Frost risk analysis

A UK vineyard experienced several frost events during 2014 that negatively affected their yield. The new owners wanted to know if frost was an historic ‘problem’ in their locality and commissioned a frost risk study to inform their decision about investment in frost protection equipment.

We used a combination of observed and modelled data to inform the study. The closest official weather monitoring station to the vineyard was 8km to the north east. It had a higher altitude than the vineyard and was likely to be less prone to cold air pooling than the land immediately around the vineyard. However, it provided the closest observed long-term temperature data which we used to generate an historic climatology of frost events, both in the form of a 30-year average (1981-2010) and also in each of the last twelve years. This allowed us to highlight what an average and extreme year looked like for frost frequency, within the region.

In addition, we used a computer weather model to simulate hourly temperature on a 3km grid that included the vineyard, also over the last twelve years. The model output for the date of a known frost event showed good correlation and as such we were able to use the model to find the number of likely frost events (<0oC) in the vineyard locality. This model of ground temperature and air temperature also allowed us to consider the year to year changes in frost frequency and identify trends and degree of risk.

The data and its analysis were presented in a format that the client wanted and we spent the time needed to talk through our findings with them. We also used the results to help advise them on suitable frost protection strategies.

Project Data
Date Location Status
September 2014 East Anglia Complete
 
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