Yet another weather system in moving into the Finger Lakes the next two days with the potential to drop another 1 to 3 inches of rain. According to the Cornell University Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC), the temperature hasn’t been far off from the long term averages, but the summer has been decidedly wet, with flooding experienced in Ithaca, Penn Yan, and other areas in the Finger Lakes.
|*through August 11|
|Month||Average Temperature||Total Precipitation|
More troubling has been severe storms we have experienced, including several bouts of hail and one spate of tornadoes.
While no farmer ever wants to see hail, this type of precipitation is particularly tough on grapes. The photo below is probably of a native American varietal, as indicated by the loose clusters. Vinifera tends to be more tightly clustered, and a puncture in the skin of a grape on the outside of the cluster allows juice to stream inside where, with nowhere to go, it produces rot. The juice from compromised clusters is decidedly, in the words of Alton Brown, “not good eats,” and they must be discarded or the grapes sorted before pressing – an arduous and expensive process for which there is little time during harvest.
At this point in the season, the grapes have all the water they need. Some stretches of sunshine and low humidity would be most helpful.