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Major heat wave out west to shake things up

The next five days may be a major game changer in the produce world for product coming from California and Arizona. Today will see the beginning of five days of extreme heat for the growing regions of the San Joaquin Valley, the desert regions of California and Arizona, as well as northern Sonora, Mexico. Not only will the maximum daily temps rise significantly, but we will also see warmer low temps in all regions.weat

Oranges out of the Visalia/Fresno area and veg out of Yuma, which are both at the tail end of their seasons, may be adversely affected by these warm temps; however, Bell peppers and eggplant out of Coachella and stone fruit and cherries out of the San Joaquin Valley may benefit from these temps and bring harvest on earlier.

Bakersfield at the southern end of the valley, which saw a max temp of 81 and a min of 59 yesterday, will see 92 today and 96 Wednesday and Thursday. Low temps on Wednesday and Thursday will rise to 67. Modesto at the northern end will see max temps in the 90s and mins in the 60s.

Coachella will see highs jump 10 degrees today up to 101 along with a low of 70 tonight. Tomorrow will see a high of 103 and then 105 on Thursday. Look for Bell peppers, eggplant and green beans to come on fast out of Coachella. Look for winter crops such as broccoli to struggle under these temps and harvests to finish quickly.

Yuma will see high temps around the century mark through Saturday, which could bring an end to the lettuce and veg crops out of this area for the remaining shippers.

Salinas and Santa Maria will also get in on the action. Salinas will get to 80 today, which is eight degrees warmer than yesterday. Santa Maria will see a high of 77 today. Both areas will see high temps remain in the mid- to upper 70s through Saturday. This bodes well for their strawberry and wet veg crops that are just getting under way for the season. Look for good volumes out of both regions.

The grape-growing regions of Hermosillo and Caborca in the state of Sonora will both see high temps above 100 this week. The heat wave won’t hit these areas until Thursday when high temps will be above 100 and the lows will be in the mid-60s. The heat will remain through Sunday in these regions.

On Sunday these temps will break for the California and Arizona. Next week the desert region's high temps will remain in the 90s while the San Joaquin Valley will drop into the 80s and the costal regions will fall back down in the 60s for high temps.

Get ready for the next five days to cause some significant changes in the produce landscape.

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)