Tag Archive: Weather

September Weather Summary, Hurricane Nate and the Last Quarter Outlook

September Weather Summary, Hurricane Nate and the Last Quarter Outlook

National Weather Service summary of rainfall estimates across the Florida Panhandle in September 2017.

September was an unusually dry month across much of the Panhandle, considering we were all watching Tropical Storm Irma so closely.  You can see the red streaks where the outer-bands of Irma swung around on the eastern part of the region.  Leon, Liberty, Gadsden, Jackson, and Holmes Counties did get a boost from Tropical Storm Irma rainfall bands( red 5-10″), but most of the region was well below average for the month of September.  Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties were much drier than normal,  with some areas receiving less than 2″ (green) in September.

Rainfall measured in September 2017 at the six FAWN stations in the Florida Panhandle.

All six of the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations in the Panhandle recorded below historic average rainfalls for September 2017 (-0.5″ to -4.7″).  Jay was the driest location with only 0.8″ for the month, while 3.8″ was the highest total recorded in Marianna.  For the entire year however, the Jay station still has the highest total of 53″, while only 37″ of rainfall has been recorded in Monticello in 2017.  Through September, Monticello is 10.6″ below average thus far in 2017.

Temperatures did cool off a little in September.  The average air temperature dropped from 80° in August to 76° in September.  The average soil temperature dropped 5° from 88° in August to 83° in September.  The high temperature for the month was 94° on September 28 & 29.  The low was 60° on September 10, 11, & 12.  For a complete summary of daily temperatures and rainfall, download:  2017 Jan-Sept Weather Summary.  

Short Term Outlook for Hurricane/ Tropical Storm Nate

The major weather news this week is Hurricane Nate.  This was one of those storms that just seemed to pop up, rather than a long track streaming across the ocean.  Early preliminary forecasts placed the center of the storm track right through the heart of the Panhandle.  The current Forecast track is further west, but the western Panhandle Counties may well have some impact from this storm.

Nate is expected to be a much weaker storm than Irma was, but there will be significant rainfall right at the peak of peanut and cotton harvest.  Most of the state of Alabama will certainly be affected, as well as the western Panhandle Counties in Florida.  Farmers in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Escambia Counties can expect 2-4″ in the next 72 hours.

Wind may also be an issue, especially in western most counties of Florida. There is a pretty high probability of at least 40 mph wind gust across Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties.   Between the wind and rain, there are going to be cotton fields damaged that have yet to be harvested across the cotton belt.  For preparation tips for your farm review: Hurricane Preparation for Your Farm

Last Quarter Weather Outlook

The seasonal forecast for the last quarter of the year has changed considerably since last month.  The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has officially issued a La Niña Watch, which would  mean warmer and drier than normal weather for the Southeastern states.

Over the last month, equatorial sea surface temperatures were near-to-below average across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.  The most recent predictions from the NCEP Climate Forecast System indicate the formation of La Niña as soon as the Northern Hemisphere fall 2017.  Forecasters favor these predictions in part because of the recent cooling of surface and sub-surface temperature anomalies, and also because of the higher degree of forecast skill at this time of year. In summary, there is an increasing chance (~55-60%) of La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2017-18.  Climate Prediction Center

The CPC’s graphic 3-month outlook above reflects their changes in expectations from a coming La Niña .  This latest forecast may also mean another mild winter, which is not good for reducing insect population such as white flies, thrips and other key crop pests.

