Forecast: Better weather on the way for remainder of raspberry harvest

Photo Credit: Lynden Tribune
Photo Credit: Lynden Tribune

This year has been a strange year for a number of reasons with many challenges due to Covid-19 and economic changes. Whatcom County red raspberry growers faced yet another curveball with heavy rainfall as their harvest got underway. As June came and went, strawberry farmers were struggling with rainy weather and the frustration continued as the raspberry harvest picked up steam.

Rufus La Lone, Farming-focused meterologist and weather blogger, joined Dillon Honcoop on the Farming Show this week to talk about what the agriculture community can look forward to in regards to weather patterns. Thankfully La Lone, who is based out of Oregon, is able to give some good news for fruit farmers  looking ahead at the weather for July.

With his background in meteorology for over 30 years, La Lone gives some perspective on the effects of pressure ridges and cold air movement that can cause rainfall to be more common in the northwest corner of Washington. This year those effects have been more emphasized.

For next week, La Lone says, “[Northwest Washington] should get some milder temperatures…with clouds in the morning and don’t be surprised by a few drizzles…But after that it looks like it’s going to continue to warm and be dry. And a potential heat wave in mid-July.”

This sounds like good news for the fruit harvest, but there are also risks, as Honcoop points out. Hot sun can cause damage to the fruit like sun burns and raspberries shriveling on the cane. However, like La Lone says, red raspberries have been a successful crop in Northwest Washington’s fairly mild climate.

Though the weather this year has caused a number of challenges, La Lone is hopeful for a turnaround that will come just in time for the bulk of red raspberry season in mid-July.

Find La Lone’s weather blog, The WxCafe®, to learn more, at https://ovs.com/wx-cafe

To hear the full interview, listen here: