2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

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Casey Hartlip
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#351 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 16th, 2020, 5:28 am

Just checked the radar and it's certainly headed this way. 5:27 and just heard thunder. How many fires with this spawn?
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#352 Post by mattcitrang » August 16th, 2020, 5:47 am

This AM from Jamie


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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#353 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 16th, 2020, 5:51 am

Looks like Santa Rosa getting clobbered with rain right now
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#354 Post by Al Osterheld » August 16th, 2020, 6:11 am

Had a very loud thunderstorm in Alameda County starting maybe 4:30 am, came in from the south and kept heading north. Some of the lightning strikes were pretty nearby. Most of the rain was to the west of me, though.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#355 Post by Ed Steinway » August 16th, 2020, 6:57 am

We are still getting lightning and thunder here in Contra Costa County. It has been raining for the last several hours but it has let up. And it is very warm out.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#356 Post by Bdklein » August 16th, 2020, 7:01 am

mattcitrang wrote:
August 16th, 2020, 5:47 am
This AM from Jamie

Thanks . I know not you , but the word is lightning not lightening . Oops wrong thread
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#357 Post by Al Osterheld » August 16th, 2020, 7:49 am

Ed Steinway wrote:
August 16th, 2020, 6:57 am
We are still getting lightning and thunder here in Contra Costa County. It has been raining for the last several hours but it has let up. And it is very warm out.

Ed
The temperature here actually went up 10F when the storm came through. I went out for a run about 10 minutes before sunrise to beat the heat, after I thought the lightning and rain had ended. Oops. Flashes of cloud lightening in the twilight, eventually started to touch down again although thankfully not as close by as earlier. And the rain returned.

-Al

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#358 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 16th, 2020, 8:52 am

A bit of rain here and there, but the real story, as others have said, is the thunder and lightning. Man - an East Coast kind of storm!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#359 Post by Stewart Johnson » August 16th, 2020, 8:56 pm

f*ck this.
Power out Fri night because our number came up first for the rolling blackout. Woke up in the middle of the night last night by wild windstorm and lightning strikes everywhere. I didn't realize my wife was out of bed, but she was in the backyard before I was. No power at home again this morning, thundershowers, and it feels like a godforsaken East Coast summer day by 9am. Bottling today on TI and the power goes out in the middle of the day. Spending the last of my pond water irrigating every night to get thru this heat. It feels apocalyptic even before the wildfire season starts in earnest. The End is nigh.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#360 Post by Ben M a n d l e r » August 16th, 2020, 9:46 pm

Big downpour early this morning in Santa Rosa. Power out for around 4 hours in the early morning, a lot of places lost power periodically throughout the day. Humidity was brutal all day - I didn't leave Virginia for this.

No end in sight. Looking like a >10-day stretch with highs over 90 in Sebastopol, 95 in Santa Rosa, 100 for the warmer Russian River Valley vineyards. Humidity looking to stay high for a while. Temps not dropping below 60 until next weekend. My heart goes out to everyone working outside in this, masked up, understaffed, at breakneck pace. I'm working evenings in the lab so my mornings are probably going to be ice cream deliveries.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#361 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 17th, 2020, 4:08 am

Boy, did we luck out here in Calistoga. It became hot and exceptionally humid, but never lost power and very little rain - I think most of it evaporated before it hit the ground. I had to run the irrigation for the yard, it was so dry.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#362 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 17th, 2020, 7:06 am

IMG_20200817_062709059.jpg
It's on!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#363 Post by Al Osterheld » August 17th, 2020, 8:01 am

For sparkling wine?

-Al

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#364 Post by Sean Devaney » August 17th, 2020, 3:12 pm

Good luck Casey. Hoping for a safe and un-eventful harvest.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#365 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 17th, 2020, 5:59 pm

Al Osterheld wrote:
August 17th, 2020, 8:01 am
For sparkling wine?

