2019 West Coast Weather Thread

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Casey Hartlip
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#151 Post by Casey Hartlip » April 30th, 2019, 11:15 am

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Gruner clusters are forming.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#152 Post by Sean Devaney » May 1st, 2019, 8:20 am

Is it my imagination or is this early for clusters to be forming? Maybe a Gruner thing?

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#153 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 1st, 2019, 11:17 am

Sean Devaney wrote:
May 1st, 2019, 8:20 am
Is it my imagination or is this early for clusters to be forming? Maybe a Gruner thing?
I refer to those as flower formations. These are what will bloom/flower forth, leaving behind the berries which will become the fruit that will set and become the true fruit clusters that will hopefully make it to the bottle!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#154 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 1st, 2019, 1:18 pm

Sean Devaney wrote:
May 1st, 2019, 8:20 am
Is it my imagination or is this early for clusters to be forming? Maybe a Gruner thing?
Yep, good catch. I should have called them flower clusters. They're not real clusters yet! Going to guess we're 3 weeks or so away from bloom.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#155 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 2nd, 2019, 8:55 am

Not so fast folks! Temps in our coldest fields dipped down to 32 this morning and we wound up protecting 13 acres of Pinot for a couple hours! Neighbors had wind machines running as well. Can't drop your guard in farming!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#156 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 2nd, 2019, 3:20 pm

We have had some cool night after some very warm nights. Nothing freezing and no frost protection running in the area. But it is not over until it is over, that we know.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#157 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 7th, 2019, 11:50 am

One of my men said he found a tiny amount of frost damage from the two day event we had last week. Ill try to snap a pic to post soon. Looking 10 days out things look pretty good. My guess is that we'll start some bloom in the next 10 days. I'd really like to get 4 sulfur sprays out there before bloom begins. Many shoots now at 16-20 inches in length and we still haven't full rapid growth yet. Two of my best guys replanting 110 vines as replicants in the Gruner Veltliner. That field has had a rocky couple of years.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#158 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 7th, 2019, 1:12 pm

Vineyard looks great - with fruit bearing shoots averaging 12-18 inches longs. Will spray early in the morning, and sucker next week.

I noticed some of the replants (grafted) that have taken years to really produce are growing like crazy.

So far a great start - no frost protection nights.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#159 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 7th, 2019, 5:38 pm

Merrill what are you going to have your guy spray this go-round?
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#160 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 7th, 2019, 5:47 pm

Josh Clark Vineyard Management is in charge of my spray program. They are going to spray Sulfur, mettle, and Nu-Film P. Taylor is in charge of the scheduling. 24 hour re-entry.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#161 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 8th, 2019, 10:56 am

IMG_20190508_101404294.jpg
Hard to see with a cell phone pic but the frost damage is super hard to see even in person. I'd call this a non-issue. It happened in an area of about a quarter acre among a 13 acre field.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#162 Post by Chris Johnson » May 11th, 2019, 8:33 am

It’s raining again in North San Diego County. Off and on for 2 weeks now, starting to see shatter for the first time in our vineyard. Talked with one of our grower friends yesterday and it’s damaging their crop along with their fruit set on avocados for next year. We had 11 frost warnings in Feb/March, some of the zin got zapped. This growing season is one I never expected down here only being 6 miles from the beach.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#163 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 11th, 2019, 4:12 pm

Chris Johnson wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 8:33 am
It’s raining again in North San Diego County. Off and on for 2 weeks now, starting to see shatter for the first time in our vineyard. Talked with one of our grower friends yesterday and it’s damaging their crop along with their fruit set on avocados for next year. We had 11 frost warnings in Feb/March, some of the zin got zapped. This growing season is one I never expected down here only being 6 miles from the beach.
Just reading this is painful, Chris. In this farming job, the only thing you can expect is the unexpected. Truly. I have heard stories of the 4th of July frost in Napa Valley. Sends shivers down your spine.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#164 Post by Chris Johnson » May 11th, 2019, 7:29 pm

