On 26th March 2019, snow covered the entire Emilia Romagna hills above 400 meters asl though, in some of these areas, cherry and plum trees were blossoming.
Plum tree in Castelnovo nne' Monti, Reggio Emilia on 26th March 2019 (photo by Cristian Lonut)
"Over 5 cm of snow have fallen. The plum orchard is in bloom and I fear repercussions from a productive point of view," reports a local producer.
The situation on 26th March 2019 in Castelnovo ne' Monti, Reggio Emilia (photo by Cristian Lonut)
The problem is not so much the snow itself, but rather the temperatures expected over the next few days. Snow, clear skies and cold are are the perfect mix for nighttime frost.
The situation is similar further south in Romagna. Producers are worried about frost and all stone fruit orchards are at risk as, once the petals have fallen, fruitlets are in their most vulnerable phase.
What is even weirder is that 25th March 2019 was characterized by above-average temperatures exceeding 20°C.
The drop in temperatures may cause many flowers and fruitlets to drop.