NIWA's Sudden Stratospheric Warming warning


NIWA’s recent forecast for a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) event during early September brings back memories for those of us in the industry that experienced this weather phenomenon back in 2002 and to a lesser extent when it struck again in 2010.

While the event itself was predicted to peak last week it may result in cold and chilly weather in September and October.  More information on the SSW can be found on NIWA’s website.

In 2002 we experienced heavy frosts right through until late November. Many cherry trees suffered from the excessive amounts of water applied to them night after night and this season was the beginning of wind machine installation to reduce the trees exposure to cold, wet conditions.

So this week I’ll be focusing on making sure we are well prepared in the orchard by ensuring all maintenance has been carried out and the frost protection systems are tested for the season, including testing frost alarm systems are operating and accurate. I’ll also keep an eye on the frost forecasts now available to growers on the Summerfruit NZ portal along with your daily local forecasts, these can be found on the portal at Tools/Climate Summary Tools/Weather forecasts/Ground frost risk/.

Tim Jones