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Hi All,

As we close out June this week it’s certainly been a month to remember and not for the right reasons weather-wise (I’ll steer clear of politics).

One of the aspects of my job that I do enjoy is your sense of humour so following last week’s events and the weather, I did have to smile when I received these two images on my phone though I appreciate neither is a laughing matter before anyone writes in…

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Last Thursday saw some massive thunderstorms float up from the continent into the south east and south of England and brought heavy rainfall. I tracked their path through Wednesday night into Thursday. (because I’m sad like that..)

Thunderstorms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I fished the beautiful River Trent on Thursday evening to get away from all the media crap and what a therapy it was 🙂

Didn’t escape the rain though as you can see from this row of nicely-organised rain clouds that came my way !

Hoveringham

I had reports of 70mm + of rainfall from the south of England for Wed / Thur and I know more followed after this. I read in New Scientist last week that these peaks and troughs in the jet stream now have a name and are officially called ‘Omega Blocks’ because they form the characteristic Ω pattern (Upper Case Omega in Latin apparently)

So is there any end in sight to the continual run of low pressure systems / trough events ?

In a word….’nope’ but for the south I don’t think the rainfall levels will be as high as in recent weeks and we will have more wind so that means higher E.T and more drying…. (how to put a positive spin on things # lesson 1)

General Weather Situation

So Monday sees us firmly in a south west air stream and low pressure influencing our weather so I’d expect a west and north theme to the rainfall this week and that’s the way it looks. So we already have showers on the radar over Ireland, N.Ireland and Scotland, but these are fairly fragmented so between them they’ll be some sunshine as well. Further south it is a drier picture, still with a chance of a shower though but I think with a stronger wind in place there is less of a risk of a deluge (because the rain wil be pushed through more quickly). That’s the way it looks set to stay on Monday, showers across Ireland and Scotland, some pushing into the north west of England late morning but further south and east it’ll be drier, breezy and they’ll be some sunny intervals as well. Temperature-wise, expect mid-teens for the north and Scotland if you’re under that rain and high teens during the sunnier intervals further south. The wind will be moderate to strong and from the north west.

Tuesday sees rain push into south west Kerry (where else ??) during the course of the early hours and move across Munster into Leinster by the morning rush hour. Further east and south across the U.K, it’ll be a sunny start to the day but cloud cover will soon build heralding the arrival of showers into the the west of Scotland, Wales and England during the morning. These showers will consolidate to form longer spells of rain during Tuesday afternoon and will mainly affect an area north of a line drawn from The Severn Estuary up to The Humber. Later into Tuesday evening the rain will sink south to cover all areas but dissipate as it does so. Similar temperatures to Monday with a gentler south westerly breeze pushing those showers along.

Onto Wednesday and we will see more rain, (ho hum) heavier in nature I am afraid push into the west of Munster and Connacht for dawn and then move rapidly across country reaching Leinster by mid-morning I think.  By early afternoon that rain will have reached the western coastline of the U.K affecting an area from the south west of England up to the south west of Scotland. Through the course of the afternoon that rain may indeed get heavier particularly across Wales and The Lake District. It should clear the west of Ireland at the same time though the east won’t lose it till later in the evening. By late afternoon it’ll be into The Midlands and south of England and then slowly move eastwards through Tuesday evening into the east of England but by then it’ll be dissipating. Similar temperatures to Monday / Tuesday with mid-teens in the rain, high teens out of it and accompanied by a gentler south westerly wind (hence the slow moving nature of the rain)

For Thursday we have most of Wednesday’s rain moving off into The North Sea to leave a reasonably dry overnight picture save for some light rain over Central Scotland. For the morning rush hour we see more rain move into south west and west Munster and this will again cross Ireland and N.Ireland through the morning. Further east for the U.K it looks a dry start with hazy sunshine in evidence but by mid-morning we see a familiar cloud base form signifying the arrival of that western rain front. By lunchtime that rain is into Wales and the south west of England and pushes eastwards on a brisk south westerly wind to affect all areas of the U.K by late afternoon / early evening. As it pushes eastwards it should clear Ireland by the evening time. A duller day for the U.K than earlier in the week and that’ll peg temperatures back to the mid-teens for most areas of the U.K and Ireland, so nothing to shout about.

Closing out the week we have a very unsettled picture over the U.K first thing on Friday but Ireland could start potentially dry (or at least drier than of late). Through the morning a swirl of showers will affect predominantly Northern England and Scotland but further south should stay largely dry. Some of those showers will push into the west coast of Ireland by late morning and then move south east through the afternoon with clearer spells in-between. At this stage, south of Nottingham looks to be less affected through Friday and we could even enjoy some longer spells of sunshine through Friday afternoon as that rain becomes confined to north western coasts. By Friday evening we have a progressively drier picture coming into play with any rain confined to The Lakes and therefore clear elsewhere. Temperature-wise we should be similar to Thursday, mid to high teens, highest in the south of England I think. Winds will be moderate and from the west.