The AgroClimate fact sheet,  Impacts on Agriculture of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the Southeastern U.S., provides some guidance on how the two ENSO phases ( El Niño/La Niña) affect crops of different types.  For irrigated winter vegetables, the warmer and drier weather can be positive with less cold damage and less fungal disease pressure.  For cool-season forages this may not be a good year to invest in overseeding of perennial pastures, and instead focus on open land behind annuals crops with less competition for moisture.  Depending on how strong the La Niña influence is and how long it persists, dry conditions could delay planting of early spring dryland crops such as corn, melons, and annual warm season forages.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/06/september-weather-summary-hurricane-nate-and-the-last-quarter-outlook/

August Weather Summary & Harvest Outlook

August Weather Summary & Harvest Outlook

August was another rainy month across the Panhandle, but there was a wide variation in rainfall across the region.  The western counties had large areas with 10-15 inches (hot pink) and even some areas nearer to the coast with more than 15″.  The eastern counties were much drier, except along the coast with a range of 5-10″ (red), but there were isolated locations that had less than 5″ (tan).  As hard as it may be for farmers in Escambia, or Santa Rosa to believe, it got pretty dry in parts of Leon and Gadsden Counties in August.Florida showed up for the first time since June 20 in the U.S. Drought Monitor.  Quite a number of Southwest Georgia counties just to the north of Gadsden and Leon were moved into the Abnormally dry category at the end of August.

FAWN Weather Summary

The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also showed the variation in rainfall for the month of August.  The highest rainfall total was recorded in Jay with 9.6″ in August, with DeFuniak recording 9.5″.  Marianna was the driest location with only 4.5″.  Only the Marianna station recorded less than historic average for the month of August.  The average for all six stations was 8.0″ in August.

Through the first eight months, the Jay station has recorded 52.5″ in 2017, while only 33.9″ were recorded in Monticello.  All six stations averaged 43.5″ thus far for the year.  For the year, both Quincy and Monticello have recorded less than historic average for the first eight months of the year.  The Monticello location is 8.4″ below historic average for rainfall.

Soil temperatures heated up by one degree from an average of 87° in July to 88° in August.  The average air temperature held at 80°.  The high for the month was 96° on August 20 and 25, with the low of 62° on August 1. For daily temperature and rainfall records, Use the following link:  2017 Jan-Aug Weather Summary

Harvest Weather Outlook

The Climate Prediction Center is expecting above average temperatures and rainfall from September through November.  The latest projections call for 73% chance of warmer than normal temperatures and a 66% chance of higher than normal rainfall over the next three months.  It does not appear that the perfect harvest experienced in 2016 will return in 2017, but rainfall during this three-month period is historically lower than other months.  Certainly everyone needs to pay close attention to the tropics.  A major storm the size of Hurricane Irma could wreak havoc on peanut and cotton harvest for a large area.

ENSO Phase Outlook

The Climate Prediction Center is pretty clear in their forecast that they do not expect an El Niño this winter.  Neutral conditions currently exist and should continue.  Here is an excerpt from their latest ENSO phase outlook:

ENSO-Neutral conditions are present. Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are near-to-below average across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. ENSO-Neutral is favored (~85% chance during Jul-Sep, decreasing to ~55% during Dec-Feb) through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2017-18  Climate Prediction Center

So what does this forecast mean for area farmers?  Forecasters are not expecting influence from Pacific Ocean winds and weather to affect the US this fall and winter.  Farmers planning for cool-season crops can expect normal rainfall with no influence from Pacific Ocean ENSO phases.  If you go back in history, however, you will see that many of the ENSO neutral years were the ones with the hardest freezes and lowest temperatures.   In the end it is expected to be a normal winter, but what is normal lately?  It has been a number of years since there has been a normal weather in the Panhandle of Florida.  Maybe 2017-18 will get cold enough to reduce populations of whiteflies and other pests.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/08/august-weather-summary-harvest-outlook/

July Weather Summary and August Outlook

July Weather Summary and August Outlook

National Weather Service estimates of rainfall in July 2017 across the Panhandle.

Rainfall

July was more typical than the previous month with scattered summer showers that were anything but uniform.  For the most part, coastal areas received higher totals than further inland.  While there were isolated areas in hot pink that received over 10″ for the month, most of the region ranged from 3-8″.

