Cold mornings next week?

wxcrawler(7a)April 8, 2014

Hi everyone,

It's looking pretty likely that we're going to have 2 or 3 cold mornings early next week. I wouldn't be shocked if the northern half of Oklahoma saw temps at or below freezing at least one morning. The European, Canadian, and UK global models all show this. The GFS from the U.S. hasn't totally bought into it, but is trending that way.

This is just a heads up to have a plan in place and keep an eye on the forecast as we get toward the weekend.


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Thanks Lee! I've been watching the forecasts. For my area next Monday night is a forecast low of 36. That's of real importance to my onions. I can't do much with the wild plum thicket. It is what it is. I also monitor a couple of weather peeps on FB - but I always come back here to see what "say you?".

This is all I need to know. Again, thank you!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 9:12PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Thanks, Lee. I have been watching the Monday night (and beyond) forecast low temps and reining in my desire to get more planting done because those cold mornings are lurking out there in next week's forecast.

Like Paula, I've been waiting "to see what Lee says". Now that you've said it, I'll start revising my plans to go crazy putting plants in the ground beginning tomorrow. I am determined not to put anything else in the ground that would need to be covered up.

Paula, We're looking at an overnight low almost the same as yours next Monday---37.

As for the plums, native or otherwise, my trees have frozen or been frosted so many times since they bloomed that they should be producing popsicles at this point.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 10:07PM
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I didn't plant my tomatoes over the weekend because of this. Our local morning guy said in his morning blog starting last Friday that the Euro model had some really cold temps coming early next week but the American model didn't. It's good to hear that the other two models agree with the Euro, because those all appear to be more accurate that the American the majority of the time. Unfortunately the American is the only one I have a good webpage for that shows the detailed precip forecast.

Thank you for those details Lee. A lot of us get early hints about 7-10 day weather but we have no good source to tell us when things change or become more concrete. We only can look at the 7 or 8-day forecast on the local tv website, or read the meteorologists' blogs, and they are hit and miss.

Anyone know why the American model is less accurate than the Euro in most situations?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 10:13PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

That is Lee. I was hoping to plant my tomatoes this weekend but after seeing the possible lows I think I'll wait.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 11:05PM
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At least my tomatoes are still small and I can find a way to protect them easier.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 1:53AM
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Paula....don't be surprised if that forecast goes down a couple more degrees. The latest run of the GFS is actually colder than the European model now.

Mike.....I'm in Tulsa, too, and I was going to plant out on Sunday. I'm going to keep mine in the greenhouse (overnight) until at least Wednesday now.

Scott......if you haven't seen this link, it's an interesting read. It's over a year old now, but still valid. "Flaws in US Model" I know that NOAA is supposedly sinking a ton of money into the GFS, so by 2015 it shouldn't have less computing power. We'll see. I'm sure you know, your microclimate means that forecast of 37 for you is likely too optimistic. Looking at the latest runs of the Euro and the GFS, the Euro places the core of the high pressure right on top of you. The GFS places it over NE Oklahoma. Wherever it ends up, ideal radiational cooling conditions will occur Tuesday morning.

For what it's worth, the GFS brings in another shot of air just as cold 3-4 days later. The Euro does not show this. I'm going to believe the Euro, for now. We'll see how it evolves over the next couple of days.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 9:09AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Lee, Thanks so much for coming back to address everyone's individual concerns and to update us on the situation. I hope you know how much everyone here appreciates you.

I'm ready for next week so tell that high pressure ridge to just come here and park itself right over my house and give us its best shot. My best row cover gives 10 degrees of protection, so I am not going to freak out unless we start talking about lows in the low to mid-20s.

Before next week's weather started looking uncomfortably cold, I was going to start putting the rest of my tomato plants into the ground today, and was going to sow bean and corn seed. All those plans are on hold for sure.

Y'all, remember that even if your forecast is only going into the mid- to upper-30s, frost can form at temperatures above 32 degrees under certain conditions. I have it often here when the air temp is 36 or 37, occasionally at 38 degrees, and once in a blue moon it even can happen at 39 degrees. Frost at those temperatures is one of the hardest lessons I learned about gardening in OK.

Our forecast for last night was 43, and at our house it went to 38 and at the mesonet station they hit 35. Our local TV mets usually hit our forecast low much more closely than the NWS Point forecast does. They said we'd go to 37.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 2:47PM
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FYI, at our farm, about 25% of pecan trees are at budbreak, 25% are close, and 50% still need a few days. It got down to 32 there last night, but the next few nights will push the trees. I think 50% would not be damaged at all even if it got down to 26. The other 50% will suffer some in the 26-30 range.

