Central California - February 18, 2013
This report covers conditions and observations made between Friday, February 15 and Sunday, February 17, 2013.
Taken along the west side of the region, this report’s photos for the central region present the green and pink tip stages of the Nonpareil and the advanced popcorn and open bloom of the Avalon in the Westley area of Stanislaus County, followed by the pink tip stage of the Fritz in the Gustine area of Merced County.
Cool nights and comfortable days dominated the weather over the weekend. A high, thin overcast covered most of the region on Saturday, interrupting the bright, clear skies that reigned over the valley on Friday and Sunday. Morning temperatures dipped into the mid and upper 30’s while daytime highs were reported predominately in the mid and upper 60’s, with warmest readings reported at just over 70 degrees. In contrast to the calm conditions that prevailed on Friday and Saturday, winds of 5 to 15 mph blew through the region for much of Sunday.
Bees could be found scurrying across the orchards for 6 to 7 hours, aggressively search for flowers to forage upon. And while they could be found congregating on the few open flowers available, most of their efforts were expended on the flowering weeds in and around the orchards.
Bud development continues in the central region, with a few more open flowers now visible in the early blooming varieties. The Sonora variety is moving steadily into the pink tip stage, with most plantings exhibiting a scattering of open flowers across the tops of the trees. Many Fritz, Price and Aldrich plantings are running ahead of their associated Nonpareil, but still exhibit the potential for very good overlap. While the vast majority of the Carmel plantings are predominately in the green tip stage, most are just a short time away from exposing their petals.
Many growers have been irrigating their orchards over the past week. Most report that they want to apply approximately 2 inches of water, supplementing moisture that they would have normally received from winter rain.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
Photos: Mel Machado, 2/18/13
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