Weeds a growing concern in June's sunny warmth


Our Walla Walla Valley weather has finally taken a turn toward something more seasonally appropriate, as the last in a series of Pacific disturbances moved through the area on Sunday with a few impressive-looking buildups of towering cumulus accompanied by a stray drop or two of rain.

As quickly as that system was hustling off into Idaho, a broad region of high pressure was moving in from the west to supplant it. This will finally ensure the type of weather for which many have been longing since the recent persistently cool, cloudy and wet regime hijacked our spring some three to four weeks ago.

Thanks to this high we will be enjoying an extended stretch of sunny and warm weather with temperatures reaching well into the 80s or perhaps even touching the 90-degree mark over the next several days. The one tiny fly in the ointment might be a very slight ripple of a low pressure wave that barely grazes the Valley around Thursday, but the net effect of that will be rather negligible, with just a few fleecy clouds and some breezes to mark its passage.

Following that, it appears as if the high will rebuild perhaps even stronger, giving Walla Wallans their first real taste of summer 2013 as afternoon highs soar into the low 90s under mostly clear skies.

This period of fine weather will allow your weatherperson to do battle with what seems to be some GMO weeds (NOT wheat!) that have somehow found their way into his backyard garden.

These “super-weeds” have demonstrated an amazing resistance to all conventional (and some very unconventional) methods of control. No amount of hoeing, pulling, herbiciding, burning, steaming or cursing has been at all effective in diminishing their intense desire to take up residence and make themselves quite comfortable among the tomatoes and squash that are now cowering in their rapidly burgeoning presence.

It appears that Monsanto has been conducting secret experiments to genetically modify several species of indestructible weeds, with which they almost certainly are seeding a few gardens around town in order to test their ability to withstand even the rudest of treatment gardeners can mete out.

These weeds will no doubt at some point be stealthily seeded into the yards of Monsanto opponents everywhere as retribution for their opposition to whatever mischief the chemical giant has wrought, both here and abroad.

If we are to believe the Climate Prediction Center’s latest forecast for our upcoming southeastern Washington summer, this battle will be waged in temperatures that will very possibly exceed the norm for the three-month period June-August. Precipitation is forecast to be below normal during this same period, so it would seem that stocking up on a good supply of a certain grain-based fermented beverage that is best served ice cold would be in order at this time.

The 16-day outlook from the Global Forecast System shows nary a drop of rain between now and the second week of the month, when a bit of convective-type (thundershower related) rain is forecast for the Valley.

Until then, it should be smooth sailing for all outdoor activities, and the newly liberated schoolchildren recently freed from months of incarceration will have some truly fine weather in which to pursue their favorite recreational pastimes.

A lifelong fan of both the weather and the Baltimore Orioles, Jeff Popick is an instructor at the Center for Enology and Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College and manages the school’s teaching vineyard. Send your questions and comments to him at jeffrey.popick@wwcc.edu.


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