Winter Weather Warnings
Do you want to know the latest forecast for your crops? There are many sources for information. The National Weather Service (NWS) provides data for your specific location. You just have to enter in the city to get a forecast and access to local radar. You can also look at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Prediction Center to be able to see the weather fronts coming across the US. Do you want something provided more locally?
The University of Florida provides weather programming too at the Florida Automated Weather Service (FAWN). From this page you can access the latest weather observations, forecasts, and lots more. FAWN maintains weather stations throughout Florida and also taps into the My Florida Farm network where farmers with weather stations on their farms provide data to the system. Locate the point closest to your farm and you have instant access to weather graphs, forecasts, and cold protection alert systems (you just set your critical temperature). Toolkits there help you determine chill hour accumulation and irrigation needs. When weather conditions are right for disease growth, the citrus copper application scheduler and strawberry advisory toolkits will help you determine when to apply fungicides. More toolkits are planned for the future.
With all these tools at your fingertips, what more could you want? Fred Crosby. Fred is a retired NWS agricultural meteorologist with many years of experience forecasting weather for growers. He has been providing UF/IFAS Extension with his insights for many years. In the past it was through John Jackson’s Weather Watch. Now you can get his forecasts through Juanita Popenoe’s newsletter. Fred gets NWS updates around noon each day and takes a closer look at the forecast using all the tools meteorologists use (believe me they are mind-boggling and require years to understand). His take on the forecast is then provided out to those who get the Central Florida Fruit Production News. Sign up for Juanita’s newsletter if you want to get Fred’s take on the forecast when cold weather threatens. All the Citrus Extension Agent’s newsletters are available.
Here’s hoping for a winter that is just cold enough and not too cold!