Wunderground Meteorologist Shaun Tanner

Your Help Needed: GDD Info

By: shauntanner, 5:49 PM GMT on March 31, 2010

Off and on for some time, I have been working in a project that would allow the home gardener to estimate when his/her crops would be ready to harvest. I have created the general product, but I am lacking one thing which I thought would actually be the easiest part of the project...GDD info.

GDD stands for Growing Degree Days. Growing Degree Days are similar to Heating Degree Days or Cooling Degree Days but...they are different. Growing Degree Days tell you how far above a certain baseline the average daily temperature was (example coming). If you total GDDs for several months, you can get an estimate of when a certain crop is ready to harvest.

Here is an example of how to calculate GDD.

Today the high temperature was 85 degrees.
Today the low temperature was 65 degrees.
The average temperature for today is 75 degrees ((85+65)/2).

GDD is average temperature minus a base number (60 degrees for instance. So, for this example, we would have 15 GDD (75 - 60).

So, now we have GDD for one day. If we keep a tally of GDD for several months, our number will get larger and larger. Once we get to a magic number for each specific crop, it will be very close to the correct time to harvest. For instance, say it takes 1500 GDDs for broccoli to mature. Once we get to 1500 GDDs, we can harvest our broccoli.

Here is the hang up. Each crop has a different magic GDD. That is, broccoli may take 1500 GDDs to mature, but it may take zucchini only 900 GDDs to reach harvest.

The list of GDDs to maturity by crop has proven hard to find. I can find the number for specific crops here and there, but a master list seems to not exist.

So, I am putting the Wunder Community to work. I need your help in finding a good sized list of GDDs to maturity for a lot of crops. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Join Dr. Jeff Masters on The Daily Downpour at 4 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. Pacific!

By: shauntanner, 4:28 PM GMT on March 30, 2010

Dr. Jeff Masters will join meteorologists Shaun and Tim on The Weather Show today. Please join us as we welcome our chief meteorologist for an in-depth discussion about the world of meteorology.

We will also be taking your phone calls!

Here is the schedule for today:

All times are in Eastern
4:00-4:10: National Forecast
4:10-4:20: Learning Corner
4:20-5:00: The Learning Show with Shaun, Tim, and Dr. Masters.

Please join us. We promise you will learn something!

Updated: 7:36 PM GMT on March 30, 2010

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Earth Hour Tonight at 8:30 p.m. Local Time! Participate!

By: shauntanner, 4:12 PM GMT on March 27, 2010

I want to draw your attention to the 4th annual Earth Hour that will be taking place tonight.

It's easy to participate...all you have to do is turn off your lights off in your place of residence for 1 hour starting at 8:30 p.m. local time. That's it!

For more information, please visit the Earth Hour homepage.

The idea of Earth Hour is to draw attention to the climate change and the need to reduce our electricity dependence. So let's make a big deal out of it and light your house with a single candle for an hour tonight! Perhaps you can cozy up with a loved one, go for a walk outside, or go to bed early. Whatever you can do, do it! I would like to hear how each of us has marked the event.

Updated: 5:49 PM GMT on March 27, 2010

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The Daily Downpour at 4 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. Pacific today!

By: shauntanner, 6:03 PM GMT on March 25, 2010

Join meteorologists Shaun and Tim for The Daily Downpour. You can get caught up on all your weather needs and listen when Shaun and Tim interview Dr. Terry Kubar from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Daily Downpour begins at 4 p.m. Eastern and can be listened to by going to the homepage.

Here is the schedule for today:

All times are in Eastern
4:00-4:10: National Forecast
4:10-4:20: Dr. Masters Blog Recap
4:20-4:30: Dr. Terry Kubar from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4:30-5:00: The Weather Show with Shaun and Tim

Please join us. We promise you will learn something!

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Confessions Of An Amateur Gardener

By: shauntanner, 7:52 PM GMT on March 24, 2010

With my wife and I bought a house in 2008, one of main goals and wishes was to eventually have a moderate, but substantial, garden in the backyard that could provide our family with some fresh good. Our reasoning was simple: having fresh garden vegetables was cheaper than grocery store or farmer's market, and it was healthier.

