Weathermelon Weather Report - March 1, 2019
- by David Robidoux
IRVINE, CA - Good morning, AndNowUKnow readers!
Today, I am bringing you some of the category and weather news from around the industry. Check back twice weekly to see where the rain is falling, the sun is shining, and everything in between.
Welcome to March, everyone. This will be an important month in California as cherry and stonefruit trees begin to blossom and planting of summer veg in Salinas gets underway. It will be interesting to see if the wet and cold winter they have been experiencing will continue into March, disrupting plantings and fruit development which could lead to supply issues later in the spring and summer.
Up to 10” of rain fell in the wine-growing regions of Northern California during a 48-hour period this week, which caused massive flooding. The Russian River, which runs through the valley of the same name, is currently 14” above flood levels, flooding out vineyards and small towns surrounding the city of Santa Rosa. The Napa River, which runs through Napa Valley, is also above flood stage. Although this is a terrible disaster for the residents of the area, this type of water should not affect grape vines, which are currently dormant.
There is also more rain coming to California this weekend and next week. The coastal growing regions of Santa Maria and Oxnard will receive a decent shot on Saturday and then get hit by a larger storm next Tuesday and Wednesday. Rain totals on Saturday will remain around .50” but next week expect totals to be between .75 – 1.5”. Harvests of strawberries may be affected by the rains next week.
Salinas is also expecting a decent shot of rain over the next week but nothing to worry about at this point. Yesterday, we spoke with Norm Groot, the Executive Director of the Monterey County Farm Bureau. Norm mentioned that most growers in the Salinas Valley won’t start major plantings of lettuce and other vegetables until mid-March. He says the rain has not been an issue up to now but could potentially become a factor in planting schedules if this moisture pattern continues going into March. We will keep an eye on this in the coming weeks.
COOLER THAN NORMAL FEBRUARY IN DESERT GROWING REGIONS
The desert growing regions of Yuma, Imperial, and Coachella Valleys experienced a much colder February than normal. According to the National Weather Service’s monthly recap for these regions, 26 days of the month were below normal. Only two days were equal or higher than normal. Most days the daily avgerage temperature was 10° or more below normal. Could this be the reason for the light supplies coming currently coming from these regions?
Weather is back to normal in Sinaloa, Mexico, with maximum temperatures back into the 90°s and minimum temperatures in the mid 50°s. There is no chance of rain in the 10-day forecast. Supplies are still light on colored bell peppers and tomatoes due to the cooler weather last week, which has led to the tighter markets. Maybe by next week supplies will recover.
Expect some rain and cold weather to hit Veracruz, Mexico, next week that may affect the lime harvest for a few days. Between Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week Veracruz is expecting at least an inch of rain and cooler temperatures. Expect maximum temperatures to only get to 65° and minimum temperatures in the 50°s.
Florida will continue with warm temperatures through the weekend. Highs will be in the 80s and lows will be in the 60s in all major growing regions. There is a slight chance of rain for next Tuesday with cold air behind it. On Wednesday, March 6, expect minimum temperatures up and down the state to drop into the 40°s but will be back into the 50°s by Thursday.
BLUEBERRIES / BLACKBERRIES
Growing locations for berries in Mexico and South America are experiencing perfect weather right now with no issues on the horizon. I would expect supplies and quality to remain strong and markets to remain steady.
The majority of melons are coming from Central America right now. Weather in Honduras and Guatemala is perfect for growing melons with maximum temperatures in the high 90°s and lows in the high 60°s with no chance of rain. Expect supplies to remain strong.
Thank you again for your support, and we will be back next week with another update.