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The heat is on, it's on the fields

Heat has aririved in the Coachella Valley. Highs have been in the 90s all week, and this weekend will reach a maximum of 97 degrees on Saturday and Sunday and stay in the mid-90s all next week. Look for spring crops, including Bell peppers, corn, eggplant, green beans and tomatoes, to come on quickly. Later crops of watermelons and grapes could move up their start dates with this heat.wear

Yuma, AZ, and the Imperial Valley are experiencing the same heat, which is expected to bring on southern Arizona's melon crops much earlier than normal. 

The San Joaquin Valley is also experiencing the same heat wave with temps about 15 degrees above normal. The hottest days of the week will be this Saturday and Sunday with highs in the upper 80s and then will maintain the mid-80s all next week.

One last winter storm is out on the horizon for California. For April 6 and 7 the National Weather Service is predicting a storm to make its way through the state. Up and down the Californiacoast and into the San Joaquin Valley there is a 60 percent chance of rain with totals between one-half to one inch and temps will drop by 15 degrees down into the mid-60s for highs. The Coachella Valley and Yuma will not be affected by this storm.

Warm temps with rain off and on throughout the week. Northern parts of the state will see rain today and Sunday, and a chance on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of next week. Blueberry volumes will be picking up and peaches should be starting in the next week or so, watermelons in the next week to 10 days.

Expect volumes to pick up next week out west as fields have had time to dry out and temps are back to normal. Oxnard and Santa Maria are shipping good volumes and Salinas/Watsonville is just starting their season. We will keep you informed next Tuesday with progress of the storm mentioned above and any impact that may have on berries. Florida and central Mexico are almost done for the season. Florida shipped only 80 loads last week when the normal mid-season production is well above 300 loads per week. Central Mexico shipped only 25 loads last week while normal mid-season production is well above 200 loads per week. Product out of Baja California remains steady with about 80 truckloads per week.

Volumes out of the northern Baja California regions of Mexicali and San Luis Rio Colorado remain strong. Peru is done for the season. Central California regions in the San Joaquin Valley are starting their harvest this week. With the heat they are experiencing expect volumes to pick up quickly. Keep an eye on the lower Yakima Valley region of Washington as they are the next location to start with asparagus here in the U.S. Expect harvest to begin in the next two to three weeks. Temps next week for Washington will be in the 60s for the highs and upper 30s to low 40s for the minimums.

Weather is relatively calm throughout the country. A few areas of above-average temps, which should help with supplies. Ciudad Obregon will see temps in the 90s next week, which should help with the Roma tomato supply. Martinez de la Torre, Veracruz, will be hot, hot, hot next week with temps in the 90s and will reach 98 on Saturday, April 7. With no rain in the forecast expect the volume of limes to increase, which should help with f.o.b. pricing. Puebla will see rain next week which may affect harvest of veg in this area. Everywhere else in Mexico look for perfect weather with average temps.

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)