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Southwest headed for heatwave, relief on the way for grape and Bell pepper markets

A major heatwave is coming to the Southwest this weekend and will continue into next week. This week temps in the California and Arizona deserts as well as the northern Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California have been hovering around 100 for a high and 70 for a minimum. Starting tomorrow the temps will jump dramatically, with highs reaching 113 on Sunday and will remain above 110 all next week. Minimum temps will also increase with temps between 80 and 83 from Saturday through all of next week, which should cause an increase in production. There may be some relief in the grape and Bell pepper markets with increased production. Other items from these areas right now are watermelons, honeydews, cantaloupes, corn and tomatoes.wear

WATERMELONS
Hot and humid across the South. The main shipping areas right now -- central and northern Florida -- are experiencing highs in the upper 80s and minimums in the low 70s with daily possibilities of rain but low rain totals of 0.1 inches each day. This is much less rain than they were experiencing the last two weeks. McAllen, TX, and the Rio Grande Valley high temps are in the upper 90s and minimums in the mid-70s. Humidity is high around 90 percent but no rain is forecasted. The desert southwest and northern Mexico as mentioned above will experience hot and dry weather the next 10 days.

STRAWBERRIES
Watsonville and Santa Maria are pumping out heavy volumes right now with a combined total of over 700 loads last week between both areas. Weather is typical for this time of year with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the upper 50s with no rain in sight. Volumes should remain heavy.

TOMATOES
Mexico, for the most part, will be dry and hot for the next 10 days in the major tomato-growing regions. The La Laguna region of Torreon, Coahuila, will have highs at or above 100 for the next 10 days and no chance of rain. The state of San Luis Potosi will also be dry for the next 10 days with highs in the mid-80s and minimums in the upper 50s. On the west coast of Mexico in the San Quintin region of Baja California highs will be in the mid-70s and minimums in the low 60s all next week. The only region with chances of rain is in the state of Michoacan with daily rain starting Sunday and continuing through next Saturday the June 9. Daily rain totals between a quarter-inch and half an inch. This area is mostly greenhouse production so should it not be affected by the rains.

In the South, one of the summer mature green growing regions of the U.S. will finally begin to dry out from the heavy rains it saw over the weekend. Southern Georgia and northern Florida will see a slight chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday but will be dry all next week with highs in the low 90s and minimums in the low 70s. Growing regions in Alabama will experience the same weather.

Out west in California, the first location to typically start is Firebaugh on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Temps this week have been in the mid-80s for highs and low 50s for the minimums. Starting Saturday the temps will rise into the upper 90s and low 100s and minimums in the low 60s.

CHERRIES
Production expected to increase in California. Last week out of the state a total of 160 loads were shipped versus 80 loads from the week before. Expect the numbers from this week to be even higher. Temps throughout the cherry regions of the San Joaquin Valley will be upper 80s to low 90s all next week. The Yakima and Wenatchee valleys of Washington are next up for cherry production. Some of the earliest areas in these regions should begin scratching the trees next week but are not expected to begin in earnest until the third week of June with all growers shipping by the fourth week of June. Next week will see highs start off in the mid-70s but by Thursday, June 7 the temps will climb into the upper 80s and low 90s with minimum temps in the mid-50s.

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)