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The San Joaquin Valley is expected to get hit by two major storms and colder temps that have the possibility to affect the cherry crop and cause serious damage to other stone fruit crops. weat

Starting Wednesday night into Thursday, a storm is anticipated to hit all growing regions up and down the San Joaquin Valley dropping between 0.5 inches to an inch of rain over the two-day period. There is a second storm scheduled to hit this Sunday with up to an inch of rain and a third storm potentially for next Tuesday, May 21.

Along with the rain will come cooler temps starting Wednesday with highs only in the low 70s (with some isolated 60s) and mins in the low 50s for the next 10 days. Although this weather is not unprecedented for this time of year, it is extremely unusual.

Tony Taviano of B&B Imports in Fresno, CA, said these storms have the potential to wipe out a large part of the Bing cherry crop and might cause shippers to call for an “act of god” on contracts. Furthermore, Taviano said this weather may "sow the seeds for a challenging summer marketing season of stone fruit and potential ramifications that extend into the fall for table grapes”.

The same storms hitting the San Joaquin Valley will also hit the coastal California growing regions of Salinas, Santa Maria and Oxnard, causing definite harvest issues. As of right now Salinas is expected to receive approximately one inch of rain this Wednesday and Thursday. The second storm on Saturday and Sunday may bring up to half an inch, and next Tuesday has the potential of 0.25 inches of rain, which could affect the harvest of strawberries and lettuces.

Desert regions are not expected to see any rain from these storms, but they will experience cooler temps with max temps in the 80s and min temps in the low 60s over the next 10 days.

The Weathermelon app offers consolidated lists of global growing regions for each commodity; a 10-day detail forecast for each region; current radar maps (U.S. only); estimated harvest start/end dates for each commodity; monthly average high/low temps for each region; and custom daily alerts for temperature, precipitation and severe weather based on 10-day forecasts.

(David Robidoux is a co-founder Weathermelon)

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Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

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