feed to get them moving, before scheduling the main renovation / overseeding for March. The lull between the low pressure systems is an ideal time to do this, so for the South, this will be Monday / Tuesday. Monday and Tuesday also represent the best spray days if you’re looking to spray, though this window will be tighter in Ireland and Scotland because of the higher rain pressure.

Light aeration on greens, micro tining, solid tining, vertidraining, etc is also pertinent as this period of weather represents a great opportunity for the grass plant to develop roots. These short days hold back top growth and thereby prevent the plant using its stored energy to develop leaf, rather than root growth. This also applies to turfing.

Ok, there won’t be an update next week unless I can overcome my jet lag next Friday when I return.

All the best.
Mark Hunt