This manual outlines the products and features (existing and new) of the "Vine & Tree Fruit INnovations" website. The network is representing 3 regions; and monitoring 45 locations within the regions. Limited access to information is available to the general public on the home page; however, simply sign up and log in to gain access to a collection of management tools, historical and current weather data, maps and information.
What is available without a login?
- Limited weather data:
- Hourly Data: the past 48 hours
- Daily Data: the past week
- Region maps with sub-appellations and terroir information
- Links to useful websites, research, current events and industry news
- Access to jointly sponsored or special research program news and products
- Limited selection of reports
- Dew point Information
- Weather station information
What are the additional features for those with a login?
- Additional management tools
- Region maps with sub-appellations and terroir information; user can zoom into a sub-appellation to view a map with road names and place names to assist in identifying station locations
- Disease Pressure Map
- Disease Pressure Tool
- ET Map
- Forecast Data
- Hourly: 10 day forecast
- Daily: 10 day forecast
- GDD Map
- GDD Tool
- Overnight Low Map
- Rain Map
- Station specific weather alarms/alerts
- Current and historical weather data:
- 15 minute Data: the past month
- Hourly Data: the past 6 months
- Daily Data: since January 1st; however, data is not archived until the beginning of April, so more than a yearly dataset will be accessible from January-March
- "My Favourites" Tool - the ability to save user preferences to expedite viewing time on subsequent visits
- Daily Data Comparisons
- Various parameters over the past 2 weeks
- Ability to add virtual fields
- Location specific Forecast, GDD, ET, DSV
- forecast alerts (email and text) for low temp, high temp, wind speed and rain
- Satellite imagery field Acreage Measurement tool
The temperature at which air is sufficiently cooled to reach saturation and condense water vapour from the air is known as the dew point (Moran and Morgan, 1997). If this temperature is below freezing, frost (rather than dew) will form. This is often referred to as the frost point. If there is a large difference between the air temperature and the dew point, the air is drier, and vice versa. Consequently, dew point is a measure of atmospheric moisture.
Types of Freezing Events: There are two types of freezing patterns that grape growers need to be mindful of. The first, and most frequent event, is known as a radiational freeze. Infrared radiation is constantly exchanged between the earth and the atmosphere. When the sun sets, the objects on the earth’s surface (i.e. buds) emit infrared radiation to the atmosphere. This is known as radiational cooling. If the skies are cloudy, the water vapour absorbs and re-emits the infrared radiation back to the earth’s surface. However, when overnight skies are clear and winds are calm, more infrared radiation is emitted from the buds than from the atmosphere (Moran and Morgan, 1997). The result is that the surface of the bud becomes cooler than the air surrounding it. If winds are strong, there is a natural mixing of heat and water vapour; thus, it is unlikely that an adequately cool and damp layer of air can form. However, if there is adequate cooling, the air surrounding the bud becomes saturated and the water vapour will condense. This condensation will occur on the bud as dew, if temperatures are above freezing; and as frost, if temperatures are below freezing. Again, the temperature at which this occurs is known as the dew point temperature. Thus, for dew or frost to form, the temperature of the bud must be below the dew point temperature. As long as the surface temperature of the bud remains above the dew point temperature, frost will not form. The second type of freezing pattern is known as an advective freeze. This occurs when a cold, arctic air mass enters the region. Often, these events are associated with high wind speeds and thus a temperature inversion does not typically develop. There is often little to no use in turning on a wind machine during an advective freeze, not to mention detrimental to the wind machine, if wind speeds are high. However, there is the chance for winds to settle during an advective freeze and an inversion to develop, in which case one would want to run a wind machine.
