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  • Writer's pictureMark Hunt

June 3rd, 2024

Hi All,

My apologies for taking a break from the blog over the last few weeks.

Today's effort will be a clipped one as I wrestle with 'Le WiFi d'hotel' and a lingual aptitude only just ahead of Del Boy and 'Bonnet de douche' 🙄

Currently, I am 'en vacance' in Meyrueis in The Cevenne, France, enjoying my time re-connecting with 'The Causse' and all things wildlife and walking. That said, my running up hills and mountains is definitely much harder work !!!

My last visit here was pre-Covid and it is great to see not too much has changed, though like us they shared a very wet winter and spring. A meteorological hardship for sure but for spring flowers and Orchids it has been a big positive.

As I left the U.K last week, I posted a GIF courtesy of (above) showing the formation of a nice peak in the jet stream projected for Sunday 2nd June and promising to last all this week.

Sadly as the GIF above shows for mid-week, that projection has now changed and the jet stream has now shifted from a northerly to southerly position, with the consequently negative effect on sunshine and temperature. So we go from peak pattern to trough pattern in a blink of an eye. That is the story of our weather nowadays.....

My apologies for spreading false hope though it was nice while it lasted.

So the projection for this week is for us to move to a cooler pattern of weather after the weekend with a low-lying jet stream allowing a more westerly aspect to dominate. Maybe not for long though as heat is building across southern Europe and with it a propensity to create more peak patterns in the jet stream and hotter, stable conditions.

Not much in the way of rain about, though we will see some scattered showers across the U.K & Ireland for the first part of the week and for north west Ireland and Scotland during the latter part of the week / coming weekend. With a cold low being the source of the westerly wind, temperatures will be disappointingly in the mid-teens for most and chilly at night as well.

As we start next weekend though, that high pressure system seeks to re-assert itself and we may pick up some better temperatures as a result.

Looking further ahead next week could start promising with a little rain down the eastern side of the U.K and across the far north west, but other than that, dry and settled with heat building during next week, especially across the south west and south of England. Now I know I have already indicated this last week and it didn't happen, so I will laden this statement with caveats about the probability of long-term forecasting and all that 🙂

Agronomic Notes

With temperature comes E.T.....

That short duration of heat though brought us a reminder that with increasing temperature comes increasing E.T. Below are 2 Davis Vantage Pro outputs I lifted late last night. In my books anything over 4mm E.T is stressful for the grass plant and when you hit 5mm plus, more so.

Now a day of high temperature and E.T after the winter and spring our industry has endured is nothing to shout about, indeed it is to be welcomed in terms of drying down. 5-7 days of this is another matter and that's when we have to be on our guard from a stress-related disease perspective.

Cold nights, less growth

As mentioned above, the cool source of the wind this week will clip both day time and night time temperatures and that'll bring down the Growth Potential as well from its heady, optimum heights of May where it spent much of its time > 0.8. This week it'll drop to 0.4-0.5, especially mid-week, so you'll notice that from a clip volume perspective for sure. Again not really a negative because many courses / facilities on heavier soils are still trying to get higher-height-of-cut areas under control, so it is a blessing for some. Similarly with greens growth slowing down this week, it'll make life a bit easier as that tendency to grow 'out of cut' by the late afternoon / evening will be reduced, PGR or no PGR.

Plenty of background disease pressure

As the agronomic report above shows from our Prodata Report software, the month of May demonstrated continual background disease pressure with a complete month of Smith Kerns hovering around the 20% probability mark. Fortunately, the climatic conditions promoted strong growth so in many cases, disease grew out before it became problematic though I did pick up a number of reports of activity around the periphery of disease scars left over from the winter.

OK, that's me for this week as I need to stretch my legs in the French sunshine. That said, my intended destination on the summit of Mont Aigoual is showing a pretty unwelcoming 12°C currently, definitely a case of the weather being....'comme ci, comme ça' 🙄

All the best.

Mark Hunt

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