Hard Freeze: California Wine Country

I mentioned earlier today that my friend Jan Null, former lead forecaster for the NWS in San Francisco and now operator of Golden Gate Weather Service pointed out that a number of cold records were set overnight. Looks like we are in for a second night, and it looks even colder for some areas. Napa’s wine valley may hit 26-27 tonight. 2011 may not be a good year for wine then. We’ll see. Other grape growing areas in coastal valleys will also be affected:

Here’s the official record reports:

SXUS76 KMTR 270037 CCA

RERMTR

RECORD EVENT REPORT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

430 PM PST SAT FEB 26 2011

THE FOLLOWING SITES SET A NEW RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE FOR THIS DATE

                          LOW            PREVIOUS    YEAR OF

SITE                      TEMPERATURE    RECORD      PREVIOUS RECORD

NAPA                                     28             30          1945      CORRECTED

OAKLAND                            34             38          1987

OAKLAND INTL ARPT    32             34          1962

SFO INTL ARPT                 35             36          1971

SAN RAFAEL                     28             32          1996

THE FOLLOWING SITES TIED PREVIOUS RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES

                          LOW                        YEAR OF

SITE                      TEMPERATURE                PREVIOUS RECORD

SAN FRANCISCO                37                         1962

MOUNTAIN VIEW             34                         1962

SAN JOSE                              33                         1897


Here’s the forecast for Saint Helena in the center of the Napa Valley tonight, they call for 26 degrees.

Growing areas near Salinas will also get a frost.

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bucko36

Hell is freezing over!!!!!

js

Temperatures in the Sierra Madre region of Mexico (Madera) fell to -20C on the 3rd and 4th February, and -9C in Chihuahua, not rising above freezing during the day, for a week.
The Warmists would naturally blame AGW.

Yes, it’s finally happened.

crosspatch

Grapes should be ok. They should still be dormant. Grapes in Europe endure temperatures well below freezing each year. We had vines back east and would get down to zero sometimes. The only time it would hurt the grapes is if they had already started to put out leaves.
I think they are still dormant so they should be fine.
REPLY: We have a lot of early blooms in the Sac Valley, due to unseasonably warm weather a couple weeks back. That’s the concern here -A

tokyoboy

Smokey says: February 26, 2011 at 7:04 pm
“Yes, it’s finally happened.”
Where on earth is The Hell??

RACookPE1978

There was significant ice reported on the roads and bridges of the Napa Valley during the very cold days of Feb 15-16-17 earlier this month. Before that week’s cold weather, the power plant I was working down south of San Jose had significant ice damage to the turbine blades, so even the south San Fran Bay area has been hit this winter.
The earlier ice may, or may not, mean the vines are additionally damaged by this regional snow, or may mean they were already cold-adapted and not too badly harmed.
What will the Futures market purchases/sales on early Monday morning for Napa/Sonoma/Central Valley wines be?

tokyoboy

Is the famous wind-farm OK under such freezing in California?

crosspatch

California isn’t the only place. North Korea is also apparently seeing record cold:
http://www.nkeconwatch.com/2011/02/21/dprk-experiencing-record-low-temperatures/

DJ

Looks like we’re in for a bumper crop of Eiswein!
If it doesn’t pan out though, it’ll be fun to watch the California Wine Lobby start a campaign to maintain global warming…

AusieDan

What you people do not seem to understand is that all your cold weather is due to human CO2 emissions causing dangerous climate disruption (formerly know as [fka] dangerous climate change fka climate change fka global warming).
REPENT
Say no more.
/sarc off

AJB

Looking like the UK may have another cold blast in about 4 days time too. See jetstream forecast for 06Z Thurs 3rd March hereabouts:
http://squall.sfsu.edu/crws/jetstream_fcsts.html
Will be intersting to see what comes across the US behind this lot. Hard to judge how long it might last.

Elizabeth

Protect pets? In 25F degree weather? Really? Maybe chihuahuas and hairless cats.

tokyoboy

Smokey says: February 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm “tokyoboy”
Thanks. As someone who once lived in West Berlin, I take the story (out of the two) that Hell originates in the expression “So schön hell!”
Another story is a bit too truthful.

tom

Sorry if this is not the most appropriate post to attach this comment to, but…
Please have a look at the graph on page one on the link below –
then, presuming this garph is bona fide, can anyone tell me what was happening between 1950 – 1960?
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Measuring-Earths-energy-imbalance.html
Thanks, Tom

Eric (skeptic)

Elizabeth, pets (and people) not adapted to cold can suffer in merely cool weather. Fortunately I don’t have that problem with the thermostat set to 55 or so.

