February’s crop progress report for Washington state

From NASS

The first half of February was warmer than normal while the second half of the month was much colder than normal. Most of the state experienced large drops in temperatures, with some regions reporting temperatures having dropped to single digits during the night. Some regions even reported temperatures dropping down to as far as -14 degrees F. Meanwhile, the highest temperature reported in the region was only 69 degrees F. The largest amount of precipitation reported in a single region was only 5.10 inches, which was much less than last month’s amount.

A large number of operations across the state were concerned that the sudden change in temperatures may have caused frost damage. Earlier warmer temperatures left orchards and crops exposed to the sudden bitter cold. Some operations have already reported losses due to the sudden cold, with damage observed on raspberry operations along with fall planted crops struggling to survive. A number of reports indicated there were still considerable amounts of water left in the fields, forming pools. A few regions reported large amounts of snow, damaging orchards and Christmas tree operations. There were cold snaps killing off cherry blossoms in a few areas. While the sudden cold had been harsh towards livestock operations, the calving season finished without much trouble.

Overall, the warmer weather caused snow covers to melt, which may have exposed wheat and other crops to the harmful effects of the sudden cold.