-Al
Yes sir. Most folks don't know GoldenEye has a sparkling program. Also sell them 70 tons of Pinot for still wine. Ramping up big tomorrow. Crazy weather stayed east of us..... barely. Boonville got hammered twice by big thunderstorms, we got zilch. Luck has lots to do with farming.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#366 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 17th, 2020, 6:57 pm

Our luck ran out today. We got hammered by driving rain, wind, thunder, lightning. It's hot and humid out now, but clear. I had no electricity for most of the day.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#367 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 17th, 2020, 7:25 pm

I'm expecting many fires by tomorrow. I can't tell you how many downstrikes I saw today in my travels. Lots of heavy yet isolated showers in the area today. Philo fared very lucky. We are back at it at 4:30 tomorrow morning.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#368 Post by Paul Gordon » August 17th, 2020, 10:53 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
August 17th, 2020, 7:25 pm
I'm expecting many fires by tomorrow. I can't tell you how many downstrikes I saw today in my travels. Lots of heavy yet isolated showers in the area today. Philo fared very lucky. We are back at it at 4:30 tomorrow morning.
Casey

I think we dodged a bullet. The system went right over Halcon. We got 1.5in of rain and at least a dozen lightning strikes within a few miles. I think there was enough rain to douse the bulk of the fires. Anderson Valley Fire is reporting three fires started, all extinguished. Fingers crossed that there is not some smoldering fire out there.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#369 Post by Stewart Johnson » August 17th, 2020, 11:14 pm

Vacation at the winery today, The mind numbing boredom of bottling seemed like bliss because Treasure Island (outside) topped out at 67F today. Tomorrow, I'm booted from the winery because my tenant winery is bringing in fruit from Lodi. Seems insanely early, but what's not weird about 2020?
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#370 Post by Al Osterheld » August 18th, 2020, 7:51 am

Wow, 67F. Our low has been higher than that for the past five days. Maybe Thursday morning.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#371 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 18th, 2020, 9:39 am

My vineyard looks good. Fruit is dry - measuring informally at 20B - the rain knocked it back a bit, which is just fine. When I look at Calistoga's weather (Cabernet Country) I see no break in these hot temperatures.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#372 Post by Stewart Johnson » August 18th, 2020, 9:16 pm

Got 18.5 brix today in a section of pinot going for sparkling. That's about 10 days ahead of where I'd like to hit that point. I'm trying to irrigate my way thru this heat and opened up lines today that I hadn't used since the 2017 heat spike. Meanwhile, I'm trying to patch up about 3/4 of a mile of pipe running from another uphill pond down to my irrigation pond to try and limp to the finish line.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#373 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 19th, 2020, 7:14 am

Early morning informal reading at 22.5B.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#374 Post by Emilio Castelli » August 19th, 2020, 9:31 am

Ash from the fires everywhere on Green Valley; not good. No actual smoke or smell yet but this is not looking good.
E
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#375 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 19th, 2020, 9:52 am

Emilio Castelli wrote:
August 19th, 2020, 9:31 am
Ash from the fires everywhere on Green Valley; not good. No actual smoke or smell yet but this is not looking good.
E
Nothing here...at least for now!
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#376 Post by Al Osterheld » August 19th, 2020, 1:19 pm

Lots of smoke in the Livermore Valley, mostly from a very nearby fire.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#377 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 19th, 2020, 1:37 pm

My kid at UC Santa Cruz has ash everywhere - I guess some fires in Santa Cruz Mountains?
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#378 Post by Wes Barton » August 19th, 2020, 5:06 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
August 19th, 2020, 1:37 pm
My kid at UC Santa Cruz has ash everywhere - I guess some fires in Santa Cruz Mountains?
Yes. Close to some vineyards. One was approaching Big Basin Winery. Bradley posted he hoped if it hit his property the vineyard would serve as a fire break and save the structure. Let's hope it doesn't hit at all.

