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Powerful storm could halt Northern California harvest

A strong storm is coming to Northern California and the San Joaquin Valley this weekend, with the potential to drop between 1.5 inches and two inches of rain in a 24-hour period.  wear

Chances of rain this weekend in California have increased since Friday. We are now looking at an 80-100 percent chance of rain on Friday and Saturday depending on location. This storm will stay mostly in the north of the state, affecting Castroville, Salinas, Watsonville, Stockton, Santa Maria and locations throughout the San Joaquin Valley. The predicted rain totals are high with the Salinas area getting around 1.75 inches and Stockton getting close to two inches. Santa Maria is predicted to get half an inch on Saturday. By the time you get south to Oxnard the estimate is only for 0.1 inches. In the San Joaquin Valley rain totals are predicted to be one to two inches depending on location. Look for berry production to be affected once again by these rains. Harvest of veg out of Salinas and Huron might be affected for a day or two due to rain.  

California's Coachella Valley is definitely locked in a heat wave. Highs in the upper 90s are projected for the next 10 days at least. Next Tuesday, April 10, the National Weather Service is projecting a high of 99 degrees. The average high temp for April is 85. Look for product to come on fast out of this area over the next week to 10 days.

Temps remain cool in the blueberry-growing regions of Georgia. Over the next week there will be many nights of minimum temps in the 40s. They are also expecting rain up to an inch this weekend. Look for temps to remain below normal through next week at least.

Leamington, ON, is expecting much colder temps than normal for this time of year. Minimum temps will be at or below freezing all this week and next. Friday night will be the coldest night with a minimum of 22 degrees and chance of snow. High temps all week will be in the mid- to upper 30s; the average for April is 48/37. The area won’t see any relief until next Wednesday, April 11. It will also see high winds Wednesday and Friday of this week up to 25mph. These temps may push back the start of the season.

In Mexico the states of Sonora and Sinaloa are experiencing average high and low temps for this time of year with no rain in the forecast. Expect all veg out of this area to continue at normal levels. Torreon, Coahuila, is experiencing perfect weather with highs in the 90s and lows in the 60s. This is a big region for shade house tomatoes and cucumbers in the spring through fall. Look for product out of this region to start later this month. Other regions of Mexico in the states of Michoacán, Jalisco, Guanajuato and Colima also have normal temps at the moment and no rain in the 10 day forecast.     

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)