Return to the Oklahoma Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Update on forecast

Posted by wxcrawler 7a (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 30, 13 at 8:34

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven't posted an update, but I haven't been in the office since Friday. I wanted to get a good look at the latest models before I posted anything.

I guess the biggest news is that their is tremendous uncertainty with how this scenario evolves once the initial cold blast comes in Wednesday. The models are in 2 camps as far as placement of the upper-level low, and that difference is important. One thing that is pretty certain is it will turn sharply colder on Wednesday after the frontal passage, and most of Oklahoma (except the far east and southeast) will wake up to showers and temps 36-42 Thursday morning. It will likely be colder the further northwest you are in Oklahoma. There is even a chance of a rain/snow mix west of Ponca City. The temps will probably only rise 5-10 degrees on Thursday afternoon. It's going to be a cold, raw day.

The incertainty starts to show Thursday night. One camp of the models has the upper low up north near the Neb/Iowa border, while the other camp swings it further south into northeast Oklahoma/Arkansas. The more southward placement of the upper low keeps us colder overall with more showers well into the weekend. This is not good for warm afternoon temperatures, but will keep overnight lows from falling too far into the 30's due to clouds.

The more northern placement of the upper low means the clouds and showers will clear out quicker late Thursday or early Friday. Temps during the day would be warmer (but still well below normal), but less clouds overnight would mean temps could drop well down into the 30's. Frost would also be a possibility with this scenario.

For what it's worth, it's the usually more reliable European model that shows the more northern placement of the upper low. This gives me a little more confidence that this is how it could play out, but uncertainty is very high. Be prepared for 2-4 cold mornings with lows 35-40, especially the further north you are.

Lee


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Update on forecast

Winds have switched and are out of the north now. Winds are 24 with gusts much higher. Imagine we have seen our high. It is 49 now. They have gradually raised our lows. I'm expecting 30-32 tonight and maybe 1-2 degrees colder Thursday night. I don't feel we will see the 25-26 degree temps some were saying a few days ago. Jay


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Check out this forecast for Thursday May 9th. Aaron Tuttle had this on his Facebook page yesterday. Lows in the mid 30's in central OK. Again this isn't for this Thursday, it's for next Thursday.

I don't see how the ground is ever going to stay warm enough for beans, corn, squash etc. to sprout. I need to build a greenhouse over the entire garden!


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Looks like the models were on top of this a week ago with only small changes. The NAM may have beaten the Euro model if the morning weather blogs are correct today.

What an amazing couple of years weather-wise.


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Model for THIS Friday morning is showing a FREEZE for every county in Oklahoma except for McCurtain and Leflore....


 o
RE: Update on forecast

This just has me flabbergasted. This weeks weather, now looking into next week too? This is the craziest thing I have ever seen. Thanks to all who let us know whats going on!


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Wow! This morning's model updates are even colder than before. Don't be surprised to see Winter Weather Advisories posted across northern Oklahoma later today. I don't envy the forecasters on the operational desks that are issuing the forecasts today. What do you do when you know it's never happened in recorded history here, but the models show significant snow? Glad I'm not the one issuing this forecast. ;-)

It's very strange to have 80's today, and know that 24 hours from now, the wind chill will likely be in the 20's.

Lee


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Good Gosh, Lee! Hmmmmm. So, on the bright side, maybe we won't have so many 100+ days...


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Yikes! Snow?!?!?!!!!!!! I dont know about recorded history, but my mother says it has happened before when she was just a little girl. I believe her. Shes in her 70's and i dont know how far back the records go.

Its just a wait and see at this point. Call me crazy, but im going to go with the old folklore of the Mulberry tree! I say we will have no more killing freezes where i am because it is all leafed ( is that a word?) out. Im not going to plant my raised bed tomatoes until after this cold snap and will cover my container ones just in case, but you can bet that this Sunday i will be out planting. Im so tired of waiting. Crazy weather.