Tom in St. Johns

Hell is a small city in southern Michigan. Photos of their city sign in winter are fairly common. They were hit with a good ice storm earlier this week.

tokyoboy

“tokyoboy says: February 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm”
Self-correction: “truthful” should read “ruthful”.
Pushed two neigboring letters.

Dave Wendt

DJ says:
February 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm
Looks like we’re in for a bumper crop of Eiswein!
If it doesn’t pan out though, it’ll be fun to watch the California Wine Lobby start a campaign to maintain global warming…
We’re on the wrong end of the growing season. Eiswein is made when mature grapes are frozen on the vine by a hard frost. The grapes are harvested and pressed while still frozen which produces a very concentrated must and a sweet but incredibly complex and intense wine. Haven’t had any for years, but the German vintages I had many years ago were beautiful wines.

Ray

Now can can start making “winter wine”.

Dr. Dave

Boy! I’m impressed some readers actually knew where Hell, Michigan is. Living Hell, Michigan is a much larger town to the east. Just follow I-94 east to the ruins.
I believe California’s wine region grows some of the more “sensitive” varieties. And, as Anthony mentioned early blooms before a frost can devastate any fruit crop anywhere. Western Michigan has extensive vineyards and a bunch of wineries but I don’t think the vines so much as expose a green shoot until about May (after the April blizzards).

crosspatch

“can anyone tell me what was happening between 1950 – 1960?”
Global energy deficit. Corresponds to peak of the baby boom. We were pretty tired.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Nice map. The NWS uses Linux?
(Yes it’s late here, sorry.)

Douglas DC

Dont’ have time to look it up, but these things seem to be oh, once every 10 or so years.
They occur with regularity that was not predicted by AGW theory…

Steve Schaper

Minnesota wine is a growing phenomenon. I suspect the Californians aren’t doing things the same way, though, different root stock, different hybrids, different winterizing, etc.

Mike McMillan

@ tokyoboy
Where is that chart you put up a while back of Japan Tide gauges, kudasai?

Rhyl Dearden

I’ve forgotten – what year was the “Long Winter” that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about? Any correlations with other places in USA?

rbateman

Nothing bites quite like a cold snap, especially after a false spring.

Neil Jones

Someone should tell the people of San Francisco “Don’t Eat Yellow Snow!”

Brian H

tokyoboy says:
February 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm
“tokyoboy says: February 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm”
Self-correction: “truthful” should read “ruthful”.
Pushed two neigboring letters.

And were the ell is the aitch in ‘neigboring’?
>:L

dp

I have an irregular column I write called The Oenologist’s Corner and in which I espouse the virtues of cheap assed wine (SEC!). A definition is in order: A cheap assed wine is red, under $10.00 USD, not from California, and cannot be an embarrassment to the host. So go ahead and freeze, CA – couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of greenies, and you were never in the race for excellence anyway.
BTW, there are a good many CAW’s out there!

Hank Hancock

It’s snowing in Las Vegas right now (12:30 PM EST).

Hank Hancock

Er, um, that would be 12:30 am.

Ron Furner

Tokyoboy
You ask ‘where on earth is hell’ Well, excluding a few places where nobody would ever want to revisit, the Hell I’ve been to is a small village near an airbase in Norway east of Tronheim. ( unfortunately, I cannot find my return ticket but I’ll keep looking and post a photo when it turns up)

Snow in SF in 1999.

M White

Don’t worry
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/a-little-different/more-wine-questions/8231365/What-is-Eiswein.html
“Eiswein or, if it comes from outside Germany or Austria, ice wine, is white wine made from grapes that have frozen on the vine prior to picking, leading to an intense sweetness in the finished wine”

Snow, sort of, in SF in 2008. This time with scientists making observations and hypothesizing about climate.

Snow, sort of, in SF in 2006. Party time.

More 2006 snowish time in SF.

tom

Regarding my comment:
“Please have a look at the graph on page one on the link below –
then, presuming this garph is bona fide, can anyone tell me what was happening between 1950 – 1960?
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Measuring-Earths-energy-imbalance.html
the answers so far from http://www.hot-topic.co.nz
1/ If readings were available for earlier periods it would show that the world was in a much better energy balance. It was only in about 1960 that the world began to recover form the second world war and started to burn coal and oil in serious quantities.
2/ Tom, perhaps you asked the wrong question.
The real question would have been: What happened between 1960 and 1975. And the answer is that during this time due to a large increase in industrial smog (SO2 had a lot to do with it) we actually industrially counteracted the AGW CO2 forcing effects. Then in the late 70ies clean air act laws came into place which bettered the situation in that sense and returned Earth to the state of imbalance it already had in the 60ies.
In fact some of the geo-engineering ideas being circulated to fight GW are to simulate the smog of the 60ties by injecting stratospheric SO2 to counterbalance GW forcing.
Does this make any more sense to you all than it does to me?
Thanks

More 2006 snow/hail time in SF.

