Hi All,

Firstly, a quick thanks to Paul in I.T for managing to animate and slow down the Unisys weather loop that’ll be a regular feature of my blogs, I hope it’s easier for you all to interpret.

Unisys 10-day weather loop

Image courtesy of Iain Richardson, Richmond Park - 15th Oct, 2011

Well after some truly beautiful autumnal days, with early morning frosts and low lying mist, it’s all change now as we enter a period of unsettled, cooler and undoubtedly wetter weather over the next 7 – 10 days. As predicted last week, a cool, low pressure system (see above in blue) is moving down from the north bringing a change in wind direction and temperature over the course of the next few days. Winter is definitely on the way, as last night I heard my first Redwings flying over, a winter migrant coming over from Scandinavia to feast on our rich crop of berries.

General Weather Situation

For the start of the week, this low pressure system will bring rain into Ireland, Scotland and Wales from the early hours and this will push south and eastwards across England through Monday,  clearing to leave brighter, drier conditions later on Monday. These conditions will prevail into Tuesday and Wednesday, though it’ll feel noticeably cooler as the wind swings round to the North-West.  Although it’ll be mainly dry, there’s always a chance of showers pushing through on that brisk wind, but these are more likely down the west coast of the U.K.

For Thursday, rain moves into Scotland and the North of Ireland and this rain slowly pushes southwards on Friday across Scotland, Ireland and down into the North of England, North Midlands reaching all areas of the U.K later on Friday and continuing into Saturday, so a wet start to the weekend is on the cards, but it will feel a little milder.

Another significant rain front is predicted to reach the Irish coast on Saturday and move across England through Sunday bringing more heavy rain, pushed through on a strong Westerly / North Westerly winds.

Temperatures will be on a the cool side early on in the week, reaching their coolest by mid-week (barely double figures is predicted) after which they’ll recover a little, but low teens is the best that can be expected.

Outlook

This pattern of cool, low pressure systems is set to continue next week with another low forming up after this one moves through during the early part of next week, so it looks like being sunshine and showers, with quite a bit of rain (thank god) for England particularly and no sign of the last few years, late October blocking event, that brought barmy weather conditions for the start of November, but it’s early days yet…

Agronomic Notes

The arrival of rainfall in conjunction with warmer soil temperatures (+5°C vs. last year) will increase disease pressure from Fusarium, no doubt, and the combination of heavy rainfall and high winds will make spray days a premium, so hopefully you’re all sorted from a preventative fungicide perspective.

One other area that’s certain to increase is worms with the arrival of the first significant rain of the autumn sure to increase casting activity.

I’d also expect to see quite a lot of etiolated growth, through the cooler temperatures will probably hold back it’s potential to look as bad as it did over the summer.

Although it’ll be cooler than of late, I expect soil temperatures to hold up ok over the next 10 days, so any seed in the ground should pop through and establish quite quickly.

Nutrition-wise, we’re moving into low temperature release, granular territory and after the predicted rainfall arrives, it’ll be a great time to hit moss, particularly on back tees, bare areas with a granular mosskiller.

All the best.

Mark Hunt