UGA Extension Viticulture Blog

Little rainfall for the next week, but likely to be wetter after that

The latest 7-day QPF (qualitative precipitation forecast) shows that little rain is expected for north and central Georgia in the next week.  Rain amounts are expected to be less than half an inch in many areas, although areas in the northeast mountains might see some daily pop-up showers during the afternoons. By late next week, however, the weather is expected to shift into a wetter pattern, although there will be occasional dry days between rain events.

The big question mark at the moment is what will be happening with the tropics.  Tropical Storm Harvey is intensifying rapidly southeast of Texas and is expected to become a hurricane later today before meandering onshore and hanging out over Texas for the next few days.  The map show that some areas there could receive 20 inches or more in the next few days, since steering currents are weak and the storm may just spin and rain over the flat and already water-soaked region, leading to massive flooding, loss of power, and potential loss of life.  Considering the population in that area and the lack of elevation, it is likely to be a multi-billion dollar disaster.

At the same time, a second weaker system is over south Florida now and is forecast to move northeast up the coast.  Georgia is pinched between the two systems by a ridge of high pressure which should hold off most of the rain for now.  But moisture from either of these storms could cause more problems in a week or so as they move closer to Georgia.  In addition, two new waves have moved off of the west coast of Africa and could develop into tropical storms that could affect the Southeast on longer time scales.

 

A quick note from Cain: “Please use these and future weather forecasts to aid in your harvest decisions.  These current predicted patterns will particularly impact those who are considering harvesting whites and early reds in the next couple weeks.  Evaluate your current fruit integrity and maturity (chemical, sensory) in light of your winemaking goals, but also consider the predicted weather patterns.  Although never easy, taking the previous into consideration will help you make the best harvest decisions.”

 

Thanks all, Pam.