Dry Winter Forecast Adds to Water Worries

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, Water, Weather

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center is expecting a dry winter in Southern California. Specifically, it says the El Niño-Southern Oscillation is predicted to be neutral into the fall (51% chance for the August–October season), with La Niña potentially emerging during the September–November season and lasting through the 2021–22 winter (66% chance during November–January). The forecast comes on the … Read More

Help Trees Handle Heat

Tacy CalliesAll In For Citrus Podcast, Weather

crop forecast

Florida citrus production can be significantly impacted during the summertime heat. High temperatures with little to no rainfall can affect trees’ vegetative growth, fruit set and fruit quality, says Amir Rezazadeh, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) multi-county fruit and field crops agent. Heat is a factor that can cause citrus trees to become significantly dehydrated. … Read More

Protect Citrus Trees From Heat Stress

Tacy CalliesWeather

By Amir Rezazadeh Heat stress affects the production of different citrus varieties, particularly seedless varieties. The severe effect of heat stress can be seen during the flowering and fruit set stage as well as June drop. High temperature can affect different growth stages of citrus trees, such as vegetative growth, flowering and fruit set. EARLY SIGNSThe following are early signs … Read More

Avoiding Heat-Related Deaths

Ernie NeffResearch, Weather

A new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) report showed 215 people in Florida died from heat-related causes in the last 10 years. The fact that heat-related deaths happen throughout the year surprised the researchers who wrote the report. Serap Gorucu, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, helped write the report. She and … Read More

Spot and Stop Worker Heat Stress

Tacy CalliesTip of the Week, Weather

By Amir Rezazadeh Heat stress happens when the body is exposed to extreme heat in a hot environment. Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rashes or heat stroke. Other signs of heat stress include sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses and dizziness. Those who work outdoors or in hot environments are at risk of heat stress. Workers who are … Read More

More Storms in ‘Average’ Hurricane Season

Ernie Neffhurricane, Weather

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will issue its initial seasonal outlook for the 2021 hurricane season in late May. The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. Beginning with this year’s hurricane season outlooks, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) will use 1991-2020 as the new 30-year period of record. The updated averages for … Read More

Wind Damages California Lemons

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Weather

Wind damage sustained last week in California is still being assessed by county agriculture commissioners in San Diego and Ventura counties. However, damage appears to be limited to lemons and avocados. The wind damage was the result of a series of storms that swept through Southern California last week. The region experienced strong winds with gusts of nearly 100 mile-per-hour … Read More

Cold Acclimation and Leaf Freezing Temperatures

Tacy CalliesWeather

Citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt reports the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is determining the acclimation of Florida citrus trees to cold weather by measuring citrus leaf freezing temperatures. “Certain environmental conditions will initiate this acclimation process,” says Oswalt. “These environmental cues will cause physiological changes to occur within the plant that will depress the … Read More

La Niña and Florida Citrus

Ernie NeffWeather

A moderate La Niña climate phase is expected through spring 2021. This indicates that slightly above average temperatures and slightly less rainfall than normal can be expected in Florida’s citrus belt. Multi-county citrus Extension agent Ajia Paolillo made that announcement during a virtual Dec. 22 OJ Break presented by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). … Read More

Get Florida Freeze Updates With Winter Weather Watch

Tacy CalliesTip of the Week, Weather


By Chris Oswalt There was a time back in 1962, on Dec. 12 and 13, when a devastating freeze in Florida decimated a significant portion of the state’s citrus industry. In Polk County, the freeze caused serious damage to 134,000 acres of citrus. In 1963, citrus growers were concerned about receiving timely weather information and frost warning bulletins. Back then, … Read More

Climate Outlook for the Southeast

Tacy CalliesWeather

University of Georgia Agricultural (UGA) Climatologist Pam Knox provided a climate outlook during a recent Georgia Citrus Update webinar. According to Knox, a strong La Niña is in place in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the winds are now in sync with the ocean conditions. This signifies that La Niña is likely to continue through the winter months and into … Read More

Get the Science on Climate Change

Ernie NeffWeather

“Our climate is changing and, with that, comes more extreme events,” said Ashley Smyth, an assistant professor of soil and water science at the Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead. The center is part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). “Just look at the most recent hurricanes. As they cross the Gulf, they … Read More

Improved Weather Data at Growers’ Fingertips

Tacy CalliesWeather


Weather is one of the most important factors affecting crop growth and production. The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), a University of Florida-operated service, was created to assist growers in making decisions related primarily to irrigation scheduling and cold protection. Currently, the FAWN network operates 42 stations located from Jay to Homestead that record and report every 15 minutes on … Read More

Busy Hurricane Season Projected by NOAA

Ernie Neffhurricane, Weather


An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. An above-average Atlantic hurricane season was also predicted more than a month earlier by both Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers and AccuWeather. See those predictions. The NOAA outlook predicts a … Read More

Valencia Oranges Hit by Heavy Fruit Drop

Ernie NeffCOVID-19, Processing, Weather

Heavy fruit drop and weather issues reportedly could lead to reduction in Florida’s Valencia orange crop. Some in the citrus industry said COVID-19 issues in processing plants have also limited the intake of Valencias from groves, but the Florida Citrus Processors Association (FCPA) says that is not likely the case. “Processors have slowed down presumably due to COVID-19 … They … Read More

FAWN Website Now Easier to Use

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Weather


The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), a University of Florida-operated service aiding agricultural decision-makers statewide since 1997, relaunched its website with a new look and additional features. “Our main goal in revamping the site was to make it more efficient for users,” said Rick Lusher, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) project manager for FAWN. “One … Read More

Winter Weather Watch Program for Growers

Ernie NeffWeather


Multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt describes the Winter Weather Watch available to growers in the west, central and southwest regions of Florida. The program runs from Nov. 15 to March 15 and costs growers $100.  Oswalt says the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) established the program in the 1960s to provide agricultural forecasts via … Read More

Growers Prepare for Winter Weather With UF/IFAS Extension

Daniel Coopercold protection, Industry News Release, Weather


(UF/IFAS) — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension will educate growers on how to protect their crops and prepare for cold weather at the upcoming Winter Weather School. This year, the event will address winter crop protection for citrus, blueberries and ornamental plants; all of which need cold protection during severe weather. “While we have … Read More

Millions in Agricultural Crops at Risk as Dorian Approaches Florida

Daniel CooperCitrus, Grapefruit, hurricane, Industry News Release, Weather


GIf Hurricane Dorian makes landfall mid-way up Florida’s Atlantic Coast – as many models predicted Thursday afternoon – the storm could devastate not only Central Florida tourist destinations, but also the region’s agricultural areas, which include significant acreage devoted to citrus, vegetable, ornamental plant and cattle production. Economists and Extension faculty with the University of Florida Institute of Food and … Read More

Helping Generations Cope with Freezes

Ernie Nefffreeze, Weather


Winter Weather Watch is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension program that has helped generations of Florida citrus growers be prepared for freezes. “Back in the ’60s, we didn’t have the Internet. We had rotary dial phones,” says multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt, who discusses the history and workings of Winter Weather Watch, which … Read More