Friday, January 6, 2017

Winter Storm Warning!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Friday, January 6th and I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!  The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Charlotte area and I thought I would take this opportunity to give each of you an idea how the golf course may be impacted over the days ahead.  Obviously public safety is far greater than when golf will be played at Carolina again, so hopefully I can help make things more clear for those that haven't been paying close attention till now.

The winter weather event is expected to start later today as rain then change over to snow and continue through the overnight hours potentially lasting till midday tomorrow.  Based on the information I have been watching this is what I call a plowable snow event, meaning totals could reach four or more inches.  Last night WCNC Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich shared the graphic below that details both the timing and impacts this winter storm may have.

I think it's a blessing in disguise this winter weather is arriving overnight tonight into tomorrow morning.  This should make life much easier for those hard working individuals clearing public roads. Now, a snow storm of this magnitude will completely cover the entire course making it unplayable, thus you can expect the golf course will be closed for play tomorrow.  But that is only the tip of the iceberg.  If we take a closer look at the full 7-day forecast below you will see something frigid this way comes.

The cold arctic air moving into our region behind this system is bitterly cold.  We are talking single digit temperatures and when the Mercury falls that far BELOW freezing it means this white stuff is going to persist.  I think there is a strong probability the golf course could remain closed due to lingering snow cover until the middle or latter half of next week, especially if we receive as much snow as forecast.

There is some good news.  The snow will insulate and help shield and protect the turf underneath from the frigid temperatures.  Therefore I do not anticipate any winter related injury or damage to the turf directly resulting from this winter weather event.  However, damage may occur if folks attempting to transform the golf course into a sled run do not use good judgment. 

Whenever you trek through virgin snow it becomes compacted and can quickly turn to ice.  Ice takes much longer to melt than loose, airy snow so if venturing onto the course it is imperative to make sure no one in your group walks across the putting surfaces (Keep Off The Greens).

So hopefully you've stocked up on essentials and your'e ready for Snowmageddon 2017.  Put on a pot of cocoa, bundle up and let's see how Old Man Winter rings in 2017 in the Queen City.  Stay tuned for updates from Carolina Golf Club.  We will be sending emails to notify you about potential closures and/or operational schedule changes.  We will also be sending Push Notifications via the CGC App and I will continue to provide information via Twitter (@CGCGreenkeeper) as well as share updates from Brad Panovich (@wxbrad).  Hopefully the inconvenience we all experience from this storm will be minimal and as soon as the course thaws I will ...

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG