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Get ready to promote domestic peaches and blueberries for Easter

Warmer temps are coming back to Florida next week. This week has been on the cool side due a cold air mass that was sitting over the Southeast. This cold air has moved on and warmer temps are returning. By Sunday the areas of Belle Glade, Immokalee, Homestead and Plant City will all see high temps in the upper 80s and even some 90s on Monday and Tuesday. Minimum temps will also be warm in the mid- to upper 60s. Look for increased production from Florida later next week. Another storm could hit Florida Saturday, March 16 bringing rain and cooler temps.weat

The time is nearing for the first domestic blueberries and peaches of the season. Florida-grown peaches and blueberries are less than three weeks away. Al Finch, director of Florida Classic Growers, said crop volumes look good on both items, and first pickings of both peaches and blueberries should start the week of March 25. The peak of the harvest will be mid-April and the season will last into the middle of May if all goes well.

Finch said they have received some cold nights earlier this week that slowed things down a bit, but everything looks good going forward. Overall, they haven’t experienced any major weather issues this winter in Florida. He mentioned that the first week of March is usually the last chance they will see cool weather. Get ready to promote U.S.-grown peaches and blueberries for Easter this year.

Warm temps for now but will drop again next week. Yesterday and today saw a max temp of 97 with a min temp of 57. These are the definitely the hottest temps of the season so far. Starting Saturday, however, temps will begin to drop and on Tuesday Culiacan will only see a max temp of 77 and a min of 49. By Thursday the max temp will be back in the upper 80s but the colder nightly mins will continue at least through Friday, March 15. These low minimum temps are very unusual for this late in the season in Culiacan.

Yuma, Imperial and Coachella will see cool temps starting today through Monday. Max temps will remain the upper 60s and mins in the upper 40s. These regions will also see high winds today up to 25 miles per hour.

For now, the storms predicted to hit the coastal regions this Sunday and next Tuesday have been downgraded. Santa Maria and Oxnard now only have a 50 percent chance of a light shower on Sunday. Nothing that should affects harvests for Monday. These regions will see however some high winds today and next Tuesday. Castroville, the artichoke capital of the world, will see high winds next Tuesday and Wednesday around 35 miles per hour. Salinas has a chance for light showers tomorrow and next Tuesday but nothing major as of now.

The California cherry-growing regions in the San Joaquin Valley have seen a cold and wet winter. Rain totals for the month of February were above normal for most of the valley whiles temperatures were below normal. Overall it has been colder and wetter than normal in most of the West.

Chris Zanobini, the director of Cal Cherry, a marketing board for California cherries, said that so far, the cold wet winter has been a mixed blessing. The cold weather all winter has provided an excellent number of chilling hours for the trees, which has led to a high concentration of bloom and hopefully a big crop. The rain and cold temps they are still experiencing, however, has the crop production about seven to 10 days behind schedule for now. Zanobini said the crop is in a critical stage and the growers are in a wait-and-see situation with regard to the weather. He is anticipating harvests to begin the first week of May for now. If all goes well, they will have a bountiful crop this year. 

The Weathermelon app offers consolidated lists of global growing regions for each commodity; a 10-day detail forecast for each region; current radar maps (U.S. only); estimated harvest start/end dates for each commodity; monthly average high/low temps for each region; and custom daily alerts for temperature, precipitation and severe weather based on 10-day forecasts.

(David Robidoux is a co-founder Weathermelon)