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 4:12 pm
Chris Johnson wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 8:33 am
It’s raining again in North San Diego County. Off and on for 2 weeks now, starting to see shatter for the first time in our vineyard. Talked with one of our grower friends yesterday and it’s damaging their crop along with their fruit set on avocados for next year. We had 11 frost warnings in Feb/March, some of the zin got zapped. This growing season is one I never expected down here only being 6 miles from the beach.
Just reading this is painful, Chris. In this farming job, the only thing you can expect is the unexpected. Truly. I have heard stories of the 4th of July frost in Napa Valley. Sends shivers down your spine.
Thanks Merrill. It’s been a learning experience. Fortunately we have some contracts up north that will bridge the gap for us this year.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#165 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 12th, 2019, 5:26 pm

The weather folks I listen to are saying that we're in for a series of cool rain events this coming week. Predicting up to an inch of rain in our farming region. Things could get quite interesting. Glad we're not blooming yet!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#166 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 14th, 2019, 9:48 am

I saw a Facebook post today showing Chardonnay in Napa in full bloom. Would love to hear from others as to their situation. I just looked all around my 5 different varieties and am happy we're not blooming yet. Now looks like 4-5 days of rain coming with high winds and amounts up to a couple of inches. Highly unusual weather for middle of May.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#167 Post by Rboinski » May 14th, 2019, 11:26 am

My wife out on the true sonoma coast is not in bloom phase fortunately as they are looking to get 3"+ by Thursday. I know there is potential for hail during instability passing through Thursday. The 10 day totals are looking straight out of winter, it could definitely be a worst case scenario for the areas that bloom first. Wishing everyone the best.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#168 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 14th, 2019, 1:12 pm

We are expecting rain Wednesday and Thursday and temps n the low 50s. No sign of bloom on my Cabernet...trust me, since I saw the forecast, I have been checking.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#169 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 14th, 2019, 6:07 pm

I'm going out on a limb to say this will be a defining moment in the 2019 vintage. I talked to a grower rep today and certain varieties are in various stages of bloom in parts south. Cold temps and copious amounts of water to the root zone is not a recipe for good fruit set. Glad I'm not blooming yet.
Also a bummer for Anderson Valley Pinot fest starting this Friday and going into the weekend. The weather could certainly effect turnout.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#170 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 15th, 2019, 6:08 pm

Did payroll this morning and then went to Santa Rosa to see a movie and get out of the house. Got home about 5:30 to find furniture blown around and some summer potted plants knocked over.
Went to 3 animal shelters today starting the process of looking for a new dog. Peewee died over 2 years ago and I've finally decided it's time for a companion.
OBTW .85 as of 6:00 pm
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#171 Post by William Segui » May 15th, 2019, 8:49 pm

Been raining here all day

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#172 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 15th, 2019, 9:47 pm

Update at 9:45 pm: over 1.60 storm total. We've also had winds well over 35 mph. Seems you in the morning. Hold on folks!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#173 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 16th, 2019, 2:35 pm

Cab flower formations are tight - no sign of bloom. Thank the lord. 52 degrees high today and raining on and on.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#174 Post by Tom DeBiase » May 16th, 2019, 3:15 pm

Well Over 2 inches here in Windsor (2.3 and counting) with a break tomorrow and more rain predicted over the weekend.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#175 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 16th, 2019, 7:13 pm

IMG_20190516_190536848.jpg
Here's our new gal named Gypsy, from Sonoma county animal shelter. Just hit 3 inches of rain for the storm.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#176 Post by Sean Devaney » May 16th, 2019, 11:29 pm

Casey congrats on finding Gypsy. She looks darling.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#177 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 17th, 2019, 6:13 am

Gypsy looks smart and sweet. Congratulations on bringing her home.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#178 Post by Stewart Johnson » May 18th, 2019, 8:20 am

What the hell happened to my Mediterranean climate? The one upside is that I'm feeling good about having held off on advertising grapes for sale until after set. The market has got to be tightening up as I type.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#179 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 18th, 2019, 11:55 am

Raining again. And again. With more in the forecast.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#180 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 18th, 2019, 1:08 pm

Cherry growers are getting their asses handed to them. Strawberries getting wrecked. I can only guess MANY types of California agriculture are not enjoying this untimely amount of very heavy rain. I'd venture a guess that we've already received more rain in 4 days than what we average for the four months of May through August.
Agree with Stewart that this might help correct some of the over supply issues that the wine industry is experiencing. I saw some recent data on the vast amounts of bulk inventory out there and it's staggering.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#181 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 18th, 2019, 1:55 pm

