2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

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Merrill Lindquist
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2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#1 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

A big welcome to the new year!

The cover crop is thriving due to intermittent rains and sunny days. Temperatures are in the 50s during the day, and 30s at night. Frost just about every night/early moring.

Let's hope for one of those years that is easy to farm. No telling what it will be as of now.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#2 Post by R M Kriete »

Off and running! Hope 2021 brings winter rains and a moderate summer.

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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#3 Post by Casey Hartlip »

.16" the last 24 hours. Big f_cking woop. Guess we've got a couple of storms lining up out in the Pacific for the next few days.

Currently our property has about 30% capacity in our ponds. Really bad news.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#4 Post by Casey Hartlip »

IMG_20210103_094205083.jpg
Super dog and I went for our three mile power walk today. Had my 80's cranking on the Pandora and a beautiful morning.
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Cover crop is slow but steady. The peas doing really well as are the grasses. The bell beans are there but seem to move closer to spring.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#5 Post by Steve Edmunds »

is Super Dog giving us the skank-eye? 😜

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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#6 Post by Casey Hartlip »

Well we've crossed .80" with this storm. We've had some robust showers since morning. Sun is out now but sure wouldn't get far from cover quite yet. Hopefully more on the way.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#7 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

We have had huge downpours for a good part of the night and day. For much of the day we have had very heavy winds,as well. Guess it is winter!
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#8 Post by larry schaffer »

Loving the rain and the very cool weather down here. The vines were definitely 'dormant' - certainly a good thing. I was surprised to see someone already beginning pruning - seems a bit early, no?

Cheers.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#9 Post by Casey Hartlip »

Very steady rain now. Bummer is they say this storm might only produce .25".
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#10 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

larry schaffer wrote: January 4th, 2021, 4:15 pm Loving the rain and the very cool weather down here. The vines were definitely 'dormant' - certainly a good thing. I was surprised to see someone already beginning pruning - seems a bit early, no?

Cheers.
Many of the larger ranches/vineyard management companies need to start in January in order to get all vineyards pruned well before budbreak. A small ranch like mine can get a crew in later, because it can be done so quickly and the crew can move on to other jobs.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#11 Post by Grant Phillips »

Lots of rain in Oregon. Over 6.5" in December and over 3.5" so far this month. Cold and soggy days pruning the vineyard.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#12 Post by Grant Phillips »

larry schaffer wrote: January 4th, 2021, 4:15 pm Loving the rain and the very cool weather down here. The vines were definitely 'dormant' - certainly a good thing. I was surprised to see someone already beginning pruning - seems a bit early, no?

Cheers.
Larry, when do most folks start pruning in Santa Barbara? First week of the new year pruning kicks off in earnest in the Willamette Valley.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#13 Post by Casey Hartlip »

Grant Phillips wrote: January 6th, 2021, 10:56 am Lots of rain in Oregon. Over 6.5" in December and over 3.5" so far this month. Cold and soggy days pruning the vineyard.
Welcome to the party Grant. Would love to have a steady stream of info from Oregon. Yep, you guys getting all the rain as this f_cking high pressure dome pushes these storms north.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#14 Post by Casey Hartlip »

Let me know if you've heard this before:

Good- we got .91" the last 48 hours.
Bad- 10 day dry spell on its way.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#15 Post by Stewart Johnson »

My irrigation pond is empty. It's never been this dry in 20 years with this vineyard. I don't think the soil is moist past a few inches deep, so I'm a long way from being ready to start the growing season and a long way from having any runoff to collect. I've been saved by late rain before, but, right now, this is pretty grim.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#16 Post by Casey Hartlip »

Stewart Johnson wrote: January 12th, 2021, 6:29 pm My irrigation pond is empty. It's never been this dry in 20 years with this vineyard. I don't think the soil is moist past a few inches deep, so I'm a long way from being ready to start the growing season and a long way from having any runoff to collect. I've been saved by late rain before, but, right now, this is pretty grim.
Dude, you just voiced everything I've been thinking about the last two months. I don't know if it makes me feel better that others are losing sleep like me. While walking Zip today I was trying to think back to '77-78 (going from memory) when California lived the first modern day severe drought.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#17 Post by Casey Hartlip »

Almost crying tonight while the Pacific northwest gets pounded by more rain and even flood watches in some places. Meanwhile poor old Cali is begging for some of those problems.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#18 Post by Chris Atkins »

Casey, that first modern day drought you're referring to was 1975-76 thru 1976-77, a severe two year event, which has since been eclipsed twice. 2014-15 was the fourth and final year of the worst drought in memory. Sierra Snowpack was only 5%, right on the heels of a dismal 25% snowpack the year before.

