Long Range Outlook…
Growers are probably wondering if this upcoming rainy season will be a benefit to the water picture for 2017. Present long range outlooks are calling for a weak La Nina to develop over the waters of the Equatorial Eastern Pacific this fall and remain in place at least through the winter months. These slightly cooler than normal conditions would be in sharp contrast to the moderate strength El Nino event of last winter and early spring. In general, a La Nina event tends to bring above normal precipitation to the Pacific Northwest and below normal precipitation to the southern tier of the United States, including Southern California. This would leave Northern California in the transition zone between these two extremes. Because this winter’s La Nina event is not expected to be a strong one, confidence in this pattern actually unfolding as projected are relatively low at this point, especially along the West Coast. Last winter we saw many Central and most South State locations ending far short of seasonal normals during a time when expectations were high (probable unrealistically high) for a wet winter.
“This year the expectations of a wet winter are not there but how rapidly the state transitions from near normal to below normal precipitation has yet to be determined so the Lodi area has a decent chance of enjoying a normal amount of winter rain.”
Weather Service Tools Explained
The Lodi Winegrape Commission provides their members a wealth of weather information to make informed decisions. The weather station network began in mid-1990 and has grown in size over the years. All of the weather stations are located in or near vineyards and were installed by the team at Western Weather Group, a Chico, California firm, specializing in professional weather stations and weather forecasting.
The data from the weather stations can be viewed in several different formats on a personal computer, tablet or smartphone with internet connectivity.
WEB PAGE http://www.westernwx.com/LWWC/
The Lodi Winegrape Commission weather web page contains the daily agricultural weather forecast for the growing region, satellite and radar information, climatic data as well as current and historical weather data from the network of weather stations. The “Weather Database” link allows a user to display the data from the vineyard weather stations in tabular or graphical formats as well as generate a climate summary and calculate degree days using the GDD Calculator for many phenology models. Below is a list of the different types of reports that can be created. The data can also be downloaded to the user’s personal computer in a PDF, Excel or CSV file format.
A feature also exists with the “Weather Database” for growers to be able to receive alerts via text message from one or more stations based on thresholds that they can set in a personal web page.
WEB APP (TABULAR FORMAT) http://www.westernwx.com/mobile/?group=mlodi
On the Web App with a tabular format there is a down arrow at the top where a user can select what parameter they want to view. The Web App defaults to air temperature. In the spring time it is nice to be able to see what the minimum temperature was or in the summertime to be able to see the max temperature for all the stations in the growing region on a single viewing screen.
By selecting the down arrow a menu pops up and any of the following parameters can be displayed for all of the stations. A user can click on a specific station to see the latest full weather observation.
WEB APP (GOOGLE MAP FORMAT) http://www.westernwx.com/map/?g=mlodi
The Web App in the Google map format plots the current air temperature, wind speed and wind direction for each of the Lodi weather stations on a map of the growing region. A user can select in the upper right corner what parameter they want plotted on the map instead of air temperature by selecting a different parameter from the drop down list in the upper right corner of the screen.
If a user clicks on a station on the map they will see the latest weather observation as shown in the example below.
From the detailed weather box the user can click on the “7 Day Weather Summary” to see the last seven days of weather data.
WEATHER UNDERGROUND https://www.wunderground.com
In coordination with the Lodi Winegrape Commission, Western Weather Group sends the data from the weather stations in the Lodi network to the Weather Underground which posts the data on their website. Users can then take advantage of all the weather tools offered by the Weather Underground. Here is the link to the weather station in Galt on the Weather Underground. https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KCAGALT18.
The Weather Underground has a fantastic App for a tablet that lets you see the data in various formats. The App can be downloaded from the App stores.
Questions on the weather stations, the data, viewing the information or having a weather station in your vineyard can be directed to Western Weather Group at 530-342-1700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sign up for Crush District 11 daily weather forecasts by email, send a request to email@example.com.
To subscribe to the Coffee Shop Blog, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “blog subscribe.”
To join the Lodi Growers email list, send an email to email@example.com the subject “grower email subscribe” or click on “join our email list” to the right.
To receive Lodi Grower news and event promotions by mail, send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.367.4727.
For more information on the wines of Lodi, visit the Lodi Winegrape Commission’s consumer website, lodiwine.com.