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Me, too! My tomatoes are not happy in the living room. I promised them weeks ago they could go out and play! So that's it. It's all in on Sunday.....unless Lee tells us there is another cold snap coming.............


 o
RE: Update on forecast

If Aaron Tuttle is correct, there's another one coming .... :( (See Engineer's pic above)


 o
RE: Update on forecast

  • Posted by bcok none (My Page) on
    Wed, May 1, 13 at 14:44

This is crazy! I planted my tomatoes this weekend. Do you guys/girls think I should run out and build a hoop cover over them???

Thanks!


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Erod1......I'm sure it's happened before in parts of Oklahoma. I was just refering to the records here in Tulsa.

Luvbasil......Mr Tuttle may be right in this case. The European model shows the possibility for more cold late next week. The degree of cold is in question, but there's really no reason to believe it would be much different than what we've been getting every week for the last several. The latest run of the Euro pushes the cold further east than the past several systems, which would mean we'd miss the brunt of the cold. However, I've seen all of the models do this in the 7-9 days forecast, only to switch back to a more westward cold plunge a couple of days later. I'm only going to say it is possible, at this point.

Lee


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Your life must be very interesting this spring, Lee.
I remember in the 70's and the gurus were warning that winter would come later and later every year........maybe it finally started!


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Lee, Thanks a million for keeping all of us informed. Were it not for you, I'd have put more plants in the ground than I could cover up with the row cover I have. As it is, I am really pushing it because as plants get taller, the row cover still has to cover them, so it doesn't go as far now as it did a month ago when plants were significantly shorter.

This weather is crazy, y'all, and you should watch your local forecast temperatures plus any outside blogs, the NWS, local TV mets, etc. that you follow and be prepared to cover up plants if temperatures are going to be in the range where freeze damage (including plant death) or frost damage can occur. It always is better to err on the side of safety. Remember that temperatures at the ground level are lower than official temps recorded 5' above ground....so if you are expecting 33 degrees at 5' above ground, you might have a lower temp at ground level.

Remember too that frost damage in varying degrees occurs at temperatures as high as 39 or 40 degrees if all the right (or wrong) conditions come together at the same time.

I have been weeding all day and now am going to go back outside and try to cover up everything I can. The potatoes are very tall for this early in the year (guess the cold weather has helped them) and are in bloom and the row cover that used to cover two raised beds of them now will only cover one, so I have to do some creative rearranging of row covers. Last week I was out covering up stuff in strong wind and drizzle, so I am covering it up today before the cold front gets here....and it does seem ridiculous to be outside covering up plants when the current temperature on the thermometer here is showing 87 degrees right now.

Erod, An old farmer/rancher guy in his late 80s that we met shortly after moving here in 1999 told me his family came here 3 years after statehood, so clearly he'd seen a long lifetime of weather here, and he said that snow had fallen in our county several times in May. I believed him. Why would someone make up something like that?

BCOK, Yes, I would cover them up in some shape, form or fashion. My tomato beds have semi-permanent hoops over them that have been over them since the day we put the plants in the ground. The hoops are covered with heavy duty deer-netting to protect the plants from hail, and every week when the weekly cold front with freezing temperatures or even sub-freezing temperatures is rolling in, I go outside and put floating row cover over the hoops.

You could cover a hoop with heavy duty plastic (I use 4 mm or 6 mm when I do this) but be sure the plastic doesn't touch the plants. If you have freezing temps, then every plant part that touches the plastic will have freeze damage. On small plants, it doesn't take much freeze damage to kill the plants. If you use plastic, it will function like a small greenhouse to hold in the heat. You can make it work even better by putting bottles, buckets or jugs of water inside. The bottles, buckets or jugs absorb heat during the day and release it as they cool at night, keeping the air near them slightly warmer. Be sure they are placed in a stable position so they don't fall over onto your plants and squash them.

You also can use a textile like a sheet, blanket, etc. over the hoops. The weight of the textile determines how much heat it will hold in. I use floating row cover, and have it in three different weights. The heaviest one gives 10 degrees of protection and I use in for tomatoes, corn and warm-season herbs and flowers. The potatoes, which suffer foliar damage from cold temps fairly easily get one that gives them 6-8 degrees of protection, and the remaining cool-season crops are covered with one that gives them 2-4 degrees of protection. Some cool-season crops, like peas, are left uncovered because they are on a trellis that is too tall and too long to cover. I always cover the most important plants (most important to me) first, and then the next most important, and so on.....all the way down the line.

