French vineyards on maximum frost alert

Monday April 05 2021 by Vitisphere

 To make matters worse, on April 1, Emmanuel Buisson feared radiation frost on Sunday morning, April 4, in the South-East, Bordeaux area, the Loire Valley and Burgundy. To make matters worse, on April 1, Emmanuel Buisson feared radiation frost on Sunday morning, April 4, in the South-East, Bordeaux area, the Loire Valley and Burgundy. - Photo credit : DR

The co-founder of the Weather Measures company and agricultural meteorology specialist, Emmanuel Buisson would have liked to make an April fool's joke with the winegrowers who attended the Vintage Report on Thursday, April 1. “Unfortunately this is no joke. You have probably heard it in the media but a very significant wintery cold spell will be with us next week”.

Buisson is particularly concerned about the very strong high of cold air that is on its way, already at 1,036 HP on April 1. “If we look ahead to Monday lunchtime, the entire high pressure area to the south will have disappeared. The high pressure system of cold air from Greenland will have moved closer to the west of Iceland, with an intensity of 1,044 HP”, he says.

The American GFS model predicts -5 to -6°C over France next week. “But since the slowdown in air traffic it has tended to be overly pessimistic. The European model, which is generally more optimistic, is predicting 0, -1 or even -2°C”.

The German Icon model paints a very worrying picture for Monday night. “All the areas in dark blue are in negative temperatures”, explained the meteorologist. “Today we are pretty sure that an advective frost wave will cross France for 3 or 4 days”.

All we can do now is keep our fingers crossed that its intensity will not be too great, particularly as many vines are at the green tip stage, where damage starts at -2°C. At the initial leaf development stage, which is also commonplace, young green tips are affected starting at -0.6°C for 30 minutes.

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