With all the heat, plus the fires threatening, a lot of Santa Cruz Mountains fruit will be coming in over the next two weeks. I'll be helping with some Saratoga Chardonnay tomorrow.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#379 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 19th, 2020, 5:34 pm

starting to see a bit of ash in the air.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#380 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 19th, 2020, 6:06 pm

Kind of hard to report 'normal' harvest reports with all of this chaos and destruction going on but:

We had our third day of harvest 2020. This is basically 10 days ahead of our historical average. Anderson Valley is known for our summer fog and we just haven't had much all summer. Sparkling guys are going nuts now, which we are partners with as well. We've already picked some stuff for bubbles and will do close to 200 tons in 10 days.

We are short on people. Not news to anyone in this industry. After a day of picking (that starts at 4:30 am) we are still irrigating as much as possible. Our fields still look really good, not so for those low on water.

Chard crop down quite a bit, first big Pinot pick tomorrow. Will try to keep up. Oh, our Ukiah house is in contract. Looking forward to the move to Philo.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#381 Post by Bill Gibbs » August 19th, 2020, 9:56 pm

Lots of smoke and haze in Paso Robles today, from fires 100 miles north in Salinas and Carmel. Hazardous air quality in most of SLO county. The only plus is that it blocked enough sun to drop our forecast high temp 10 degrees to 95F. We've had 5 days over 100F.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#382 Post by Al Osterheld » August 20th, 2020, 7:15 am

Lots of smoke in the Livermore valley, most of it from two very nearby fires (one to the north, one to the south). I was hoping the haze would help with the temperature, but didn't help much, maybe the haze is too low to the ground? We've had 7 days over 100F, but today should be about 10F cooler. Also had three running days of power out in the afternoon and evening, so hasn't been my favorite week. Not a lot of home burned locally, although there have been some. Head of my department came home early from taking his son to college in order to gather some papers, etc., while it was still possible. Haven't heard whether his place made it through.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#383 Post by Paul Gordon » August 20th, 2020, 8:28 am

The weather really broke at our vineyard last night - windy, foggy and a low of 49F! Very welcome.
Mendocino has been really lucky to avoid the fires, just like in 2017. Thoughts with everyone affected in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mtns and Monterey.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#384 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 20th, 2020, 12:05 pm

Paul Gordon wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 8:28 am
The weather really broke at our vineyard last night - windy, foggy and a low of 49F! Very welcome.
Mendocino has been really lucky to avoid the fires, just like in 2017. Thoughts with everyone affected in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mtns and Monterey.

Paul
That fog was a beautiful sight this morning. Just wrapping up our pick for today. Sparkling Pinot. Knocking off at noon is nice, starting in the field at 4:30 not so much
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#385 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 20th, 2020, 3:01 pm

IMG_20200819_075819766_HDR.jpg
We're over 60 tons in as of today, might be close to 100 by Sunday. Still need a couple more folks that are hopefully wrapping up other work. The weed industry is a big player everywhere now just not in our region.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#386 Post by Emilio Castelli » August 20th, 2020, 5:22 pm

For rose' and whites hopefully we'll be fine.
For reds in RRV I think we're all screwed (unless you picked last week).
Chemical solutions might make the wine more drinkable but no matter what, you can never polish a turd.

I'll be making more rose' this year.
I'll be curious to see how the reds will turn out but I don't have high hopes; beside the ashes, it stinks out there and that's what our babies will be breathing until harvest. Not good.
Well, 2018 and 2019 were amazing quality and large crops so we'll manage.
E
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#387 Post by Karen Troisi » August 20th, 2020, 7:04 pm

Harvest starts for us on Saturday - sauvignon blanc from Rutherford.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#388 Post by Stewart Johnson » August 20th, 2020, 10:15 pm