Lots of people in my neighborhood just put a bucket (some of them used molasses feed tubs this past weekend) over the tomato plants. Sometimes that works, but sometimes it doesn't. It just depends on how cold the temperatures drop.

Emma, I've heard the same folklore all my life about pecan trees and mesquite trees. Despite the folklore, late cold weather always seems to catch them after they've leafed out about 1 or 2 years out of 10. I stopped believing that folklore after the second time a late freeze occurred after the mesquite trees and pecan trees had leafed out. All of them here have leafed out now, as has every other kind of tree.

I also am going to assume next week could bring us a repeat of this week's weather, and will hold off on planting more unless I round up the means to cover up even more plants.

Finally, I don't remember who mentioned soil temps, but I can tell you that soil temps here are warm enough for corn, watermelons, cantaloupes, beans, squash and okra to sprout because all of them have sprouted and are growing in the ground here in Love County. Our highest temperature this week was 91 degrees, though, so it would be odd if our ground wasn't warm.

Dawn


 o
RE: Update on forecast

I have a bed of salad greens that is wilting from the heat, and I'm going out to put a row cover back on it to protect it from the cold. I guess it will provide protection from the heat and the cold in the same day.

Am I losing my mind or is this really happening? Yikes!


 o
RE: Update on forecast

I think im still in denial. Then i keep remembering that one day in late April in the 90's where i witnessed a record high one day and snow the next in Tulsa..... And my mom saying shes seen it in May, and her mother telling her to never plant until May 15th because it could still freeze. And Dawn's older friend who has witnessed it.

Its all just gone crazy and its making me crazy right along with it!!!

But, i have a lot of money invested in annuals to beautify my porches, and some heirloom tomatoes waiting to be put in the ground that i cannot replace, so i am going to listen to what Lee is saying and cover everything. But since i cannot replace the Heirlooms, i am going to have to either plant them or lose them so i may as well stick them in the ground Sunday and take my chances.

I wonder, if we do get another cold snap next week, if i took my husbands hunting tent, set it up over my one little raised bed that will have my tomatoes in it, and hooked up a small red heat lamp to the top of it...... What do you think guys??

Emma


 o
RE: Update on forecast

...if the heating lamp won't catch your tent on fire, I think that's a good plan :-)

Sharon


 o
RE: Update on forecast

I would not want to mess with a red heat lamp in an unattended tent. There would be several choices I would try before a heat lamp. One of my favorite heaters for an area is the oil filed electric heater, set on low. I had rather have soil heating cables or rope lights, but they dont put out much heat. My longest cable puts out around 70 watts (?), my longest rope light around 50 watts. That is not enough heat to warm much. I thing the smallest heat lamps put out around 150 watts, but it is 150 watts in a vary small area and could damage something if the wind blew the tent down.

Larry


 o
RE: Update on forecast

It is 41 here at 6 pm. Sadly not much moisture but lots of wind off and on. It blew hard this morning then let up to around 10-15 for most of the afternoon and now back over 20 mph. All of the 25-26 degree predictions have inched upward with most saying 30 for tonight and 28-30 Thursday night. There is only one forecaster around here putting much faith in the cold next week hitting freezing temps. The independent forecaster that hits our weather the most said they would give an update Friday so people would have an idea if it was safe to plant or not. He feels those of us in my region will likely be able too. I hope so. With the 3 days of 89-94 degree days my soil temps are now ok. Just need the night time lows to raise a little. I will likely put the bigger tomatoes on this weekend and put buckets around them. The garlic is starting to take off so that is a good indication that soil temps are ok. Jay


 o
RE: Update on forecast

I have a question about covering tomatoes. Monday night I planted 4. Tonight's low for OKC is predicted to be 36 and may be a little lower here so I've covered them with pots. If the forecast for tomorrow holds true it will only warm up to 42 and be cloudy and rainy all day. Here's my question: is it okay to leave the pots on tomorrow during the day if it stays cloudy and cool, or should they come off during the day? I also have a 5mm tarp I'll cover them with tomorrow night when it's predicted to drop below 32. Just not sure if I should leave the pots on during the day tomorrow. I know I wouldn't if it was going to warm up or be sunny but pretty sure that's not going to happen.

