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Freeze giving Florida the blues, more storms out west

Cold weather continues in Florida. Alachua had a freeze warning issued yesterday morning and today they are waking up to a temperature of 36 degrees. Orlando is 46 this morning and Plant City 40 degrees. Typical minimums for this time of year are 51 for Alachua and 60 for Orlando.wear

These three areas are the main blueberry regions for Florida and this cooler weather is holding back the maturity of the fruit. Some growers have mentioned the bushes are full of fruit and heavy volumes are expected once the weather turns. This area will see 80s/60s over the weekend but then back into the 70s/40s next week. The vast majority of blueberries are still coming out of Chile, but expect the season to wind down toward the end of the month. Mexico is still in the mix as well through May.

There are more storms out west, with a 60 to 100 percent chance of rain up and down the state for today and tomorrow with rain totals between a quarter inch and half an inch depending on location. A more powerful storm is set to hit Wednesday and Thursday, March 21-22. That storm is projected to have rain totals of one to one-and-a-half inches. This Friday through Sunday expect minimums to be back into the mid-30s in Salinas and Santa Maria.

Even with all this rain over the last three weeks, the state is still well below historical norms. Northern California is averaging about 60 percent of normal, Central California is about 40 percent of normal and Southern California is about 30 percent of normal for this time of year. This rain could push back plantings of veg in the Salinas area.

In Ventura and San Diego counties, the two main growing regions for avocados, also expect rain today and then a more powerful storm to hit next week with up to an inch of rain. The rain is needed but will curtail harvests.

Mexico is experiencing perfect growing conditions. Guaymas, Sonora, which is the next location to come online with Roma tomatoes, will begin to warm up next week with highs in the mid-80s and minimums in the mid-60s. Keep an eye on the supply of Romas to increase as this region gets active over next week to 10 days. Central Mexico’s veg and berries are also experiencing excellent conditions. Supplies should be good for the near future. Northern Baja California for asparagus looks good as well. Lime regions in Veracruz will be in the 90s over the weekend and then back into the 80s for next week; good weather ahead.

If you have a special request for a commodity or location please let the Weathermelon team know. 

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)