The six Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also recorded considerable variation in rainfall totals.  The wettest location was in Marianna, with 6.8″, while only 2.5″ were recorded in Jay.  The Marianna station was the only one that recorded above historic average for the location in July.  For the year, the six station average of 35.5″ is right at the historic average for all six locations.  Only the Monticello and Quincy stations have recorded less than historic average through the first seven months.  The Jay station still has the highest yearly total with 42.9″, and the Monticello station the lowest total of only 26.9″.

Temperature

Temperatures certainly heated up in July with five days reaching a high of 94° (July 4,5,6,20,& 21).  The cold front that passed through at the close of the month cooled things off with the low of 67° on July 31.  The average air temperature rose three degrees from 77° in June to 80° in July, and the average soil temperature rose five degrees from 82° to 87°.

For a daily summary of temperatures and rainfall, use the following link: 17 Jan-July Jackson County Weather Summary

August Outlook

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is expecting the warming trend to continue in August with higher than normal temperatures for this region.  Normal rainfall is expected for the month.

ENSO Alert

CPC forecasters are still expecting a neutral winter, but there is still a chance of an El Nino (35-40%).  It is still too early to call it yet, so we will have to wait to find out.  At this point, farmers and ranchers should plan on a normal rainfall for their cool-season crops.

Neutral conditions are present. Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are near-to-above average across the central and east-central Pacific Ocean. ENSO-Neutral is favored (50 to ~55% chance) into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2017-18.  Climate Prediction Center
PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/05/july-weather-summary-and-august-outlook/

Recent Weather Fueling Fungi

Florida’s panhandle has received quite a bit of rain this summer. In the last three months, depending on the location, approximately 15 to 35 inches of rain have come down, with the western panhandle on the higher end of that range. In addition to the rain, we all know how hot it has been with heat index values in the triple digits. And who can forget the humidity?! Well, these weather conditions are just the right environmental factors for many types of fungi, some harmful to landscape plants, most not.

In the classification of living things, fungi are divided into their own Kingdom, separate from plants, animals, and bacteria. They are actually more closely related to animals than plants. They play an important role on the Earth by recycling nutrients through the breakdown of dead or dying organisms. Many are consumed as food by humans, others provide medicines, such as penicillin, while some (yeasts) provide what’s needed for bread and beer. However, there are fungi that also give gardeners and homeowners headaches. Plant diseases caused by various fungi go by the names rusts, smuts, or a variety of leaf, root, and stem rots. Fungal pathogens gardeners may be experiencing during this weather include:

  • Gray leaf spot – This fungus can often show up in St. Augustine grass lawns. Signs of this fungus include gray spots on the leaf (very descriptive name!). This disease can cause thin areas of lawn and slow growth of the grass.

Gray leaf spot on St. Augustine grass. Credit: Phil Harmon/UF/IFAS.

 

  • Take-all root rot – This fungus can attack all our warm-season turfgrasses, and may start as yellow leaf blades and develop into small to large areas of thin grass or bare patches. The roots and stolons of affected grasses will be short and black.

 

Signs of take all root rot. Credit: UF/IFAS.

Powdery mildew – This fungus can be found on many plants, from roses to cucumbers. It looks like white powder on the leaves and can lead to plant decline.

  • Armillaria root rot – This fungus can infect a variety of landscape plants, including oaks, hickories, viburnums, and azaleas. Symptoms can include yellowing of leaves and branch dieback, usually in adjacent plants. Old hardwood stumps can harbor this fungus and lead to the infection of nearby ornamentals.

Because fungi are naturally abundant in the environment, the use of fungicides can temporarily suppress, but not eliminate, most fungal diseases. Therefore, fungicides are best used during favorable conditions for the particular pathogen, as a preventative tool.

Proper management practices – mowing height, fertilization, irrigation, etc. – that reduce plant stress go a long way in preventing fungal diseases. Remember that even the use of broadleaf specific herbicides can stress a lawn and exacerbate disease problems if done incorrectly. Since rain has been abundant, irrigation schedules should be adjusted to reduce leaf and soil moisture. Minimizing injury to the leaves, stems, and roots prevents stress and potential entry points for fungi on the move.