We have no control over the elements - we can only wait and see. Rather fascinating, actually; to be heavily involved in something over which you have no control. We can spray, we can fertilize, we can offer frost protection...all those things. But whether it is sunny or not, too hot or too cold, or too wet or too dry...no control. I kind of like the ride!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#182 Post by Stewart Johnson » May 19th, 2019, 7:35 pm

Whether you're flowering or not, this weather is probably having an adverse on next year's fruitfulness. Supply could tighten up beyond this year.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#183 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 20th, 2019, 6:02 am

Stewart Johnson wrote:
May 19th, 2019, 7:35 pm
Whether you're flowering or not, this weather is probably having an adverse on next year's fruitfulness. Supply could tighten up beyond this year.
Can you share a little more information about this?
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#184 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 20th, 2019, 8:35 am

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 6:02 am
Stewart Johnson wrote:
May 19th, 2019, 7:35 pm
Whether you're flowering or not, this weather is probably having an adverse on next year's fruitfulness. Supply could tighten up beyond this year.
Can you share a little more information about this?
Next year's crop is being formed inside the canes of this year's growth. The spring and early summer weather is important for next year. The amount of sun and warmth on the vines happening now matters to next crop.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#185 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 20th, 2019, 4:41 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 8:35 am
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 6:02 am
Stewart Johnson wrote:
May 19th, 2019, 7:35 pm
Whether you're flowering or not, this weather is probably having an adverse on next year's fruitfulness. Supply could tighten up beyond this year.
Can you share a little more information about this?
Next year's crop is being formed inside the canes of this year's growth. The spring and early summer weather is important for next year. The amount of sun and warmth on the vines happening now matters to next crop.
Understood. But I can find no definitive information regarding the quality of the grapes, due to the weather now before bloom for 2019, never mind quality of fruit for next year.

Let's wait and see. I don't worry too much about it (because it is out of my control), and see what we get for QUALITY for 2019 and QUALITY for 2020. I am not interested in quantity for what I do - I am interested in quality. And at this point, after 20 years of doing this, I don't feel threatened by rain in May, as long as it is before bloom.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#186 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 21st, 2019, 8:19 am

IMG_20190520_115202301_HDR.jpg
I found a touch of bloom on the sunny side of a few Pinot vines yesterday. I'm not shocked, but overall it's less than 1% bloom.
IMG_20190520_115230851.jpg
I checked in on the ladies crew to make sure suckering was going okay. A couple of them needed a bit of instruction to clean out the head even more.
We recorded over 5 inches of rain and outside right now we're getting more. COME ON MAN!
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#187 Post by Rboinski » May 21st, 2019, 8:21 am

Merrill Lindquist wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 4:41 pm
Casey Hartlip wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 8:35 am
Merrill Lindquist wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 6:02 am
Can you share a little more information about this?
Next year's crop is being formed inside the canes of this year's growth. The spring and early summer weather is important for next year. The amount of sun and warmth on the vines happening now matters to next crop.
Understood. But I can find no definitive information regarding the quality of the grapes, due to the weather now before bloom for 2019, never mind quality of fruit for next year.

Let's wait and see. I don't worry too much about it (because it is out of my control), and see what we get for QUALITY for 2019 and QUALITY for 2020. I am not interested in quantity for what I do - I am interested in quality. And at this point, after 20 years of doing this, I don't feel threatened by rain in May, as long as it is before bloom.
You might want to watch some of the videos from the Vintage Report and consider attending future sessions if you want to learn about these topics. It is pretty useful to know when considering your winegrowing decisions. Not sure whats covered but here is the 2018 vintage overview from earlier this year for an introduction.

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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#188 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 24th, 2019, 3:51 pm

Robert - are you in the business?
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#189 Post by Stewart Johnson » May 25th, 2019, 9:53 am

I got out to spray on Friday, and it looks like the pinot and chard started flowering about Thursday this week. That's a couple days earlier than in 2018. Viognier and syrah are still tight. I hope that means that I've missed the worst of the rain during actual bloom, but, after all this crap weather, I don't imagine I'm heading into set with all the carbohydrate stores I might hope for. And, even with better weather yesterday (got into the 70s), that just boosted the humidity. It wasn't feeling like real good conditions for cap fall. All in all, I'm not expecting a great set.
Speaking of cap fall, I'm starting to wonder about my spray regimen around set. About 90% of my sprays are mineral oil. I'm wondering if that is just like spraying Chapstick on caps that I want to dry up and flake away. In short, am I making a sticky-cap situation worse? Sulfur is hard to work into an oil-based regimen during the part of the year when shoots are growing fast and I want my spray intervals tight, but I wonder if sulfur would help desiccate the caps and promote their fall in wet years like this one.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#190 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 25th, 2019, 2:55 pm

I found the start of bloom on my Cabernet today. Just a minute number of clusters entering this race, but it is a word of warning that it is imminent.