Bottled today (with Celebrity Bottler Ken Zinns) and then headed out to the vineyard. No smoke that I've been able to smell at ground level in the vineyard yet. I picked up about 0.5 brix in the prospective sparkling rows (the only ones I'm sampling already) in the past 2 days, but temps at 7pm were 9 degrees lower than the day before. And the water level in the pond is creeping back up from the near-sucking-air level I hit yesterday. All in all, things could be worse.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#389 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 22nd, 2020, 6:09 am

Finally have a decent sized crew, really for the first time this week. Chard crop down even more than we thought. Pinot has been good so far and hitting estimates. Clients jockeying for picks on the schedule and I'm trying to match things up. I'm already tired. Need more sleep. I've said this before but we'll never go back to starting at first light. Today we had 6 tons in the yard at 6:15 am. That's what time we would be STARTING a few years ago.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#390 Post by Karen Troisi » August 22nd, 2020, 1:23 pm

Our 2020 Sauvignon Blanc (Dalla Gasperina Vineyard in Rutherford) is in. Some good looking and tasting fruit - average crop size.

Karen
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#391 Post by leslie renaud » August 22nd, 2020, 2:53 pm

We had to leave the winery today due to mandatory evacuation. This ought to be an interesting harvesr.

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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#392 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 22nd, 2020, 3:06 pm

Karen Troisi wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 1:23 pm
Our 2020 Sauvignon Blanc (Dalla Gasperina Vineyard in Rutherford) is in. Some good looking and tasting fruit - average crop size.

Karen
Gorgeous, Karen.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#393 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 22nd, 2020, 3:08 pm

.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#394 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 22nd, 2020, 3:09 pm

Informals at 23B this morning. Fruit looks and tastes great (just ask the resident birds). Will do a real sample pull (200 berries) on Tuesday morning and a full lab panel.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#395 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 22nd, 2020, 8:00 pm

Our first smooth harvest day of 2020. Picked sparkling Pinot with over estimated crop, then finished a Chardonnay block we couldn't do yesterday due to short crew. Feeling that everything about this harvest is going to be a struggle. Came home to my home this afternoon and was greeted by Zip, my super dog. She doesn't know why I'm not home every night. Even though we have an offer on our house we have a viewing tomorrow, which is disruptive. Hope to finish all bubbles by Thursday and that will be 200 tons of that Shit. I think I don't want to do this anymore.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#396 Post by Stewart Johnson » August 22nd, 2020, 10:49 pm

Hit 19.4B tonight and had a sparkling pick called for Tues night. Never thought that civilized folk picked in August, but here I am.
I'm opening up irrigation lines that I haven't used since the 2017 heat spike.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#397 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 23rd, 2020, 7:25 am

The quiet before the storm? Many of us are under red flag alert due to impending lightning storms. I hope it stays away - that's how many of these fires started.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#398 Post by Adam Frisch » August 23rd, 2020, 8:35 am

I'm scrambling. Just moved into my new space in July and was not at all prepared for it being this early. It's screwing everything up. I think the whole harvest will be a huge uphill battle. And it will have stylistic effects when sugar levels jump 2 points in a week etc. Hard to keep up.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#399 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 23rd, 2020, 5:43 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
August 16th, 2020, 5:28 am
Just checked the radar and it's certainly headed this way. 5:27 and just heard thunder. How many fires with this spawn?
I hate it when I'm right. Wishing all people of California positive thoughts.
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Re: 2020 West Coast Weather and Farming Thread

#400 Post by Casey Hartlip » August 23rd, 2020, 5:50 pm

So what else could possibly happen with harvest 2020? Unhealthy air quality you ask? Yep. We're not allowed to work if air quality hits a certain level....which it is as I type this. All of our crew would have to wear an N-95 mask at present air quality levels. The issue is wearing one is okay if your sitting on your bass on a tractor, but picking and walking/running? Don't think so. My guess is our blessed fog will return in the morning and give us 5-6 hours of clean air to get a day in. Hope so.
Ordway's Valley Foothills

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