[nafex] Weather Forecasts

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Sat Apr 14 17:12:08 EDT 2012


>
>  weather forecast site to try: accuweather.com
>      (david liezen)
>

Now that we farm full time, and selling fruit and veggies is the bulk of
our income, we pay close attention to the weather forecast, to the point of
obsession.  Said otherwise, we've been in this location less than 4 years,
and are still learning its unique weather.  We are often 5-10F lower than
the prediction on cold, clear nights, especially when no cloud cover moves
in, or moves out early.  So we've started looking at more than the
predicted minimum under certain sets of conditions.

Others please weigh in with what forecasts you use, to maximize the
survival of your plants.

See this site and links therein for an accuracy rating of multiple
forecasting agencies.  They rank weather.com the highest, which is what we
have found the most reliable for our site.
http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2011/04/12/weather-forecast-accuracy/

Accuweather is not far behind.
Note the option of observing how the forecast is changing for a given day.

We used to get inches of rain forecast and pan evaporation rates each day,
in an agricultural forecast.  Helped to know forecast of how much rain we
might get, and how much lost each day.

Now we use this site for 48 hr precipitation forecast
http://www.weather.com/maps/activity/garden/eastcentralusprecipforecast_large.html?clip=undefined&region=undefined&collection=localwxforecast&presname=undefined
and this site for freeze forecast
eathernow.denverpost.com/hw3.php?config=&forecast=pass&pass=usforecastsfreeze

With computer modeling, the ability to move beyond 7 days is better, but
still less certain.  But I understand the accuracy of the 7 day forecasts
has improved in the last few years.
Our strawberry crop still looks good, with many fruit set of various
stages.  Though we did lose a few of the most vulnerable blooms when 22-26F
even under row cover.  But is sure helps to know which nights to use the
row covers, for must be removed every day for pollination.

Please share your insights on predicting and managing severe and sudden
spring freezes.

Thanks,
Richard Moyer
SW VA


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