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Cold weather could slow Washington cherry harvest

Extreme heat is coming to the desert southwest next weekend starting Thursday, July 5. Highs will jump from 107-108 they are experiencing now up to 114-116 through the weekend of July 7. These high temps will be felt from regions of Maricopa County around Phoenix, AZ, down through Yuma to Imperial Valley in California and up to the Coachella Valley. Minimum temps will also jump up considerably from the mid-70s currently up to the mid-80s by the end of next week. Keep an eye on the quality of melons from these regions during this time.wear

YAKIMA VALLEY, WA: Cooler temps coming to the Yakima, WA, region staring this weekend and will bottom out on Monday, July 2 when the minimum temp will drop to 49 and highs will only reach the upper 70s. The average temp for June/July is a high of 89 and a minimum of 63. These cooler temps will remain through Wednesday, July 4 and may slow down the cherry harvest, which has been on fire this season so far.

The Washington cherry-growing regions are pumping out volume averaging close to 250 loads per day over the last 10 days. The region has shipped over 3,600 loads this season so far vs. 2,400 loads at this same date last year. The cooler weather coming to the Yakima Valley next week might slow down production a bit. Total production for the cherry crop out of California was roughly 1,500 loads compared to 4,000 loads last year.

FIREBAUGH / HURON: Tomato movement out of the west side of the San Joaquin Valley has started to increase over the last few days shipping over 90 loads per day the last two days. High temps in the area are all over the place with yesterday seeing a high of 102, today will be 91, tomorrow will be 98 and 104 on Saturday. Sunday and Monday will be warm and then by Tuesday drop to 91. Minimum temps will stay mostly in the low 60s. Expect tomato volume to increase with these temps. Hopefully these higher temps will bring on the production of melons in the Huron area which has still not started in earnest.    

GEORGIA: Rain continues throughout the state through next Tuesday, July 3. Today they are expecting about a quarter-inch lighter on Friday but about an inch total rainfall over the weekend. Highs will be in the upper 80s and minimums temps in the low 70s.      

SALINAS/WATSONVILLE/SANTA MARIA: These main growing regions of the central coast of California will experience normal weather for this time of year. High temps ranging from the mid-60s to mid-70s and minimums in the mid-50s.  

BLUEBERRIES: The main player in blueberries right now is southern New Jersey pumping out an average of 30 loads per day. Weather over the next 10 days will be hot and dry with temps well above average. This Saturday and Sunday the high temp will be 94 and then remain around 90 everyday next week. Central California is winding down its season and ended up with only about half the production of last year. Georgia is also winding down where they had increased production this year over last year. New growing locations coming on line for July are Michigan and the Pacific Northwest regions of the Willamette Valley in Oregon and the Yakima Valley.

Michigan is experiencing above-normal temps starting today through the end of next week with high temps in the low to mid-90s. There is a chance of showers on Sunday, July 1. These temps should help move up the harvest start date.   

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)