If you think your landscape plants are suffering from a fungal disease, contact your local Extension Office and/or visit the University of Florida’s EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for more information.

PG

Author: Mark Tancig – tancig00@ufl.edu

Mark Tancig

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/01/recent-weather-fueling-fungi/

June Weather Summary and July Forecast

June Weather Summary and July Forecast

National Weather Service estimates for June 2107 rainfall across the Florida Panhandle

June was certainly a much wetter month than May.  Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Gulf Counties received 15″ of rainfall (dark purple) with large areas of more than 20″ (white).  Tropical Storm Cindy brought much of the extra rainfall for the month.  The eastern counties were less affected by this storm, but most of the Panhandle received more than 10″ (pink) in total for the month.

The University of Florida’s Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) weather stations provided more specific rainfall totals for the region in June.  The highest total was recorded at the Jay station with 20.3″.  This station recorded rainfall on 20 of the 30 days in June.  The Carrabelle station recorded 16.8″.  Only the Quincy and Monticello recorded less than 10″ in June.  All six stations, however, recorded considerably more rain than the June historic average for each location.  Through the first half of the year, only the Monticello location is direr than average.  The Jay station has recorded 40.4″ so far in 2017 (half of total came in June).  Monticello by contrast has only received 22.9″ thus far.  The average rainfall for all six stations was 30.6″ from January through June.

The good news is that all of the rain from Tropical Storm Cindy ended the drought in Florida.  At the end of May, only 17% of Florida was not listed in one of the drought categories.  Just one month later the entire state is considered drought free.

Temperatures were also affected by all the cloudy, rainy days as well.  At the Marianna station, the average air temperature only increased three degrees from May to June.  The average soil temperature rose only two degrees.

The high temperature for the month of June was 91° on 23 and 24, when the sun peeked out long enough to heat things up.  The low temperature was 63° on June 9th.  There was one strange occurrence on June 20th.  It was a very cloudy, rainy day with only 2° difference between the high and the low temperature for the day (72°-74°).

Us the following link for a more detailed report of daily rainfall and temperatures recorded at the Marianna FAWN station:  17 Jan-June Jackson County Weather Summary

July Outlook

Looking ahead, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is expecting higher than normal temperatures for the month of July, with no clear expectation for rainfall for the month.  Typically, July is the wettest month of the year in the Panhandle providing 6-7″ historically, so normal rainfall should be more than adequate to continue to support lush pasture and crop growth, with minimal irrigation.  If you have been working outside this week, you know that it has already heated up considerably as compared to June.

El Niño Alert

There had been a fair amount of discussion earlier in the year about the possibility of another El Niño this fall.  At this point in the year, it seems that a neutral fall and winter are more likely.  It is still too early in the year for forecasters to accurately predict, however.
ENSO Alert System Status: Not Active. ENSO-Neutral conditions are present.  Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are near-to-above average across most of the Pacific Ocean. ENSO-Neutral is favored (50 to ~55% chance) through the Northern Hemisphere fall 2017.   Climate Prediction Center
PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/08/june-weather-summary-and-july-forecast/

December Weather Summary and January Outlook

National Weather Service estimates of rainfall across the Panhandle in December 2016.

December brought quite a change from the previous months of drought.  The National Weather Service estimates for rainfall ranged from isolated locations with over 15″ (purple), large regions with over 10″ (hot pink), to less than 4″ along the coast of Gulf, Franklin, Wakulla and Jefferson Counties (tan and yellow).