We are approaching the half way point in our water year in just a few days, with no winter storms forecast for the next week in Northern California. Rainfall here in Sonoma County is only 35% of average. The Napa River at Tubbs Lane was dry last Thursday, even after an inch of rain fell on Monday. We certainly could use a miracle late Winter and Spring, similar to Water Year 1974-75, when February and March saved us with a 150% Sierra Snowpack. Or the Miracle March of 1991 when parts of West Marin County received 20 inches of rain. Perhaps we will get lucky again!

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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#19 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

It is 69 degrees right now at my place. January?
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#20 Post by Casey Hartlip »

Merrill Lindquist wrote: January 13th, 2021, 2:54 pm It is 69 degrees right now at my place. January?
NOT GOOD!
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#21 Post by Casey Hartlip »

We got some good news today. Many of our field workers are going to get the Covid vaccine in the next few days. Certainly these folks aren't picking food crops but I think the concern is that they are some of the most at risk people in our community.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#22 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

I also got good news late today - I was called to come get the vaccine. Done!
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#23 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

The fog is so dense this morning that it is dropping like raindrops. It is supposed to get to 73 this afternoon.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#24 Post by Casey Hartlip »

Starting to feel pretty screwed. No rain. None coming in the next 10 days.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#25 Post by Casey Hartlip »

Trying not to be a bummer with every post. Walked super dog today and went down some of the cover crop rows. It's really looking nice for this time of year. Peas are putting out trendrils and maybe 8" tall. You can see the beans down there but my guess is warmer soil temps will spur them on. Weather Underground is showing something next weekend......so we keep going and hope. Cheers. Pics of cover crop next time.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#26 Post by larry schaffer »

We are expecting a decent amount of rain by this weekend - it's been about 90 over the past few days so we are in for a major change.

To answer the question about pruning above, the largest vineyards have certainly begun pruning due to how long it will take to complete the process. I have seen some smaller ones do the same already - or at least the part of them I can see from the road.

It seems most try to wait a little later - until February - to try to avoid the possibility of the 'f' word . . .

And just as an aside, I was speaking to someone in DC today who said the cherry trees were beginning to blossom - in January!!! Strange daze indeed.

Cheers.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#27 Post by bruced »

larry schaffer wrote: January 18th, 2021, 6:20 pm ...

And just as an aside, I was speaking to someone in DC today who said the cherry trees were beginning to blossom - in January!!! Strange daze indeed.

Cheers.
MD here.
Daffodils and hyacinths broke ground the 1st week in Jan. It is the norm now.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#28 Post by Casey Hartlip »

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As promised I pic of Zip the super dog standing in the cover crop.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#29 Post by TysonP »

I’m new here to the WB message board and farthest thing from a vineyard manager/grower/wine maker (I can drink the hell out of the stuff though), but I wanted to tell you all that I love this thread (minus some of the bad rain news of course).

I find it fascinating to hear the people that make the fine nectar of the gods discussing growing conditions, the weather and other things that affect the job that you all do so well. Good luck and good fortune to you all during the 2021 growing season and I hope the rain situation in CA improves for those depending on it.

Thank you and cheers!
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#30 Post by Casey Hartlip »

TysonP wrote: January 19th, 2021, 7:28 pm I’m new here to the WB message board and farthest thing from a vineyard manager/grower/wine maker (I can drink the hell out of the stuff though), but I wanted to tell you all that I love this thread (minus some of the bad rain news of course).

I find it fascinating to hear the people that make the fine nectar of the gods discussing growing conditions, the weather and other things that affect the job that you all do so well. Good luck and good fortune to you all during the 2021 growing season and I hope the rain situation in CA improves for those depending on it.

Thank you and cheers!
Welcome Tyson!

Enjoying a 27 degree morning in my jammies while I get caught up on some indoor chores. I heard it was over 80 in the inland areas the other day. Luckily we topped out around 72 here in Anderson Valley.

Buds still tight as we are ahead on our pruning season. If the drought continues and we don't get rained out, we might go to 4 day weeks so we don't finish too soon. We do have a few fields that were going to modify the trellis by adding a wire so we do have some other tasks to do.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#31 Post by TysonP »

Casey Hartlip wrote: January 20th, 2021, 7:38 am
TysonP wrote: January 19th, 2021, 7:28 pm I’m new here to the WB message board and farthest thing from a vineyard manager/grower/wine maker (I can drink the hell out of the stuff though), but I wanted to tell you all that I love this thread (minus some of the bad rain news of course).

I find it fascinating to hear the people that make the fine nectar of the gods discussing growing conditions, the weather and other things that affect the job that you all do so well. Good luck and good fortune to you all during the 2021 growing season and I hope the rain situation in CA improves for those depending on it.

Thank you and cheers!
Welcome Tyson!

Enjoying a 27 degree morning in my jammies while I get caught up on some indoor chores. I heard it was over 80 in the inland areas the other day. Luckily we topped out around 72 here in Anderson Valley.

Buds still tight as we are ahead on our pruning season. If the drought continues and we don't get rained out, we might go to 4 day weeks so we don't finish too soon. We do have a few fields that were going to modify the trellis by adding a wire so we do have some other tasks to do.
I’m in Southern CA, North West Orange County to be specific, and we were in the high 80’s and low 90’s towards the end of last week and over the weekend. Now we have are expected to be in the low 70’s today and will dip into the mid to low 60’s going into next weekend with a 30-40% chance of rain every day next week. Hopefully that means our Northern CA grape growers will have an even better shot at rain next week.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#32 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

TysonP wrote: January 19th, 2021, 7:28 pm I’m new here to the WB message board and farthest thing from a vineyard manager/grower/wine maker (I can drink the hell out of the stuff though), but I wanted to tell you all that I love this thread (minus some of the bad rain news of course).

I find it fascinating to hear the people that make the fine nectar of the gods discussing growing conditions, the weather and other things that affect the job that you all do so well. Good luck and good fortune to you all during the 2021 growing season and I hope the rain situation in CA improves for those depending on it.

Thank you and cheers!
Welcome, Tyson. You don't need to be involved in the growing businsess to participate here. This is where we growers and sometimes winemakers let others know what the new vintage is looking like. And feel free to ask questions!
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#33 Post by TysonP »

Merrill Lindquist wrote: January 20th, 2021, 10:25 am
TysonP wrote: January 19th, 2021, 7:28 pm I’m new here to the WB message board and farthest thing from a vineyard manager/grower/wine maker (I can drink the hell out of the stuff though), but I wanted to tell you all that I love this thread (minus some of the bad rain news of course).

I find it fascinating to hear the people that make the fine nectar of the gods discussing growing conditions, the weather and other things that affect the job that you all do so well. Good luck and good fortune to you all during the 2021 growing season and I hope the rain situation in CA improves for those depending on it.

Thank you and cheers!
Welcome, Tyson. You don't need to be involved in the growing businsess to participate here. This is where we growers and sometimes winemakers let others know what the new vintage is looking like. And feel free to ask questions!
Thank you Merrill, I appreciate it!

So I’ve heard along the way in my wine travels that drought can actually help some vintages, specifically when coming out of an extended drought. Is that a general rule or does it depend on many factors?
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#34 Post by Casey Hartlip »

Well, well, well the promise of the famed 'atmospheric river' or 'pineapple express' (whichever you like to call it) is setting up. Apparently the first part of it will be quite cold on Tuesday with snow predicted on the mountains around the Bay Area. Having only received 8" so far for the season (and zero snowpack in the Sierras) it's possible we could see up to 4" over a 4-5 day stretch.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#35 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

TysonP wrote: January 20th, 2021, 10:44 am
Merrill Lindquist wrote: January 20th, 2021, 10:25 am
TysonP wrote: January 19th, 2021, 7:28 pm I’m new here to the WB message board and farthest thing from a vineyard manager/grower/wine maker (I can drink the hell out of the stuff though), but I wanted to tell you all that I love this thread (minus some of the bad rain news of course).

I find it fascinating to hear the people that make the fine nectar of the gods discussing growing conditions, the weather and other things that affect the job that you all do so well. Good luck and good fortune to you all during the 2021 growing season and I hope the rain situation in CA improves for those depending on it.

Thank you and cheers!
Welcome, Tyson. You don't need to be involved in the growing businsess to participate here. This is where we growers and sometimes winemakers let others know what the new vintage is looking like. And feel free to ask questions!
Thank you Merrill, I appreciate it!

So I’ve heard along the way in my wine travels that drought can actually help some vintages, specifically when coming out of an extended drought. Is that a general rule or does it depend on many factors?
There are so many variables out there in the vineyard that it would be difficult to pin the outcome of a vintage on just one thing - like drought.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#36 Post by Ben M a n d l e r »

Forecasts for burn areas from the 2020 fires are 4-6” in many places. We will likely see debris flows this week, potentially quite dangerous ones. Really not looking forward to driving through the Mayacamas mountains to work. Happy for the rain, but nervous about its geophysical impacts. Flood-prone areas in Sonoma County such as the region around Guerneville and the Laguna including eastern Sebastopol could be hit again as in 2019.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#37 Post by Sean Devaney »

Ben I was thinking the same thing particularly about the Santa Cruz Mountains as the forecast is for up to 12 inches. Hope everyone stays safe.

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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#38 Post by Casey Hartlip »

37 and rain with wind. We've had .75" so far. Drove over 253 from Ukiah today around 2:00 and it was 34 and snowing. Expectations are dropping for me as I'm not happy with forecasting info. Hope I'm wrong.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#39 Post by Al Osterheld »

Also worried about Santa Cruz Mountains (and also other areas). They had some pretty big fires and are expecting biblical levels of rain as mentioned above.

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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#40 Post by Paul Gordon »

A foot of snow and counting. At this rate we could get 3ft+.

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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#41 Post by Karen Troisi »

That was brutal last night - when the front came through around 8ish it was like a hurricane in Coombsville.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#42 Post by Casey Hartlip »

HWY 101 closed north of Ukiah this morning. We only had 1.70 inches the last 24 hours. Hoping for much more. I too very concerned about floods and debris flows from fire areas. The hits just keep coming for those poor folks.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#43 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

Karen Troisi wrote: January 27th, 2021, 7:42 am That was brutal last night - when the front came through around 8ish it was like a hurricane in Coombsville.
Agreed - it was wild! Actually have a bit of sun this morning
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#44 Post by Al Osterheld »

We had intense rain, but less than expected and the same for the Santa Cruz mountains. That's great news for the SCM burned areas, they received 2.5-3 inches which undoubtedly caused issues, but the prediction was for as many as 10-12".

The system moved to the south, mostly over Monterey county.

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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#45 Post by Paul Gordon »

Paul Gordon wrote: January 26th, 2021, 10:05 pm A foot of snow and counting. At this rate we could get 3ft+.

Paul
Temps warmed after midnight last night and snow turned to light rain. Looks like we got close to 3in but I need to check the gauge when the snow melts.

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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#46 Post by R M Kriete »

Hoping the wet stuff is continuing!

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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#47 Post by Al Osterheld »

Some parts of California got quite a lot of rain. Tablas Creek reported 11+ inches at their vineyard. Their soils and underlying rock are such that most of it is absorbed rather than running off and making a mess. Parts of Monterey, SLO, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties also got large amounts of rain and had mudslides and evacuations. In the SCM, it was the southern portion that was hardest hit. It looked like the Ben Lomand area was at the northern edge of the core of the storm and it could have been much worse (large burn scars).

My part of the Bay Area gets less rain. We received 1.5 inches in the second and third waves after 0.56 in the previous day. Not nearly as much, but we only 15 inches in in a normal year. Ben Lomand gets about 50 inches.

Parts of Santa Barbara got a fair bit of rain, not sure about the north bay.

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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#48 Post by Edward H. Earles »

Bump for bookmark.

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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#49 Post by Stewart Johnson »

I went out to the vineyard yesterday morning hoping to find some water at the surface that I could feed into drains that fill my irrigation pond, but it still seems like that's a way off. Everything is still soaking in.
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Re: 2021 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#50 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

Calitoga has been getting hammered with rain - our usual, If it rains anywhere in the Bay area, it rains alot here.
Last edited by Merrill Lindquist on January 28th, 2021, 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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