Friday, February 13, 2015

Forecasts and Best Guesses

forecasts and best guesses

I know we're not done with winter, as I write this there is snow in the forecast (24 hrs later- hardly got any). And, looking ahead, more is suggested into the middle of March. But, spring is on its way.

It seems this winter has flown by. Here at the nursery, we are getting underway with spring projects. Even though the houses and other overwintering structures are still covered, the spring perennial crop will begin to be planted in the next few days. It's also time to wake up roses.

Now, if I only knew what the weather was going to do. Not to state the obvious, but we live and die by the forecast. Not only for the well being of the plants, the staff and facilities have to be considered as well.

Weather Map

I have a pretty high degree of confidence in the short term (2 or 3 days) forecast. At the nursery we generally use the National Weather Service. Their forecast vacillates during the day which makes for a tough call sometimes e.g. Will we need to close the doors tonight or can we save the labor cost. Do we need to have a late start with wind chills in the negative. Are the winds going to be so strong to warrant extra straps to hold the poly.

What about next week, the week after, next month? Whose best guesstimate do you use when planning 3 or 4 weeks out? This is when you have to be something of a gambler. I'm going with February being a little warmer than average, and March being a little cooler than average. And what does that tell me? Not a lot, other than with the exception of a few days here and there I won't be wearing those shorts any time soon. Stay warm.

By Jonathan McCombie, Grower, Loma Vista Nursery

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