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July 22, 2010


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I'm unfamilliar with the weather patterns out east, is this type of severe weather, common?

Good Luck!

Brian: I wouldn't call it "common" but it does happen. We also occasionally have to deal with hurricanes and tropical storms moving up the coast.

Apparently (and I'm working on a story about this) the Atlantic is warmer than typical this year, which could help those storms maintain their strength...which would be devastating to the local wine industry.

Hail has not been common on the North Fork - before this year and last many of the old farmers could not remember experiencing it.

To show how weird the weather can be, Cutchogue and many points east did not even receive a drop of rain during yesterday's storm.

Warmer water temperatures can make some storms stronger, especially in the case of a hurricane. That's way many hurricanes follow the path of the Gulf Stream up the coast. But its not the case for all storms.

Anything can happen that's for sure but with the exception of this isolated storm yesterday we've had nothing but picture perfect weather on the North Fork!
The season is still trending 2+ weeks earlier than average.

We dodged two local storms yesterday in Bayview, Southold, (they moved south of us) but last night at dusk we had several micro-bursts but no hail and some torrential rains until 9 pm.

The Atlantic is definately warmer this year than last. And it is playing out in the fishing season as well. There are LOTS of Yellowfin tuna already in the local area. They are here about a month early. They follow the warm water.

Hail is usually a very localized event.
There is some history of hail on the North Fork.
We had such an event on June 29, 2003 that devastated our vineyards. The hail stones were golf ball sized. At that time I inquired with others and the late Ray Blum had told me that he had such an event as well a few years before that.

The devastation, if the stones are large enough to injure the bark, is not limited to the season when the storm occurs. It is actually worse the following year. We estimated that we lost in excess of 2000 vines in 2004. Also the yield in 2004 was even lower than the reduced yield in 2003, such that we had to purchase fruit, a rare occurrence at Paumanok.

So while hail is rare, it is not uncommon.

BTW - No damage in Mattituck, but we did have a brief note of hail during an overnight storm on Friday. They were very small and only lasted a few minutes, but the thunderstorm carried on for about an hour from 4 AM to 5 AM.

Thanks for the updates, everyone. Keep us posted on weather events, please!

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