Friday, December 7, 2018

One Last Punch to the Gut?

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper!  Today is Friday, December 7th and with the recent passing of President George H.W. Bush and today being the 77th anniversary of the day that will forever live in infamy (Pearl Harbor Day), I feel a little out of place posting a public service announcement regarding the winter storm watch in effect for our area.  I certainly mean no disrespect to the amazing life 41 lead, nor to the tragic events that eventually encouraged the United States of America to enter World War II, and as a lover of history I will be happy to discuss one or both with any of you at another time.  Right now I just want to make sure everyone is aware things might get interesting around here before the weekend wraps up.

If you had the chance to listen to my radio interview with Katrek and Maginnes last month (ICYMI) you may recall hearing me talk a little about 2018 starting off with a cold winter causing winter injury to bermudagrass and damage across the Carolinas.  Then we had some record warmth and a prolonged period of dry weather, followed by two hurricanes in Florence and Michael.  In other words, 2018 has been like a boxer that never stopped throwing punches.  And just as we can see the light at the end of the tunnel for 2018 (only 24 more days in the year), looks like 2018 may have saved its haymaker for last.
Now the above tweet was three days ago and at that time I guess you could say it was still too early to tell exactly what the impact in Charlotte might be.  But by later that same day Brad upgraded the snowmeters for both areas (Charlotte from 2 to 3 and the Mountains from 5 to 7.
IMPORTANT - The snowmeters used above are not forecast accumulation totals but rather a measure of confidence that a winter storm will impact our area.  
Again, those announcements happened three days ago, and when you start talking about snow in Charlotte some folks get a little excited while others are less enthused.  And then there are those that just freak out and clean the local Harris Teeters out of milk and bread.
Hopefully you took the time to watch Brad's video linked above from yesterday.  The important thing is public safety and that is why I am taking the time to post this update today.  Like Brad I want you to be #WeatherAware and at least have the information to make informed decisions.  What we like to say in your golf course maintenance department is, "Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best!".  With that philosophy we are never under prepared and things usually do not turn out as bad as they possibly can.

With that said, what we know now is the area is currently under a Winter Storm Watch as issued by the National Weather Service.
The timing of the event appears to be late Saturday and extending into Monday.  As per normal, Charlotte is located squarely in an area of uncertainty with regards to exactly what type of precipitation it receives.  Will we get snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain, mix, rain, etc.?  I feel for you Brad!  The important thing to know is something is going to fall from the sky, and you just need to be prepared for the potential of a disruption to our normal schedules for possibly a day or even more.  Let's certainly hope it doesn't come to that, but if it does hopefully you will be able to say you were ready. #WeatherAware

On the bright side, winter storms usually do not stick around in the Queen City for prolonged periods, that's one of the reasons we chose to reside here, right. ;)  And when this one is gone we will have the golf course ready for you to enjoy once more.  Stay warm and stay safe Carolina.

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG

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