Clearly home videos make an excellent way to document weather events in some regards revealing quite a bit of info about the weather at the time. No temperature, pressure, or such readings interesting observational data. It would be really fantastic if each weather station also included a panoramic camera so that visual records would provide the missing information that temperature numbers alone can’t.
This is the type of camera that the google uses on their street view cars. One of these babies at each weather stations would be awesome, 9 x 5 megapixels cameras (for 36 megapixels per frame total) with one pointing upwards to see the sky! Lots of data but at least you’d see the truck parked next to the temperature station and know that that time set of readings was, ah how to put this politely, bogus. Brem, brem.
http://elphel.com/eyesis
A couple of beautiful panoramas stitched together showing the sky 360 application. Imagine this is a weather station monitoring site: http://blog.elphel.com/2010/07/360-fisheye. Also imagine full second by second automated weather data collection from each station (in real time where possible) to a LIVE data collection PUBLIC web site along with multiple redundant LIVE data collection backup archive sites for keeping them honest about the data!

Oops, that should say “No temperature, pressure, or such readings interesting [but] observational data [none-the-less].” [:)]

One interesting piece of data that a panoramic + sky camera unit can provide is the position and location of the sun relative to the station’s camera and the cloud cover for that station (during the day). It would also show signs of visible air pollution which is cities would be important. As the technology advances night time cameras might be possible. Also using a weather radar unit at each would provide a lot more data for study.
Going forward we need more context for the temperature observations to know what they are all about, video and weather radar can help a lot with that.
What are all the parameters being captured by the most advanced weather stations today?
As a professional systems analyst it is clear we need the best observational systems at each weather station so that all the scientific questions we are interested in asking can have half a chance of being addressed with some quantifiable accuracy and quantifiable confidence range.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Rhyl Dearden said on February 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm:

I’ve forgotten – what year was the “Long Winter” that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about? Any correlations with other places in USA?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long_Winter_(novel)

The Long Winter is a Newbery Honor novel by Laura Ingalls Wilder, first published in 1940. The story is set in South Dakota during the severe winter of 1880-1881, when Laura turned fourteen. It is the sixth book in the Little House series.

This is interesting:

The story begins in Dakota Territory at the Ingalls homestead in South Dakota on a hot August day in 1880 as Laura and her father (“Pa”) are haying. Pa tells Laura that he knows the winter is going to be hard because muskrats always build a house with thick walls before a hard winter, and this year, they have built the thickest walls he has ever seen. In mid-October, the Ingalls wake with an unusually early blizzard howling around their poorly insulated claim shanty. Soon afterward, Pa receives another warning from an unexpected source: a dignified old Native American man comes to the general store in town to warn the white settlers that there will be seven months of blizzards. Impressed, Pa decides to move the family into town for the winter.

Check with muskrats at the end of summer to find out how bad winter will be. Check with groundhogs near the end of winter to find out how the rest of the season will NOT be. Got it.

no big deal… the best California wines come from the Central Coast, not Napa.

jmrSudbury

California ice wine. Who’d have thunk it? 🙂 — John M Reynolds

Mister Ed

crosspatch says:
February 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm
California isn’t the only place. North Korea is also apparently seeing record cold:
http://www.nkeconwatch.com/2011/02/21/dprk-experiencing-record-low-temperatures/
– – – – – – – – – –
This makes me angry: “Pyongyang has reportedly stepped up its calls for aid from the international community….” Sigh. People are suffering. Whattaya gonna do?
“Ryu Ki-yeol, the North Korean scientist cited by the Chosun Sinbo, cited a difference in pressure at the highest latitudes known as the Ar[c]tic Oscillation as the cause of the prolonged cold spell.”

geoff

A suitable response to North Korea’s plea for food aid due to the extreme temperatures there and massive crop failures……
“Let them eat nuclear weapons.”

Bloke down the pub

AJB says: Feb 26, 2011 at 7.54pm
‘Looking like the UK may have another cold blast’
Reminds me of MET office long range forecast that there were ‘some indications of an increased risk of a mild end to the winter season.’ I wonder what piece of seaweed they were using to give an indication like that?

This may be the worst climate (okay, weather) news I’ve heard.