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More Cold Weather Coming This Weekend - Jan. 19, 2022

Hans Walter-Peterson, Team Leader, Viticulture Extension Specialist
Finger Lakes Grape Program

January 19, 2022
More Cold Weather Coming This Weekend - Jan. 19, 2022

We got our first real blast of winter air this past weekend, which drove temperatures in multiple locations in the Finger Lakes down below zero. If you've been watching the weather forecast recently, you have probably seen that we're expecting another blast of cold air on Friday and Saturday. The forecasts I've been reading are saying that most locations in the Finger Lakes will drop below zero, perhaps even into double digits in some areas. Those kinds of temperatures can obviously be problematic for our vinifera cultivars as well as some of the disease-resistant ones as well.

The most recent DTA results posted on the Bud Hardiness website are from last week (Monday, January 10), so actual hardiness this week may be a bit different than these numbers, but based on these results I think that there are some varieties that I'm particularly concerned about, like Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon blanc. However, if a site gets to -10F this weekend, there is the potential for varying amounts damage across the board, even in native varieties to some extent. 

The charts for each cultivar on the project site show the daily temperature at the sampling location with the DTA results for a given cultivar (you can see charts like these for each variety being monitored at the project website by clicking on the name of the variety). In the chart for Gewurztraminer, we can see that the cold temperatures this past weekend dropped into the zone where we would expect bud injury at that location, possibly up to 50%, while the chart for Concords shows that we wouldn't anticipate much injury in that variety. Again, that could change this weekend depending on how cold it gets.

Unfortunately, there is very little that most growers can do about this at this point other than wait and see what happens, and then adapt as necessary. Those growers who have wind machines should be sure that they are adequately fueled and in working order before the cold air arrives, should they be necessary. The most important thing to do in the short term will be to plan on collecting some buds sometime next week and to evaluate how much damage occurred. Hopefully, they will be small numbers. 

This week's bud hardiness results should be posted sometime on Friday, and I will send out an update to everyone when we have those.




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July 12, 2022
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