Tips: For a radiational cooling event (calm winds, clear sky) when critically low temperatures are expected, the following statements can be assumed:
a) If the dew point is low, relative to the respective air temperature, temperatures can be expected to fall rapidly and machines may need to be started earlier
b) If the dew point is high, relative to the respective air temperature, temperatures can be expected to fall slower and machines may not need to be run until later or perhaps not at all
c) If the forecasted dew point is below the critical temperature, wind machines may need to be started earlier
d) If the forecasted dew point is above the critical temperature, wind machines may not need to be run until later or not at all
The daily disease pressure map provides two pieces of information. The first piece of information that it displays is the daily disease pressure value. These values range on a scale of 0 to 7, where a value of 0 indicates little disease pressure and is represented by a green colour. A value of 7 indicates heavy disease pressure and is represented by a red colour. The disease pressure contours are generated, using data collected from additional sources to the weather stations labelled within the selected zones, to improve precision. The second piece of information that the map displays is the accumulated disease pressure for the growing season, beginning on May 15 of that particular year. The accumulated pressure is displayed as a number on the map. This information will give growers a sense of the day and the year, in terms of it being more or less favourable to grape diseases; and the data useful in determining whether to adjust their spray schedule accordingly. Growers can also see how disease pressure varies from one location to the next.
The disease pressure map runs from May 15 to September 15. To access the disease pressure map feature from the home page map, click on a region ▶ Disease Pressure
In addition to the disease pressure map, a table of daily disease pressure ratings will display if the user clicks on a value/station on the map. This table is shown in the figure below. A user can subsequently choose a start and end date and the total disease pressure rating for that period is displayed immediately above the table. Furthermore, the user can view the accumulated or daily disease pressures as a graph. This information will give growers a sense of the week, the month, the year, or any time period that is chosen, in terms of it being more or less favourable to grape diseases; and adjust their spray schedule accordingly.
The disease pressure tool runs from May 15 to September 15. To access this feature from the home page map, click on a region ▶ Disease Pressure ▶ Click on a value/station
The ET map is a useful irrigation management tool that can assist the user in determining irrigation requirements. Evapotranspiration (ET) is a measure of the amount of moisture lost to the atmosphere, through evaporation from the ground and transpiration from plants. ET values can be used for determining irrigation required, by estimating how much moisture is being lost. WIN calculates ET using the Priestley-Taylor method, which uses a minimum number of parameters. This map feature is generated, by using data collected from additional sources to the weather stations labelled within the selected zones, to improve precision. The map shows the millimetres of moisture lost to evapotranspiration on the given day.
The ET map runs from May 1 to October 31. To access the ET Map feature from the home page map, click on a region ▶ ET
Forecast data is generated using a site-specific US forecasting model that has proved to more accurately reflect some weather patterns. Daily forecast includes the parameters Tmax, Tmin, rain and RH for the next 10 days. Hourly forecast includes temperature, rain, RH, wind speed and wind direction values for the next 5 days. A user can also view the forecast data as a graph.
To access the forecast from the home page map, click on a region ▶ Forecast Data ▶ Click on a weather station on the map
Growing degree days are a measure of how many heat units are accumulated in a single day or over time. They are calculated on a daily basis using the daily maximum and minimum temperature. The map provides Base 10°C growing degree days for the current growing season. Daily GDD is denoted by the use of colour on the map. The GDD contours are generated, by using data collected from other sources in addition to the weather stations labelled within the selected zones, to improve precision. Accumulated GDD beginning from March 1st of that particular year is displayed as a number. This indexing system is useful in determining how the season is progressing, whether the crop is ahead or behind, which varieties are suitable to a particular location, etc. WIN calculates GDD using the following formula:
(Daily Tmax + Daily Tmin) /2 - Base
The GDD map runs from March 1 to October 31. To access this feature from the home page map, click on a region ▶ GDD
In addition to the GDD map, a table of growing degree days will display if the user clicks on a value/station on the map. This table is shown in the figure below. A user can subsequently choose a start and end date and the total accumulated GDD for that period is displayed immediately above the table. This information will give growers a sense of the week, the month, the year, or any time period that is chosen, in terms of it accumulating more or less heat units
The GDD tool runs from March 1 to October 31. To access the GDD tool from the home page map, click on a region ▶ GDD ▶ Click on a value/station
The historical data is available in near real-time 15-minute (available for login users), hourly and daily formats. Users can select the format, as well as the time period they are interested in. Please note that login is required to access these features. User can also view the graph and data is available to download in spreadsheet. Fifteen-minute data is available for the past month, hourly data is available for the past 6 months and daily data is available since January 1st of the current year. All data is archived at the beginning of April every year, in order to enable access to the entire winter season. Consequently, between the months of January to March, WIN enables 13-15 months of accessible daily data. Nevertheless, archived data can be made available upon request. Please note that a fee may be required, depending on the application.
