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Early spring or mild winter?

Early spring or mild winter?

It looks like we'll be having another mild day here in the valley. The fog burned off early this AM and by noon my temps are already up to 60f.
I can't help but think that with all of this mild weather , that the stone fruit farmers in our area are going to be hurting.... unless we get a serious cold spell in the next 2 weeks.
My highs temps continue to average 5+ degrees above the norm.
Lows this winter just don't seem to wanna drop below 40f. I doubt that we've seen more that ten mornings this winter with lows below 40f.



The following thread was started by Jeff on January 13, 2003 at 8:10 pm PST

fingers crossed

Jeff- I have had 6 mornings below 40 and one morning below freezing. Right now at 1pm, I am 64.5
I know our pattern has been a zonal flow from west to east and it has not allowed big arctic dip in the jetstream. BUT, I remember last year, last few days of January when I hit 25--so I am happy but don't feel out of the woods 'til early-to-mid feb...

The above followup was added by ron on January 13, 2003 at 9:05 pm PST.

1 more month

If it stays this way until mid-Feb, then those dang squirrels must have been right.

The above followup was added by Tom on January 14, 2003 at 0:01 am PST.

Cold January winter

This must be some kind of joke. Its the 14th January, and the weather is colder than mid-july. Yesterday we had a high of 14c (mean 25C), low of 7c, pretty typical of mid winter july weather. Now at 1.45pm its still sitting on 10c at my house, 15c at my nursery. I cannot remember it ever being this cold before. And I want to grow bananas etc? What am I doing?????

Last august (winter) we had several days around 25c, one to 28c, when the mean is around 16-17c. Our seasons are totally messed up. Global warming? Or was that localised global cooling.... ?

The above followup was added by Ben on January 14, 2003 at 0:52 am PST.

Hey Ben

We are having an excellent summer here, it's just cruising on 20-30c it's only been over 30 a couple of times but it's not been anywhere near as cold as last summer, the ground still hasn't reached it's normal hard as concrete normal summer self, well since about 8 years ago it stoped raining in the summer. It's 18c right now but should reach 20 in a couple of hours. Supposed to be high 30's later in the week (In Melbourne) that means 28c here :p

The above followup was added by Jason on January 14, 2003 at 1:31 am PST.

Speaking of bananas


You have 10C at 1:45PM in the middle of the Summer? That seems rather cold. I've had lots of cool days here where I've wondered why I bother with all these tropicals that require a lot of heat. But don't give up on the bananas, we're trying to figure out what can actually grow with few heat units.

I actually have a couple more data points. My dwarf orinoco has pretty much shut down, despite the cool, but mild Winter weather. We had several days of 20-25C weather with lows in the 10-15C range, and that was enough to get the Goldfinger to start growing again. The gold finger banana looks relatively healthy, with only a few brown dots. In contrast, the dwar orinoco looks much worse.

So far, goldfinger is the clear winner for cooler conditions. I wonder if there is something to Luen's theory on dwarf bananas not being vigorous enough to do well in cool weather.


The above followup was added by Axel on January 14, 2003 at 2:01 am PST.

Ben, 10C/50F, burr, arctic minus moved


I did notice in our local paper that the arctic
-10F/-23C through -20F/-29C super cold pole air mass has swing our way, it is now hanging down in upper Canada, before it was not showing at all in Canada.

We are still getting strong summer jet stream air flows from west to east, so I have to wonder how our summer will be too, are we going to swing back into a winter jet stream air flow pattern like last summer, sudndenly jerk into a normal summer pattern. I don't remember observing how the jet streams move back into a normal pattern for the season.

You can only hope, next year will be more normal, if not I guess you better drill into a thermal steam vent, and warm things up a bit.

Is the sun shining, if so, how warm is in in your plastic tubes?


The above followup was added by David, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 14, 2003 at 2:18 am PST.

its managed 20c by 5pm

Well, got up to 20c finally here at the nursery, but still way below normal summer. And that southerly wind still has a real bite to it. I complain about the cold, but realisticallly 10c is not enough to do anything like damage to anything, so no big deal. It'll be back into the late 20s in a couple days at most.

David, I didn't look at the temp under plastic, but would be around 30c. I've been working on that side of the hill, in the sun and protected from the wind, actually very pleasant. Can get a bit too warm on a normal summer day.

Jason, hows the drought?