I'm probably the only one really interested, but as Dawn has mentioned in previous springs, you can tell which trees are pecan when you drive down the road in early April because they are the ones that still appear dormant when all the other trees have green at different stages.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:29PM
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So, if I planted 2 more pecan trees 3 weeks ago in Lincoln County, and the leaves are coming out, should I worry?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 8:43AM
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I really appreciate the heads up

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:05PM
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Hopefully everyone that already planted made it through this one mostly unscathed.

I looked today at a few model forecasts for the next few weeks, and I don't see anything upcoming near this cold. There may be a decent cold snap in the May 10 range, but by then anything considered cold would only be 40's. I'm going to plant out my tomatoes on Saturday.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:33PM
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Is it worse for the person to be executed to have a long notice of the exact day so that he/she can worry about it, or is it worse not knowing until right before the execution.

I'd probably complain either way. Thanks for the heads up regardless.

22 degrees, #%&@*!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:33PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Scott, Are you serious? 22? How many hours did y'all stay that cold?

Lee, When you said "May 10th" I felt sick, and then I read on and saw it would be only the 40s. Well, heck, compared to last night, the 40s are a piece of cake. Thanks for the heads up, though. It is a reminder that cold weather still can slap us around in May.

I start putting more tomato plants in the ground tomorrow.

And, for anyone interested, I covered up every planted row with my DeWitt 10-degree frost blanket, even the cool-season crops that didn't really need it. I figured since I had it, I'd use it. We were below freezing for about six hours, much of that time at 28 degrees, and there is not one speck of damage on anything growing in those rows that I covered, and that includes summer annual flowers growing as companion plants in the veggie beds.

Next year I am going to plant more stuff earlier and just drag out the row cover as needed.

There is a lot of dead foliage on trees and vines (trumpet creeper) that had leafed out, and my pecan tree got hit fairly hard, and now the tiny little leaves are shriveled up and just look sad. However, all those will bounce back fast. The comfrey was in bloom and was feeding tons of bees a day, and it froze back to the ground, but will regrow quickly. Considering how cold it got and how long it stayed before freezing, the amount of damage on trees, shrubs and vines is minimal and not unexpected.

I heard the helicopters seem to have saved the peach crops at Livesay's Orchard in Porter. Yay!


    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:19PM
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I have not been to the farm to collect the data from the weather station computer, but I know it was 30 at 11:00pm and 22 at 7:00am so it was bad. Our place is at the low end of a large valley and is always the coldest place in the county on the still nights.

My guess is that at those temps and the current stage of budbreak here that 60% of the trees will lose most of the crop and 40% will not be impacted. Much of the southern third of the state and in Texas there was expected to be a large crop and if it got down to 28 for a few hours it will really hurt the crop.

This why I love cold March temps. But even with the cool March, the last week of warm nights still pushed all the trees. Had the freeze happened last Tuesday we would have lost only 10% of the crop. This is why we as pecan growers in northern OK need to plant Kanza or other northern varieties. Kanza damage is 10%, Caddo is 100% lost.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:10AM
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Thank you for that. I decided on planting another pecan tree or two on my property. What I didn't know is which kind was best. With the strange weather, pecan nut identification of my existing trees is daunting.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:32AM
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If you tell me the nearest town to you, I can give you some recommendations on specific varieties. I can also maybe tell you what you currently have if you post a picture of the nuts.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:09AM
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Newer nut from last fall. I think the tree is 12-14 years old.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:03AM
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For size.. some older nuts along with it. Tree rats didn't leave me much!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:04AM
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Seriously, I cannot afford to buy a tree. I'm considering starting from a cutting. Haven't tried it with pecan, but successfully with other tree cuttings.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:05AM
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I'm just outside of Stillwater in Cushing near Drumright, Perkins, Mannford, Yale..e.g.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:09AM
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I hate to hijack this thread. I'll start another thread about pecan varieties in a few days when I see what the damage done by the freeze has been. For now I can tell you that you need a northern cultivar in your location for sure, the OSU pecan extension publications will tell a little about them, and your best route to take is to get some seedlings dug up in winter and moved and then get some graftwood a year or two later to change it over to an improved variety. Unfortunately this will take 10+ years to get many nuts.

My method has been to germinate natives nuts and plant them in small pots in spring, then plant them in the ground in October. For just a few trees this might be too much work.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 1:51PM
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