The outlook for the weekend remains unsettled unsurprisingly with the west of Scotland / Donegal / north west of England looking to bear the brunt of any rain whilst the rest of Ireland and the U.K should see a reasonable day on Saturday with some good sunny spells, especially for the south and east. Later on in the day we may see some rain pushing into the south west of England and continue to affect Scotland and the north west of England. Similar temperatures to Friday, high teens, maybe just pushing into the twenties in the south of England. The wind will be moderate to blustery and from the west. Sunday looks a drier day for Scotland and the north west of England at this stage but there is a chance of further rain in the south west of England and along the south coast. Temperature-wise we might be a degree or two up on Sunday due to a lighter wind and high pressure trying to exert an influence.

Weather Outlook

So next week is a clear fight between high and low pressure as the former tries to push in over the course of Monday and stabilise the weather. So for the start of next week I think we will see a more settled picture than this week with warmer, drier conditions certainly for Ireland , Wales and the west / south of England. Low pressure won’t be far away though so it could still be unsettled further north. We look set fair until Wednesday / Thursday with a dry and settled week up until then but the projections then show a new trough forming and low pressure pushing in so we may then have a repeat of heavier rainfall events for the second part of next week. If this is the case it’s more likely over the west and north.

Agronomic Notes

June 2016 so far….

Our roller coaster ride of a month continued last week in terms of rainfall certainly with another high level recorded through Wed / Thur.

June26ytdGPRainfall

So we can see why we have such a growth issue on outfield, be that sports pitch or fairway / semi-rough / rough. Plenty of moisture availability on these areas dove-tailed into a daily Growth Potential ranging from 0.8 – 0.9, in other words close to optimum. In the south and east of the U.K you may get an opportunity to apply a PGR this week before more rain arrives and if you’re looking at this I think Monday and Friday present the best opportunities (depending on where you’re located that is)

This same combination of moisture and temperature continues to drive turf disease so plenty of reports of Microdochium nivale, Superficial Fairy Rings, Waitea (not yet substantiated), the odd few spots of Dollar Spot (Precursors I call them) and from Scotland comes initial reports of Anthracnose Foliar Blight.

Anthracnose Spore Germination

We know from some of the latter day work done on Anthracnose that it really needs some sustained temperature over 20°C to initiate Conidia (Spore) germination. So I looked back at the daily weather stats for three locations ; Stirling in Scotland, Dublin in Ireland and Thame in England over the last 7 or so weeks to see how they compared…For Scotland to report the first signs of Anthracnose would suggest that they have had warmer temperatures than other locaitons.

Here’s how the stats look ;

MayJune2016ScoMayJune2016EngMayJune2016Ire

You can see from the above graphs that Scotland has indeed had the highest, sustained daily air temperatures, particularly between May 31st and June 10th. Studies have also suggested that the disease requires 12 hours or more of leaf wetness and with the frequent rain we have experienced this is entirely likely. The suggestion is that if conditions are optimum in terms of temperature and leaf wetness, the disease can go from infection to spore production (in other words pretty much a full cycle) in 10 -12 days.

So if we look at the peak in temperatures experienced in Scotland up to the 10th June, that pretty much concurs with the first signs of the disease being 10  – 12 days later.

But what about England, Wales and Ireland ?

Well I couldn’t find any daily weather station data for Wales before you lads criticise the lack of a Wales graph and for Ireland I had to go onto the Met Eireann site and lift the data day-by-day. (the lengths I go to to keep everyone happy :))

You can see though for England we have only had two short-lived peaks of high temperature (remember them ?) so I think it’s less likely for the disease to be an issue here, whereas for Ireland you did have 10 days of moderately-high temperatures but whether they were indeed high enough to trigger spore germination remains to be seen.

My conclusion is that by looking at the temperature data from the 3 sites, only Scotland has so far had high enough temperatures for long enough to initiate not only Anthracnose development, but the more damaging, Foliar Blight form of the disease.

For Ireland and England I can’t think the temperatures have been high enough for long enough to trigger this form of the disease so if you’re going to see it, I reckon it’ll be the basal rot form rather than foliar blight.

Nutrition

With frequent moisture and good temperatures it is tempting to forget nutrition, especially on outfield. The problem here though is Red Thread. Now I know I said last week that you are very likely to still see Red Thread on turf areas that have been fertilised but without a doubt you’ll see a heck of a lot more on areas that haven’t because of the climatic drivers to this disease.

I took these two images of an outfield area that had had a fertiliser application and an area next to it that had been missed. Hopefully you can see the difference in terms of Red Thread levels.

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Ok that’s it for this week, all the best out there and let’s hope that high pressure projected for next week manages to defy the odds and hang around for more than 2-3 days 🙂

Positive vibes everyone…

Mark Hunt