Hi All,

Alot of people ask me about this coming winter and likely snowfall / frost and these questions are set against the background of regular spoutings from our media and online turf publications regarding what’s likely to occur weather-wise. On the right is one such clipping with widespread snow predicted by ‘Experts’ for this October. Well contrast that with the image below from Meteoblue showing a peak of warm air pushed up from Africa and responsible for giving us our current barmy day and night temperatures and you’d be right to be a tad confused……

Image courtesy of Meteoblue

So what do we know?

In my humble opinion we know that it’s likely that sometime during this winter we’ll see a repeat of the cold-air blocking event that I’ve highlighted in previous posts and this will bring artic conditions.

We don’t know when this is likely to occur because my limited knowledge shows no system yet available to predict blocking events. Lastly, predicting long-term weather patterns, longer than 10 days is one for the story books. Weather is a wonderfully, variable phenomenon and it’s attraction to all of us is it’s unpredictability, sure we’re getting pretty good at 5 day forecasts now, but 30 or 60 -day forecast, no, that’s for la la land at present…

General Weather Situation

Talking of weather forecasting systems, my long term (10day Unisys) system is off-line at the moment, so I’ll be updating the blog with a weather outlook when it comes back on line again.

This week is one of sunshine and showers with alternating bands of rain mainly affecting the west side of the U.K and Ireland, but some fronts will be strong enough to push east into the Midlands and East Coast regions. The South-East should be mainly dry, with less chance of showers. As we go into November, temperatures will be mild due to the strong southerly wind pattern that will dominate this week, pushing mid air up from Africa and the Mediterranean.

Interestingly, this will be the fourth year in succession that we’ve gone out of October into November with mild / warm weather conditions, so maybe there is a pattern developing here ?

For the start of this week we continue with mild air, temperatures in the mid-teens and rain affecting Ireland through the day.  (Incidentally, early last week, some areas on the east coast of Ireland received a months rainfall in a day (4″) , courtesy of a torrential band of rain that extended up from the South-West of England, Wales, the west coast of Scotland and the east coast of Ireland.)

Rain showers will also affect the west side of the U.K in a line extending up from Cornwall and these will move slowly eastwards through the day, but as they do, amounts will lighten, so more like drizzle / light rain for the Midlands.  A new band of rain arrives into Ireland later today and this moves eastwards into the west-side of the U.K overnight, with most areas receiving rain through the day on Tuesday morning, but because it’s a band of rain, the interval will be short-lived the further eastwards you go. It’ll feel cooler on Tuesday, before a new band of mild air arrives on Wednesday, along with some very strong winds.

This sets the tone for the rest of the week, with lots of showers pushed along on a mild, strong southerly wind, but the showers will be more prevalent over Ireland and the west side of the U.K. The heaviest rain band looks to occur on Friday morning with some good amounts falling in central England, but lighter in the south.

The weekend is a tricky one to predict, but I think the wind will move round to the north as the strong low pushes eastwards and this will bring much cooler conditions, with a chillier feel than of late, but some brightness, so maybe a good fireworks evening 🙂

Agronomic Notes

The combination of a mild air flow and moisture means a much higher Fusarium pressure this week, (as predicted last week) and with the strong winds from mid-week onwards, there will be very little chance to apply any type of spray this week. The only spray window according to Meteoblue will be at the end of the week, as the winds begin to die down.

Nutrition-wise, it’s definitely a week to apply granular fertiliser if you are practically able to do so, so late applications on non-green areas are good to go. On greens I like to wait until the soil temperature has settled down below 10°C before appying winter granulars and in the meantime manage the interim period with light rate water-soluble fertilisers and turf-hardening tonics.

Soil temperatures will continue to hold up this week, courtesy of the mild rain, so seeding is still viable, but the window is coming to an end. Any seed already in the ground should get a nice kick this week with the combination of moisture and temperature, so hopefully some recovery will be forthcoming in bare areas resulting from the summer deficit.