Suzie


 o
RE: Update on forecast

I was pondering the same exact thing.


 o
RE: Update on forecast

I'd leave them covered. If you are worried they won't be able to breathe and might roast, use a rock or stick to prop up one little section of the potst tomorrow as you're leaving for work so hot air can escape if it builds up under the pots.

I've left plants covered with plastic buckets (unintentionally because I left to go someplace and forgot to uncover them before I left) after a cold night, and they handled a sunny day with highs in the 60s just fine. By the time I got home, it was so late in the day that there was no point in uncovering them, but I peeked under the buckets and looked at them and they were fine.

I covered up 90% of the 4 garden plots today and it all is staying covered until Friday or Saturday. I hope to get the remaining 10% covered tomorrow morning. We ran out of daylight, and ran out of energy too.

It can be difficult to decide whether to leave something covered or uncovered. Trust your gut instinct. It usually is right.

Dawn


 o
RE: Update on forecast

I'm not the Tomatoe Queen...but knowing what I know from years of Her coaching...I would say "yes". Leave the cover. It couldn't/won't hurt to leave the insulation just a few days until it warms...and if I'm wrong...may the Tomatoe God's strike me down. But I'm pretty sure.

And check back in here and tell us how it goes, plz?


 o
RE: Update on forecast

From what I could find on NWS page, it has never in the history of the state been below 32 degrees in Tulsa in May. It has hit 32 at least twice on May 1 and May 2, but never below.

In fact, 32 is the lowest I found for anything in the last week of April also. If I found the correct info, this is surprising to me.


 o
RE: Update on forecast

You are correct, Scott. And those times it made it to 32 in Tulsa in May were ideal radiational cooling nights.....clear, calm, and cool airmass. That's what makes this cold air so incredible. We're getting to near freezing with overcast, maybe drizzle, and wind. This coming airmass is truly unprecedented.

About next week's possible cold......it may mean nothing, or it could be something......central Alaska is experiencing extreme, record cold right now. Fairbanks was 2 degrees today with a previous record of 8. If the pattern holds and the airmass moves like the previous ones, that air will be here late next week. I think we'll have a better idea on the trajectory of the cold air next week by Friday or Saturday.

Lee


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Thank you, Dawn and Paula. A couple of the pots have drainage holes that will let them breathe, but 2 don't so I'll prop them up in the morning. And I'll just be ready to do it all over again next week if we get a repeat. Crazy!!!

Suzie


 o
RE: Update on forecast

It is 32 here right now at 6:38 am. I expect it to drop another degree or two around sunrise. We had freezes here over the last 5-6 years as late as May 13th. So it is possible but the feeling I'm getting is tonight maybe our last. At least that is how I'm going to play it unless the Day report Friday convinces me otherwise. Jay


 o
RE: Update on forecast

I put buckets over my tomatoes yesterday afternoon and I am so glad. It didn't freeze here, but it was so windy that I went out to check on them this morning (in the rain!) to make sure the buckets hadn't blown away. That wind would've destroyed them. They're getting too big for buckets, though. Time for the cold to stop. I don't know that I'll be able to cover them next week unless I can find some larger buckets.

Leslie


 o
RE: Update on forecast

Although my thermometer and the closest recording stations showed 31-32 I had no frost or ice on anything. Not even the cat and dog water bowls. The moisture on the vehicle windshields wasn't froze. So I don't expect any damage on any plants. The storm system has been around 3 hours ahead of schedule the whole time. It has been parially clear to clear here all morning. I'm hoping for it to be a little warmer today and maybe not as cold as predicted tonight. The lean to was 54 degrees this morning. So the plants in it were very happy. I plugged in one oil heater last evening. I don't try to keep it real warm. I believe a temp swing is natural. Another greenhouse owner near me has his controls set where they maintain a constant 74 degrees 24/7. Hopefully everyone escaped any damage last night. They are saying the cold spell next week will be like this one with the colder temps to the east and north of us. Jay


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Oklahoma Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here