To access the historical data from the home page map, click on a region ▶ Historical Data ▶ Click on a weather station on the map ▶ Choose the data type, start & end dates and units(as shown below) ▶ Submit
This feature enables a user to save their preferences in order to expedite viewing time on subsequent visits. A user will then not have to navigate from the home page map each session to compare their data or stations of interest. Rather, after logging in, the user simply has to select "My Favourites" ▶ data type and data will be displayed in tabular form, for the preferred station(s). This data can be viewed in graphical form as well which gives user a better view of comparison. Choosing from the start/end date box situated above the table enables the user to select and compare various parameters for different time intervals between their preferred three stations. These parameters include Tavg, Tmax, Tmin, Wind and inversion strength.
To access "My Favourites" from the home page, sign in and click on My Favourites in the toolbar. Upon the first visit, the user will need to select their appellation of interest, as well as their top three stations of interest. These can be edited at any time, by selecting Edit My Preferences on the right-hand side, as revealed below.
The overnight low map provides a quick "at-a-glance" feature to answer the ever-popular question of "how cold did it get last night?". This tool also enables the user to compare their own conditions against previous days and surrounding stations. The map is generated, by using data collected from other sources in addition to the weather stations labelled within the selected zones, to improve precision. Since "daily data" is stored between midnight and midnight, the overnight low is often distorted, as it can stretch across two calendar days; and yet one overnight period. Consequently, WIN has defined the overnight low for this particular product as the minimum temperature that occurs between 5:00PM → 10:00AM.
A user can click on an overnight low value to yield a table of overnight lows and graph as well.
The Overnight Low map runs from September 15 to May 31. To access the Overnight Low map feature from the home page map, click on a region ▶ Overnight Low
The rain map displays daily rainfall amounts, in millimetres, for each of the stations in the region. A user can hover the cursor over a rainfall value to yield the corresponding station name. In addition, a table of daily rainfall totals will display if the user clicks on the rainfall value including graph for that data. The rain map tool enables the user to easily compare their own precipitation data against previous days and surrounding stations. Daily rainfall data is calculated from the total accumulation of precipitation that falls from midnight → midnight. Equipment is designed to accurately record liquid precipitation; under conditions when precipitation is not in liquid form, the data displayed may not properly reflect rainfall values.
The rain map runs from April 1 to October 31. To access this feature from the home page map, click on a region ▶ Rain
Low Temperature Exotherm (LTE) refers to the temperature at which intracellular water freezes. This temperature changes throughout the dormant season as buds acclimate to the colder winter temperatures and deacclimate to the warmer spring temperatures. Irregardless of the time of season, producers should strive to prevent their vines from reaching the LTE. This can be accomplished by being aware of the proximity of forecasted temperatures to the LTE and being prepared to run wind machines if inversion conditions exist as temperatures approach the LTE.
LTE 10 refers to the temperature at which 10% of the primary buds will die as a result of the intracellular water freezing within the primary bud. LTE 50 refers to the temperature at which 50% will die and LTE 90 the temperature at which 90% will die.
LTE 10 Difference from Forecast Low Map
(variety specific - separate maps are produced for Chardonnay and Cab Franc)
This map will assist the producer in showing how close PREDICTED overnight low temperatures are expected to come to the critical LTE 10 temperature. These maps are posted daily: PRIOR TO the event occurring. Thus, a producer can prepare for actions necessary to prevent budkill.
- A positive value on the map indicates that the forecasted temperature for the evaluated period remained higher than the critical LTE 10 temperature. Thus, no damage is estimated.
- ie. If LTE 10 = -17.4C and the station value indicates +5C, then the low is forecasted to be 5C greater than the LTE 10 (-12.4C)
- A value of "0" on the map indicates that the forecasted temperatures for the evaluated period equaled the critical LTE 10 temperature. Thus, 10% of the primary buds are estimated to have been killed.
