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Cooldown begins in Florida, continues in Culiacan

Florida will continue its heat spell through this Sunday with highs in the upper 80s and lows in the mid- to upper 60s. Starting next Monday, Feb 25 things will begin to cool off with high temps only reaching in the low 80s with some possible 70s early next week in most growing regions. Low temps will decrease as well only getting into the low 60s. By Saturday, March 2 the lows will be in the 50s.weat

Next Tuesday and Wednesday there is a chance of rain in all major regions. Any where from 0.5 to 0.75 inches depending on location. Friday, March 2 there is an additional chance of rain.

Culiacan has been experiencing cool weather all this week. Minimum temps have been in the high 40s and maximum temps have only been in the mid-70s. This weekend is expected to be the coolest nights of this cold front so far with minimum temps getting down to 46 on Saturday and Sunday nights. Minimum temps will remain the 40s through Monday, Feb 25. By Wednesday, Feb 27 minimum temps will be back in the mid-50s and max temps will be back around the 90-degree mark.

California is finally drying out and should be rain-free for the next 10 days. There is a slight chance of rain for next weekend (March 2-3) in the coastal regions. In the meantime the weather will be great with temps warming over next week. Max temps will be in the mid-60s and minimum temps in the low 50s by next week. Hopefully the growers in Oxnard and Santa Maria can get back in and catch up on harvests.

The Coachella Valley and Yuma will also begin to warm up over the next week. By the end of next week these desert growing regions will see max temps in the 80s and minimum temps in the high 50s and some low 60s. Look for production to pick up as we go in the weekend of March 2.

California Citrus Mutual's Joel Medina said recent cold temps have been very beneficial for the crop. They have slowed down the ripening process just enough to allow for the skin on the fruit to harden and the sugars to concentrate, creating a sweeter fruit. Medina mentioned the rain has slowed harvest, but it should be back on track in the coming days. He also mentioned they are experiencing smaller sizing due to a spell of hot weather back in November, but things are looking good going forward. Lastly, he said the navel season will last well into June this year, a few weeks longer than normal.

As for the Florida peach crop, Sonia Tighe of the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation said they haven’t experienced any weather issues this season to disrupt the crop and everything is on track to be much larger than last year. They should begin picking by mid-March and have decent volumes by April 1. The season should run through the end of May.

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)