NOAA Increases Hurricane Activity Forecast

Josh McGillhurricane, Weather

Earlier this month, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters increased their prediction for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season from a near-normal level of activity to an above-normal level of activity. They believe that current ocean and atmospheric conditions, such as record-level warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures, are likely to counterbalance the usually limiting atmospheric conditions associated with the ongoing …

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Hurricane Forecast Raised Again

Josh McGillhurricane, Weather

Colorado State University (CSU) researchers on July 6 increased their Atlantic hurricane forecast for the second time this year. They now call for an above-average Atlantic basin hurricane season in 2023. However, they note that uncertainty with this outlook is larger than normal. In June, CSU predicted a near-average hurricane season. In April, CSU predicted a slightly below-average season.   NEW …

Gulf Citrus Growers Gain Hurricane Insights

Josh McGillGulf, hurricane, Weather

The Gulf Citrus Growers Association (GCGA) hosted its annual meeting in Fort Myers in early June to tend to association business and elect new board members. The event was well attended, and growers were mostly in good spirits buoyed by observations that HLB therapies might be having positive impacts on trees. Ron Mahan, current GCGA president, captured that sentiment in …

Safeguarding Citrus From Heat Stress

Josh McGillTip of the Week, Weather

By Amir Rezazadeh Rising temperatures and climate change challenges of recent years have brought a significant threat to citrus trees. Heat stress, caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures, poses a severe risk to citrus trees. Excessive soil evaporation, inconsistent rainfall and poor soil water-holding capacity can make trees even more sensitive to heat. High temperatures result in shortened internodes, …

Colorado State University Updates Hurricane Forecast

Josh McGillhurricane, Weather

Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers on June 1 increased their Atlantic hurricane forecast. They are now predicting a near-average 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team is predicting 15 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season. That’s 14 anticipated storms in addition to a subtropical storm that the National Hurricane Center says formed in January. Of …

NOAA Predicts Near-Normal Hurricane Season

Josh McGillhurricane, Weather

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, predict near-normal hurricane activity this year. NOAA’s outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30, predicts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance …

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Help Trees Weather Heat With Particle Film

Josh McGillTip of the Week, Weather

By Sharpton Toussaint and Christopher Vincent Kaolin particle film is a promising grove management technique for pest control and growth enhancement. The optimal rates to use to improve water use and growth in citrus trees remain an important area of investigation. Citrus leaves are prone to water deficits because they transpire more water than the stems can supply. University of …

Weather, Costs and Other Citrus Impacts

Josh McGillProduction, Weather

In U.S. Citrus Production – An Uphill Battle to Survive, Daniel Munch zeroed in on issues impacting citrus-producing states. In excerpts that follow, the American Farm Bureau Federation economist focuses on weather, disease, population, production shifts and increasing costs that have impacted citrus. FLORIDA FACES NUMEROUS CHALLENGESIn 2017, Hurricane Irma’s high winds and damaging rains battered key citrus-producing regions in …

Hurricane Forecasts Differ in Severity

Tacy Callieshurricane, Weather

The Weather Company and Atmospheric G2 on April 13 forecast 15 named storms for the Atlantic hurricane season. That’s two more than the 13 that Colorado State University (CSU) projected on the same date. The Weather Company and Atmospheric G2 also projected seven of the storms will become hurricanes and that three will become major hurricanes. By contrast, CSU forecast …

Predictions for the 2023 Hurricane Season

Tacy Callieshurricane, Weather

Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers are predicting a slightly below-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2023, citing the likely development of El Niño as a primary factor. The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team is predicting 13 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. Of those, researchers expect six to become hurricanes and …

Can Brassinosteroids Help Citrus Cope With Disease and Extreme Weather?

Josh McGillDiseases, Research, Weather

By Fernando Alferez and Muhammad A. Shahid Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a natural group of hormones that regulate physiological and biochemical attributes that include seed germination, flower development, root formation and resistance to various abiotic and biotic stresses. BRs have shown promise in reducing pests and diseases in a wide range of plants, including citrus. A commercial formulation of BRs has …

Drought and Freeze Don’t Deter Grower

Josh McGillOrganic, Production, Weather

Apopka citrus grower Chip Henry reports that McGuire Groves received 9.5 inches of rain in March 2022. In March 2023, it received less than half an inch. Portions of Lee, Hendy and Collier counties were in an extreme drought as of April 6, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Many other areas of Florida, including where McGuire Groves is located, …

Hurricane Ian Damage Assessment Gets Underway

Josh McGillAgriculture, hurricane, Weather

By Frank Giles There is no question Hurricane Ian will go down as a historic catastrophe in Florida. It’s impact on agriculture will likely be historic as well. While it is too early to know the full extent of damage, AgNet Media is reaching out to growers and various industry associations and agencies to learn the extent of damage to …

Growers Anxious as Hurricane Approaches

Josh McGillhurricane, Weather

Editor’s Note: This story was written before Hurricane Ian made landfall. Stay tuned for updates on how the storm has impacted Florida’s citrus industry. Citrus producers in South Georgia, North Florida and East Alabama are on “pins and needles” this week, according to grower Kim Jones. While the crop is about a month away from harvest, it is extremely vulnerable …

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FAWN Expansion Underway

Josh McGillTip of the Week, Weather

By Rick Lusher The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) is a great resource for citrus growers. Its mission is to leverage timely, reliable and accurate weather data in support of effective agricultural decision-making and stewardship of natural, human and fiscal resources. In addition to weather information accessible in multiple databases, there …

Trying to Reason With Hurricane-Season Forecasts

Josh McGillWeather

By Matt Smith It’s September in Florida, which means two things: the start to the latest “rebuilding year” for Florida football and the traditional peak of hurricane season. It was in September of 2017 that Hurricane Irma cut just about the worst path imaginable for Florida’s citrus growers. Along with causing physical damage to groves, Irma also contributed to disease …

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Slight Decrease in Hurricane Outlook

Josh McGillhurricane, Weather

On Aug. 4, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) slightly decreased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 60%. That is down from 65% in the initial NOAA outlook issued in May. The likelihood of near-normal activity has risen to 30% from 25% in May, and the chances remain at 10% for a below-normal season. NOAA’s update …

Update to Hurricane Forecast Issued

Josh McGillhurricane, Weather

On Aug. 4, Colorado State University (CSU) decreased its hurricane forecast for Atlantic seasonal activity and landfall strike probability for 2022. But citrus growers and other agriculturists shouldn’t relax their guard because the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science continues to call for an above-average Atlantic hurricane season. NEW PROJECTIONSCSU now forecasts the Atlantic will have 18 named storms in 2022, …

Keep Cool in the Heat of Summer

Josh McGillAll In For Citrus Podcast, Weather

This summer has been a steamy one with some Florida locations breaking record highs. The latest episode of the All In For Citrus podcast took up the hot topic with Amir Rezazadeh, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) fruit and field crops Extension agent. He addressed how heat can affect citrus trees and people working …

Protecting Citrus Trees From Heat Stress

Josh McGillTip of the Week, Weather

By Anirban Guha Heat stress could take a toll on citrus tree health and fruit yield. In Florida, the hot season lasts more than four months. Long, hot, oppressive summer days can heat up leaves and fruit and make the trees extra thirsty. Also, high soil evaporation, irregular rainfall and poor soil water-holding capacity can often lead to summer drought …