- A negative value on the map indicates the forecasted temperature for the evaluated period is below the critical LTE 10 temperature.
LTE 10 Temperature Difference from Observed Low Map
(variety specific - separate maps are produced for Chardonnay and Cab Franc)
This map will assist the producer in determining whether at least 10% budkill has occurred during the evaluated period. It shows how close the OBSERVED temperatures came to reaching the critical LTE 10 temperature. These maps are posted daily: AFTER the event has occurred
- A positive value on the map indicates that the observed temperature for the evaluated period remained higher than the critical LTE 10 temperature. Thus, no damage is estimated.
- A value of "0" on the map indicates that the observed temperature for the evaluated period equaled the critical LTE 10 temperature. Thus, 10% of the buds are estimated to have been killed.
- A negative value on the map indicates the observed temperature for the evaluated period fell below the critical LTE 10 temperature. The user can then verify whether the temperature reached the critical LTE 50 or LTE 90 temperatures to estimate the amount of budkill.
- ie. If LTE 10 = -17.4C and the station value indicates -1C, then the temperature at this station fell 1C below the LTE 10 temperature. Thus, at least 10% of the primary buds are estimated to have been killed.
Utilizing Google satellite imagery, growers are able to view plot and measure vineyard block acreage (or vineyard, farm scale etc.) from their custom dashboards. All maps complete with measurements and field ID are saved and always available online for registered users.
Growers can set individual vineyard specific alerts for either forecast or real time data at their network station. The thresholds can be changed and alerts can be turned off any time from the user's dashboard. Alerts are sent out daily using 4km grid of hourly weather forecast which is loaded in WIN's database everyday.
The following chart displays data regarding location, elevation, slope and the sensors that are currently funded for each of the stations. Some of the stations may have had different configuration of sensors on them in the past, as a result of various projects and funding at the time. Contact Weather INnovations if you are interested in historical station configurations and/or data.
The following describes the main equipment that WIN utilizes. Some devices are not currently funded for the Vine & Tree Fruit INnovations weather stations, but may be used in the future, or in other applications across Niagara, Lake Erie North Shore and Prince Edward County.
Remote Transmission Device:
The following measuring and transmission unit is the standard device WIN utilizes. Although configurable, samples are typically taken every 5 minutes and 3 consecutive samples averaged to obtain 15 minute data. The data is then transmitted every 15 minutes to base stations located across Niagara and Chatham. For Prince Edward County, the units are actually cellular-based, featuring a GSM/GPRS modem; but operate in a similar fashion.
The following anemometer is the standard instrument WIN utilizes. The cup anemometer has a range of 2.5 to 200km/h, with an onset speed of 2.16km/h.
Leaf Wetness Sensor:
The following leaf wetness sensor is the standard instrument WIN utilizes. Manufactured by WIN, it is designed to better replicate the surface area, drying and wetting patterns of a leaf, by means of its cylindrical shape and hydroscopic paint. The sensor produces a voltage when in contact with moisture, which can then be converted to leaf wetness hours or disease severity values.
The following pyranometer is the standard solar radiation instrument WIN utilizes. This device has a measuring range of 0 to 1.4 W/m2 and operates in the 400 to 700nm wave length.
The following rain gauge is the standard instrument WIN utilizes. Rainfall is funnelled into a tipping cup with a resolution of 0.2mm. The tipper has a capacity of 2.4mm/minute and an accuracy of +/-1%.
Soil Moisture Sensor:
The following Capacitance Probe (C-probe) is the standard instrument that WIN utilizes. Although configurable, the standard depths WIN monitors are 10cm, 30cm and 50cm. Repeatability of the instrument is +/-1%. C-Probes are a high-end device compared to many other soil moisture sensors. WIN recommends it as the best information piece, with a multi-depth vertical profile.
Temperature & Relative Humidity Sensor:
The following temperature sensor is the standard instrument WIN utilizes. It is placed at a height of 1m above ground. The temperature device has a measuring range of -40°C to +60°C and an accuracy of +/-0.3 at 0°C. The relative humidity device has a measuring range of 0 to 100% RH and an accuracy of +/-3%.