The six Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also documented the range in rainfall in December, from a low of only 3.3″ in Carrabelle to over 12″ in Marianna and DeFuniak.  All six FAWN stations recorded above historic average for the month of December.  For the year, the wettest location was at the station in Defuniak, with 63.1″ in 2016.  The driest location was at Carrabelle with only 48.4″ for the year.  Certainly the rainfall was not uniform in 2016 with Monticello station recording 4.8″ above historic average, while the other five locations were below average for the year.  The Carrabelle location was unusually dry, 7.4″ below historic average for annual rainfall.

Annual averages don’t tell the whole story.  It is not just how much falls in total, but when it comes.  The chart above shows how three months:  March, August, and December made up for the shortfalls the rest of the year at the Marianna location.  For the record it was an average year of 54″ of rain, but July, October and November were serious drought months.

The high rainfall totals in December did ease the drought through the Panhandle, but not uniformly.  Calhoun, Gulf, Liberty, Bay and Leon, as well as portions of Escambia and Jefferson Counties are still listed in the Moderate Drought category.  This may change in the weeks ahead with all of the rain in early January.

Temperatures did continue to cool off from November to December. The average air temperature dropped 4° from 61° to 57° in December, and the average soil temperate dropped 8°, from 69 down to 61.

January Outlook

The Climate Predication Center’s (CPC) outlook for January calls for warmer and wetter than average.  It does seem as if La Niña has lost some of its grip, which should mean continued improvement of drought conditions, at least in the Panhandle.

The CPC is expecting the drought conditions to continue to improve in the Panhandle region, but not necessarily for the rest of Florida.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/07/december-weather-summary-and-january-outlook/

November Weather Summary and Winter Outlook

November Weather Summary and Winter Outlook

National Weather Service estimates of rainfall totals for November 2016.

National Weather Service estimates of rainfall totals for November 2016.

November was a very dry month across the Florida Panhandle.  For a good portion of the region the limited rain that fell came on November 30, the very last day of the month from a single cold front.  For the month, the vast majority of the region received less than 1″ (blue and bright green).  Small pockets had higher totals (dark green), but were still below 2″ in November.

nov-2016-fawn-panhandle-rainfallThe University of Florida’s Florida Automated Weather network (FAWN) has six stations across the Panhandle.  it is clear that the November 30 cold front brought more rain to the western portion of the Panhandle and diminished as it moved east.  The six stations collected an average of 0.6″ for the month of November, with 1.0″ at DeFuniak which was the wettest location, but only 0.2″ at Carrabelle.   For the year thus far, January through November, the station in Monticello has recorded 56.4″ of rain,  which is actually 2″ above historic average for this location.  Much of this extra rain came from Hurricane Hermine.  Only 41.9″ of rain has been collected in Marianna, which is 8″ below historic average for this location.  The average across all six stations was 49.3″, which is more than 5″ below historic average through November.

16-marianna-fawn-rainfall-vs-avgLooking at the monthly rainfall totals compared to historic average is also important.  The chart above shows that, at the Marianna FAWN Station, 15″ of the 42″ total rainfall in 2016 fell in March and August.  The rest of the year was average or well below average for this location. This chart shows why annual rainfall totals don’t always tell the whole story.  While adequate soil moisture was available at planting, crops suffered through the heat of summer with reduced rainfall.  So there were 8″ fewer inches of rain for the year that ended in serious drought.  The record low October rainfall at the Marianna station was 0″ in 1961, and the record low for November was 0.21″ in 1959.  However, the two month total of only 1.02″, in October and November 2016, was the driest October-November on record in the 64 year history of data collected at this location.

11-29-16-drought-monitorThe U.S. Drought Monitor highlights how serious the current drought is across the Southeast.  More of Florida has been categorized as under drought conditions, with severe and extreme drought conditions across much of the Florida Panhandle.  It will take much more rainfall than what little fell with the recent front to improve this status.  The current La Niña has clearly influenced rainfall for the Southeast thus fall.jan-nov-16-marianna-fawn-summaryTemperatures have cooled considerably as compared to October.  The average air temperature dropped from 70° in October to 61° in November, and the average soil temperature dropped 10° from 79° to 69°. While not extreme, there were three nights that dipped below freezing, with a low of 29° on November 21st.  When compared to the high of 86° back on November 3rd, that is a large temperature spread for a single month.

cpc-dec-feb-17-three-month-outlookThe Climate Prediction Center’s (CPC) outlook for the next three months is not very encouraging.  Warmer than average temperatures is not such a bad thing, but well below average rainfall is not good at all.

