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Hurricane Florence expected to hit sweet potato crop

Hurricane Florence has been predicted to hit the East Coast later this week. As of this morning the National Hurricane Center has stated the hurricane is growing in strength and is predicting the storm to come ashore somewhere along the North Carolina coast midday Thursday. Sustained major hurricane-force winds (greater than 110 miles per hour) are being reported at the center of the storm while hurricane-force winds (74-110 miles per hour) extend 40 miles out from the center and tropical storm-force winds (39-73 miles per hour) are extending out as far as 150 miles.w

As the storm moves ashore we should see heavy rains and wind in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and South Carolina. Rain total as of today are predicted to be anywhere from six to 15 inches in the states of North Carolina and Virginia. As you move out from there totals are expected to remain under four inches. southern New Jersey, northern South Carolina, Delaware, Maryland and southern Pennsylvania may see rain totals between two and four inches. As of right now it appears Georgia and Florida will miss the rain.

Although the season in these areas is winding down there is still some product being harvested that will be affected.

Tomatoes:
Rounds and Romas are still coming out of Tennessee, Virginia and western North Carolina. Although volumes are light compared to product out of the Central Valley of California and Mexico, supplies will be definitely be affected.

Corn and Cukes:
Corn still coming out of southwest Virginia and Cukes still coming out of western North Carolina will be affected as well.

Sweet Potatoes:
This is a commodity that may be greatly affected. The new crop out of North Carolina is just about to begin harvest and this rain will most likely affect the harvest and quality of the product. Check with shippers.

Southern Georgia and northern Florida at this time do not expect to receive any rain but can change during the course of the week.  

The Weathermelon app offers consolidated lists of global growing regions for each commodity; a 10-day detail forecast for each region; current radar maps (U.S. only); estimated harvest start/end dates for each commodity; monthly average high/low temps for each region; and custom daily alerts for temperature, precipitation and severe weather based on 10-day forecasts.

(David Robidoux is a co-founder Weathermelon)