Hot weather brings early harvest for local farmers and the hot El Nino this summer will give way to a weak La Nina this fall and winter
The pumpkins at Michell Farms in Central Saanich would suggest Halloween is near. But with two months still to go, once again, it’s an early crop.
“We’re at least 3 weeks earlier than normal,” says Vern Michell.
“Now two years in a row of way earlier than normal above temperatures, it reflects on what we grow.”
The pumpkins, some layered in dust from the dry soil, and other early growth on the farm tells the story of an el nino year.
“It tells us that nighttime temperatures, daytime temperatures average since we planted these have been quite a few degrees above normal,” says Michell.
Record heat was felt through much of Vancouver Island last week, and while hot again today, this hot pattern will change.
“There will be one rainmaker that comes in probably late Sunday night into Monday, a little bit of a break Tuesday, and then we’ll see more showers coming in for Thursday,” says AccuWeather Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck.
Changing colours on the leaves, many of which now on the ground, a sign fall is around the corner.
With such a strong El Nino, don’t expect a cold whollap from La Nina.
“There’s so much warm water that’s been built up in the Pacific Ocean that it may take a while for a classic La Nina to develop,” says Smerbeck.
“Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s borderline weak La Nina maybe neutral.”
It may take time, but this dry soil will be met with moisture going into winter.
“The second half of the fall should start to become more active, almost like little more of a pseudo La Nina signal, where we will be getting storm centres that plow into parts of southwest Canada into the Pacific NorthWest,” adds Smerbeck.
No matter what weather is in store, Michell says these pumpkins will still be in good shape by the time they turn into Jack-o-lanterns at the end of October.