11-17-16-seasonal-drought-outlookAs you can see  the CPC’s Seasonal Drought Outlook through the end of February is not encouraging either.  The one month outlook for December did show some slight improvement, but it does not look like we will see normal rainfall again until Spring.  From both of these graphic forecasts it does not appear that this will be a good year for winter grazing or grain crops.  Certainly fields with better moisture holding capacity would be the best choices, if you do decide to gamble on planting cool season forages or crops.  Sandy, well drained fields could be even more risky.  Who knows what the future will hold, but the best scientific guess does not look favorable at this point.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/12/03/november-weather-summary-and-winter-outlook/

October Weather Summary and Three Month Outlook

October Weather Summary and Three Month Outlook

Source: National Weather Service estimates for rainfall in the Florida Panhandle.

Source: National Weather Service estimates for rainfall in the Florida Panhandle.

October Summary

October is historically one of the driest months of the year in the Florida Panhandle.  Much of the western portion of the Panhandle, however, was “O-for-October,” with little to no rainfall this year.  Northern Jefferson County did receive more than 3″ of rain (tan) in October, but the majority of the region had less than 0.25″ (light blue) for the month.

oct-2016-fawn-panhandle-rainfallThe University of Florida’s Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations recorded limited rainfall in the month of October as well.  The highest total rainfall in October was recorded at the Monticello Station with only 0.9″, while both the Jay and Carrabelle stations did not record any rainfall for the month at all.  The average for all six stations was only 0.3″, which is more than 3″ below average.  For the year the Monticello station had the highest total with 56.1″ through the first 10 months of 2016, which is almost 5″ above historic average for this location.  The driest location remained Marianna with only 41.1″ for the year, which was 5.6″ below average for that location.  To date, only the Monticello and Quincy stations have recorded above historic average rainfall for the year.

Source: National Drought Monitor

Source: National Drought Monitor

Drought conditions in the Southeast grew even worse in October.  The drought that has been so severe in northern Alabama and Georgia has expanded into the Florida Panhandle.  It has been several years since the Panhandle has been in the moderate drought category of the Drought Monitor.

oct-16-marianna-fawn-summaryTemperatures did moderate some in October, but it was certainly warmer than normal as was forecasted.  Average air temperatures fell 7° from 77° in September to 70° in October, while soil temperatures dipped 5° from 86° down to 76°.  This was 2° warmer for the average air temperature and 5° warmer average soil temperature than last year.

La Niña Watch is Back On

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is once again forecasting a La Niña winter.  All summer there has been debate about a potential for a warmer and dryer winter based on the development of a La Niña this coming fall and winter.  In late summer the CPC called off the watch, but conditions in the Pacific Ocean have changed.  The following is their latest forecast:
ENSO-Neutral conditions were observed during September, with negative sea surface temperatures anomalies expanding across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean by early October. All of the Niño regions cooled considerably during late September and early October.  La Niña is favored to develop (~70% chance) during the Northern Hemisphere fall 2016 and slightly favored to persist (~55% chance) during winter 2016-17.  Climate Prediction Center

Looking Ahead – 3 Month Forecast

climate-prediction-center-nov-16-jan-17-outlookThe outlook for the next three months is not very encouraging for cool-season forage or crop production. The CPC is predicting warmer than average temperatures and well below average rainfall from November though January.  Clearly the forecast images above and the drought forecast below are showing the impact of the anticipated La Niña.

nov-january-17-drought-outlookNot only is the current situation serious but is forecasted to continue into the winter months.  It does not look encouraging for winter grazing, or whea or oat grain production this year.  Livestock producers counting on winter grazing for supplementation may be required to invest in additional purchased hay and by-product feeds, if pastures are already planted.  Producers who have been waiting on rain to plant, may want to return seed and exchange them for supplements.  All indications are that the months ahead will remain drier than normal. Hopefully things will improve in 2017.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/11/05/october-weather-summary-and-three-month-outlook/

September Weather Summary and Fall Planting Forecast

national Weather Service rainfall estimates for September 2016.

National Weather Service rainfall estimates for September 2016.

September rainfall was greatly influenced by Hurricane Hermine.  The eastern Panhandle Counties had significantly more rainfall in the month of September. September totals ranged from over 10″ (pink) in portions of Franklin, Leon, and Jefferson County to a low of less than 4″ (tan, yellow, and green) for large portions of Jackson, Holmes, Walton and Okaloosa.

16-jan-sept-panhandle-fawn-summaryThe Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also showed the wide variation for the month of September.  The highest rainfall totals came from the Monticello Station that received 9.3″, and Carrabelle with 7″ with the added rain from the Hurricane.  The driest locations were DeFuniak with only 2″, and Mariana 4.2″, and Quincy with 4.7″.  For the year, Monticello has taken over the lead with a total of 55.2″ through nine months, while Marianna is lagging behind with only 40.9″ for the year thus far.  For the year, only the Marianna, DeFuniak, and Carrabelle stations were below historic average, while Monticello has recorded 7.5″ above historic average for this location.

marianna-fawn-summary-jan-sept-16-revTemperatures did cool off slightly in September.  The average air temperature dropped three degrees to 77° as compared to August, but the average soil temperature only dropped one degree from 87° in August to 86° in September.

La Niña Watch Canceled

Several months ago the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) was predicting a 55-60% chance of a La Niña this fall and winter.  La  Niña winters are typical drier and warmer than average in the Florida Panhandle.  Recently the CPC has changed their forecast and are now predicting a Neutral winter.  While a Nuetral ENSO phase typically has more normal temperate and precipitation in this region over the winter, these are also historically the winters with the more severe freezes.

The CPC ENSO Alert System Status: Not Active. ENSO-neutral conditions are present. Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SST) are near or below average in the east-central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
ENSO-neutral conditions are slightly favored (between 55-60%) during the upcoming Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2016-17. Climate Predication Center

Fall Planting Forecast

2016-17-cpc-cool-season-precip-outlookOctober and November are the primary months for planting winter annual pastures and small grains.  The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) released their long range precipitation forecast for the fall and winter months in mid-September.  Even though the La Niña watch has been canceled, they are still forecasting a drier than normal winter.  Livestock producers and small grain farmers should take their current forecast under consideration when deciding which fields should be planted with cool-season forage or grain crops.  This may indeed be a year when the lower, less-well drained fields are more productive.  It would also be advisable to plant only when adequate moisture is present in the soil, even if that means waiting a week or longer than normal, as many areas in the Panhandle are already dry.  Crops like rye that are more drought tolerant may perform better than ryegrass that is highly moisture dependent for optimal performance.  For cools season pastures, blends of forages would be preferred to reduce the risk of below average moisture.  These long range forecasts are updated each month.  The long range forecast is always less accurate, so it is advisable to pay more attention to the shorter range forecasts.  This CPC outlook site offers a variety of graphic short and longer ranged forecasts:  http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/index.php

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/10/08/september-weather-summary-and-fall-planting-forecast/

Tropical Weather will Increase Disease Pressure on Late Planted Crops

Figure 1. Video of weather forecast for Friday September 2 showing movement through the Southeast of Hurricane Hermine. There is a brief advertisement at the beginning of the video.