Of course I have suckering and spraying on deck within the next few days. I halted the suckering and we will survey the status of bloom on Tuesday morning and make a decision on that.

My vineyard is not prone to mildew, but I did witness a small amount twice in 20 years. I am looking to ensure there is not a third.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#191 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 27th, 2019, 11:39 am

A walk through my vineyard just showed enough bloom to make me call off the spraying that was tentatively scheduled for tomorrow.

Please may bloom pass quickly and uneventfully through fruit set.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#192 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 27th, 2019, 3:07 pm

After a couple of days off I'll get reconnected with the job tomorrow. Looks like a week of nice weather so bring on the bloom with fingers crossed.

No problem here suckering during bloom. It's gotta get done and have never seen issues of disrupting anything. Will keep checking to see where wires need to be lifted to catch the shoots.

I've been hustling hard to get some fruit sold. Bulk inventories have swollen on many varieties including Pinot and Chard, both of which I have for sale in the form of fruit not wine. It's still an indicator of where the market is. I've had some contracts expire going into a tough stretch.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#193 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 27th, 2019, 3:48 pm

People who manage larger ranches need to keep the crews moving, which means suckering something during bloom. For my small ranch, I just put it off and keep people from messing around with the shoots. I am super cautious, and I have the freedom to be that because my ranch is so small.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#194 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 28th, 2019, 5:45 pm

I got a little side tracked today shuffling crews with different tasks. I worked with the staking crew for a while. I rolled back the clock when I could drive 500 stakes a day. But today it was 15 minutes at that pace.

I could easily smell bloom in the air, but polling my crew they think we're 5-15% right now. There area areas well behind due to wet soils. We finished a round of wettable sulfur last night even though we got some showers this weekend. Trying to figure out my next move. I usually don't like to spray fungicides or sulfur during bloom but this has been an interesting 10-12 days at a critical time of the vintage.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#195 Post by Merrill Lindquist » May 28th, 2019, 6:40 pm

I hear you Casey. We surveyed my vineyard today and changed our minds again - spraying in the morning. With so much wet weather hanging around - and humidity recently - it put those flowers at risk. Seems to be a wide variation within my tiny place - many tight formations and some turning brown at the edges.

It will be what it will be. We play it day by day during times like this.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#196 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 29th, 2019, 4:40 pm

IMG_20190529_135342503_HDR.jpg
IMG_20190529_135402446_HDR.jpg
After working with the staking crew for a while I thought it was time to look at the Gruner. Probably 20% bloom and growing like crazy. Did some suckering, shoot selecting and tying for a couple of hours. This field is looking good. Sorry for the half assed phone photos.
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Casey Hartlip
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#197 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 30th, 2019, 10:40 am

Much better light this morning. Gruner clusters starting to bloom.
IMG_20190530_090841758_HDR.jpg
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#198 Post by Casey Hartlip » May 30th, 2019, 6:21 pm

Big time thunder and lightning in Lake county this afternoon. There were warnings on the local radio of possible flash flooding in SE Lake county. I did hear areas of Lake county had over an inch in a very short time period. I'm guessing they are likely deep into bloom, but that's just a guess. Wishing good vibes to my brothers and sisters in that region.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#199 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 30th, 2019, 6:57 pm

Most years the report of lightning would have me wondering about fire, but not this year.
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Re: 2019 West Coast Weather Thread

#200 Post by William Segui » May 31st, 2019, 10:09 am

Casey Hartlip wrote:
May 30th, 2019, 6:21 pm
Big time thunder and lightning in Lake county this afternoon. There were warnings on the local radio of possible flash flooding in SE Lake county. I did hear areas of Lake county had over an inch in a very short time period. I'm guessing they are likely deep into bloom, but that's just a guess. Wishing good vibes to my brothers and sisters in that region.
Saw those clouds shoot up yesterday afternoon, glad to see they stayed on the other side of the hill but my heart breaks for those that took a hit.

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