Axel, yes, 10c is unbelievably cold for this time year. 10c as an overnight low would be much cooler than our usual coldest summer nights, but as a mid-day temp, just crazy. I cant remember this ever happening before, but I've only been here for 32 years, maybe before that? I think Dwarf Orinococ is a waste of time for us, as is Blue Java. The ABB types appear to need the summer heat, so their winter cold-hardiness is somewhat misleading. Been in touch with the South African Banana Industry guys, seems that all the FHIA hybrids have similar excellent cold tolerance. There, FHIA-17 and 23 produce almost 2x the yield of Goldfinger, with similar cold tolerance, and superior flavour. Scrub GF, GO 17 & 23!

The above followup was added by Ben on January 14, 2003 at 4:25 am PST.

5 nights of sub zero and still counting

Ben, if it makes you feel better this is the first time that we have had this much cold for this long. On one afternoon we only got a high of 7ºc. When the cold snap stops I´ll give you guys a report.

The above followup was added by Jason Huerta-Portugal on January 14, 2003 at 8:39 pm PST.

Long term outlook

Europe has had a massive artic outbreak, a lot of cold air actually made it out pretty far west as is evidenced by the freezing conditions in Portugal where Jason lives.

The question now is, will we get cold weather here? The long term forecast on Accuweather has a cold air track starting in a week from today, and calls for the first freeze to hit one week from this week-end. I do hope they are wrong, since the forecasted lows for the Central Valley are pretty brutal, as low as 25F in Modesto on 1/25/03.

I don't usually look at Accuweather, since I have found them to be quite inaccurate. While the NWS long term outlook does mention a number of shortwaves that will drive cold air down into the lower 48 states, it also confines the cold to the Eastern US. In fact, the Florida panhandle is in for a freeze.

This pattern usually means warmer weather for us, and that is exactly what the NWS is predicting for the West coast and Alaska. Temperatures should remain above normal in the 6-10 day outlook. But the 10-14 days tracks the cold further west, and temperatures for us are predicted to be near normal.

Of course, the long range forecasts are not accurate. And fortunately, I have found Accuweather to be a lot more inaccurate than the NWS. Let's hope it stays warm.


The above followup was added by Axel on January 14, 2003 at 11:42 pm PST.

accuweather is inaccuweather

Axel- My experience is that accuweathers' long term outlooks are way, way off. They do not account for topography or microclimates. Here in Sacramento, last year in late december, I remember they had us on days 13,14 and 15 with hi/lo's of 32-13, 34-13 and 30-15...My goodness, not even remotely close and certainly MORE than record-setting if it ever came to fruition, which it didnt and never does. IN the winter, the final few days on their 15 are ridiculously innacurate and not based on true california weather and climatology.

The above followup was added by ron on January 15, 2003 at 0:36 am PST.

What Dought?

Ben there's no drought down here, I don't think there ever has been, it rains less than is used to but the grass stays green just about all summer. It's only in the North of the state and it's been desert there for 10,000 years so I think they are nuts trying to grow crops there in the first place, 10 minutes walk out of Mildura it's just stinking hot sand and Orange trees

The above followup was added by Jason on January 15, 2003 at 1:27 am PST.

That's good to hear


I am glad to hear that Accuweather is innacurate. I did check several cities, and they all had a rather cold forecast for next week. But none of this agrees with the NWS, so I will discount it.


The above followup was added by Axel on January 15, 2003 at 1:48 am PST.

Cold Air next week?

There may be some rain coming next Tuesday. After that blow out, there may be some cold air behind it. Get ready.

The above followup was added by Tom on January 15, 2003 at 9:32 pm PST.

Cold air according to latest forecasts

According to the latest NWS long term forecasts, Tom is right, and much colder air will follow the system forecasted to hit in about a week from today.


The above followup was added by Axel on January 15, 2003 at 11:30 pm PST.

Last year, on the 30th of Jan, 27.8F

Last year it was late in Jan. and it was ok from then on. I knew the minus 20 rolling down from the polar caps was not a good sign, I was wondering if that was not going ot happen, it has done that on other similar years, like this one.


The above followup was added by David, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 16, 2003 at 10:59 pm PST.

Update on the cold air

The latest models now keep the cold air east of the continental divide and don't spill it out to the Northern California coast from Montana as previous models suggested. You can thank an overwelmingly strong westerly jet stream for that.

In contrast, the rains are supposed to pick up again heavily, so enjoy the mid-70's outside for the next few days while they last.


The above followup was added by Axel on January 16, 2003 at 11:06 pm PST.

Hooray Axel, thank you, Davd


The above followup was added by David, Waterford CA, zone9 on January 17, 2003 at 2:28 am PST.

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