Ian Small, Nicholas Dufault, Kelly O’Brien, and David Wright

Late season storms like hurricane Hermine (Fig. 1) and tropical depression Julia (and 12) often bring significant wind and rainfall to our region (Fig. 2). It is important to keep in mind the impacts this weather can have on your crops. While many row crops are already mature and in the process of being harvested, there might be some late planted crops, such as double crop soybeans and June-planted peanuts, that are susceptible to disease. So, what impact does the weather associated with Hermine and other tropical systems have on row crop growers? It means that the environment has become more conducive for disease, but more specifically, that:

  • A combination of high moisture and wind speeds creates an environment optimal for fungal (e.g. soybean rust, Cercospora leaf blight, and frog eye leaf spot), oomycete (e.g. downy mildew), and bacterial pathogens (e.g. bacterial blight) to grow, infect, and spread.
  • Weather systems like Hermine spread pathogens over short and long distances very effectively. Rain splash as well as wind-blown rainfall are efficient means for local dispersal of spores and bacteria in a field, but these factors are also critical to the release of spores into the atmosphere for long distance movement to fields miles away.
  • Too much rain creates problems for growers by limiting access to fields for fungicide sprays and other management practices.
Figure 2. Precipitation (inches) recorded for two weeks after hurricane Hermine.

Figure 2. Precipitation (inches) recorded for two weeks after hurricane Hermine.

The role that hurricanes can play in spreading pathogens has been demonstrated by soybean rust, which was introduced into the continental US by hurricane Ivan in 2004. Since 2005, a network of soybean sentinel plots has been used to monitor the spread of soybean rust (www.sbrusa.net). In 2016, leading up to hurricane Hermine, several sentinel plots across Florida (14 out of 21 scouted counties by May 31) were found to be positive for soybean rust early in the season.  By the end of August, 25 out of 27 scouted counties were positive,  well ahead of previous years.

Figure 3. Status of positive soybean rust reports (red color) on May 31 and August 31.

Figure 3. Status of positive soybean rust reports (red color) on May 31 and August 31.

The large number of positive counties with soybean rust was likely due to the mild winter conditions that enabled the pathogen to overwinter more easily. The combination of above average (positive) soybean rust reports in Florida, and weather from Hurricane Hermine suggests that it is highly likely that the moisture and wind conditions were favorable for the spread of soybean rust spores along the path of Hermine (Fig. 4). With approaching cool autumn temperatures, the rust will spread even more, but by then, it will no longer be a threat to soybean production.

Figure 4. Force wind swaths caused by hurricane Hermine.

Figure 4. Force wind swaths caused by hurricane Hermine.

A question many of you are probably asking is, what can one do about the issues hurricanes and tropical weather systems cause? There is no simple answer to this question, but the first thing would be to assess your risk for disease. Your risk will depend on a number of factors including your crop growth stage, choice of cultivar, presence of pathogens on your farm (or in your region) and fungicide management program. Understanding your risk is an important step to deciding how to respond to environmental events like hurricane Hermine. It is important to scout your fields for disease at repeated intervals, because disease symptoms are only likely to show up 7 to 14 days after a weather event such as Hermine. The book A Farmer’s Guide to Soybean Diseases from the American Phytopathological Society provides some good information on how to identify and manage many soybean diseases.

Ultimately, each situation will be unique and nothing makes up for experience when dealing with diseases. Contact your local Extension Agents and consultants to find out what diseases are present in your region, as well as the management options that are available.

Links to online publications with more information on this topic:

Soybean Production in Florida

NC State IPM Soybean Disease Management

Fungicide Efficacy for Control of Foliar Soybean Diseases

 

PG

Author: Nick Dufault – nsdufault@ufl.edu

Extension Plant Pathologist for Vegetable and Row Crops
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Field-Veg-Plant-Pathology-Lab-at-UF/510711278961763?sk=timeline

Nick Dufault

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/17/tropical-weather-will-increase-disease-pressure-on-late-planted-crops/

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