February 23, 2015

This report covers conditions and observations made between Friday, February 20 and Sunday, February 23, 2015.

Taken in Madera County, today’s photos show the petal fall and beginning jacket stage in the Butte variety, followed by a down-the-row view of petal fall and decreasing bloom in a Nonpareil and Fritz orchard. The third photo is a down-the-row view of a Nonpareil and Carmel row in the later stages of bloom.

Weather has been more problematic the last few days of bloom after 10 days of very supportive weather in the South San Joaquin Valley. Fog and overcast skies were the theme of a weekend capped off by some rain events that yielded .05 to .2 inches of water depending on the area. The sun was never out for more than three hours on any given day in the northern part of region and got progressively more overcast further south in the region.

Morning low temperatures were reported in the mid to upper 40s everyday in the period while highs rarely got out of the upper 50s. Stormy weather on Sunday knocked petals from the trees and kept bees in their hives most of the day. Bee activity for the weekend was minimal due to cooler temperatures and very little sunshine. With weather overcast nearly all day Friday bees barely put in one hour of poor activity with some parts of the region seeing none. Saturday and Sunday were slightly better with one to two hours of poor activity seen in most of the region. Kern County saw almost no activity the whole weekend, while further north in Chowchilla three good hours of activity were observed on Sunday.

We are now well on the backside of bloom in the southern region. Higher winds and some rain on Sunday have accelerated petal shedding by trees. The early blooming Sonora has lost almost all of its petals and has no flowers available for pollination. Weather has pushed Nonpareil to shed nearly half of its petals by the end of the weekend along with its California type pollinizers and Monterey. The Carmel cultivar is approximately a day or two behind shedding its petals. The late blooming Butte variety reached peak numbers of flowers available for pollination on Friday and has begun shedding petals at a quicker pace. The later blooming Padre is currently reaching its peak numbers of flowers available for pollination and is beginning to shed petals.

Observers noted that a high level of variation remains between plantings within the region. Areas with more available, higher quality water have had a stronger bloom with a better bud set than areas with less available, lower quality water.



High Temperature: 59°F
Low Temperature: 43°F
Wind: 0-5 mph. Gusts up to 11 mph
Rain: .05 to .2 inches
Sky Conditions: Overcast, brief sunshine in the afternoon. Patchy fog between rain events.
Bee Activity: Little activity to 3 hours, depending on local weather conditions.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
Ernie Reichmuth
Matt Willson

Click an image to enlarge it.

Bloom Status

VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket

Data reflects a composite of the growing region.

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