My wife and I are far from being vegetarian or vegan, but we do not eat all that much red meat. Instead, we eat chicken or turkey. We have watched a few documentaries and have read enough books to realize that our food supply in the United States is far from ideal or healthy. I know. I can see you now, rolling your eyes and wondering why you are giving any attention to this extreme blog with unrealistic ideas. But hear me out. The most extreme thing you will read in this blog is this - if you believe the mainstream food supply in this country is clean and healthy, you are blind.

Now, back to my story. As we moved into our house, we realized we had a problem. Our backyard, where we wanted to put the garden, looked like this.



That, as you can see, is not very ideal for vegetable growing. After many weeks of working only on the weekend, we finally got the backyard and garden into a workable state. Today, as I am prepping my garden for a new growing season, it looks like this.



Not too bad. We completed the backyard last June and only had half a growing season left. Before planting anything, I realized we had another problem. We had no idea how to garden. We didn't know anything. Nothing. I figured that since have the growing season was gone anyway, I would just throw some seeds down and see how it went. To my surprise, we quickly had various crops growing including zucchini, cucumber, lettuce, corn, squash, carrots, and artichokes. We were thrilled and actually had so much vegetables that I brought some in to work and we handed out zucchini to our friends.

My point is this; there is a mystique about home gardening that tells us we can't do it. It's too hard. This could be farther from the truth. When you plant a seed in some soil, the seed will want to grow. It wants to blossom, it wants to grow fruit. So all you have to do is give it some water and love. So, if you have any dirt in the backyard you have no excuse to not plant something back there.

I can hear the groans now. "Shaun, I have no time to upkeep a garden." Get over it. We are all busy, even when we are not. We all pretend to have stuff to do, even when we are bored. Growing a garden requires some water, some attention, and just a little bit of time.

"Shaun, I have no room for a garden." Do some research. My family visits a park in the Bay Area that has a community garden where people can come and plant their own vegetables, grow their own food, and use public land. There are things like this all over the country that can help, all you need to do is find them.

I am often amused by the typical San Francisco (where Weather Underground has an office) mindset. Many people walk around town decrying the state of our environment and atmosphere. Yet, they live in a town that has virtually no trees, no bushes, no flowers. Heck, I enjoy coming into work (I don't live in the city) during Spring days because it allows me to recover from seasonal allergies because there is no pollen in the air. This lack of environment in the city means that residents have no way of growing their own gardens. I came up with a solution. I offered my backyard to any of my co-workers if they wanted to plant something. Heck, I will plant something for them and maintain the plant even.

Let the garden revolution begin

I have a task for you. Grow a garden, tell your neighbors to grow a garden, give your friends seedlings. After brainstorming ways to get people to grow some of their own food, my wife and I came to the idea that we should grow a bunch of seedlings and putting them on a table in our front yard. That way, people walking by can grab them and plant them in their backyards.

I have started to grow things already. This is what my current crop looks like right now.



What does your garden look like? I would love to see it as an example of how the revolution is spreading.

Also, if you have any questions or hints on how to grow a garden, I would love to here them here.

Updated: 7:53 PM GMT on March 24, 2010

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All New Daily Downpour Tuesday!

By: shauntanner, 4:35 PM GMT on March 23, 2010

We have an exclusive expert interview with Jim Vining, Operations Manager at Applied Weather Technology. Don't know what Applied Weather Technology is? Well, you will have to listen to find out what this important company does. Also, Shaun and Tim will recap the nation's weather and talk about the world of meteorology on The Weather Show. The Daily Downpour begins at 4 p.m. Eastern and can be listened to by going to the homepage.

Here is the schedule for today:

All times are in Eastern
4:00-4:10: National Forecast
4:10-4:20: Dr. Masters Blog Recap
4:20-4:30: Expert Interiew with Jim Vining
4:30-5:00: The Weather Show with Shaun and Tim

Please join us. We promise you will learn something!

Updated: 6:47 PM GMT on March 23, 2010

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Listen To The Daily Downpour Thursday!

By: shauntanner, 4:17 PM GMT on March 18, 2010

Some rare things have happened in the world of weather since The Daily Downpour last broadcast, including an interesting south Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclone. We will also discuss this morning's aftershocks in Chile and other important weather topics. The Daily Downpour begins at 4 p.m. Eastern and can be listened to by going to the homepage.

Here is the schedule for today:

All times are in Eastern
4:00-4:10: National Forecast
4:10-4:20: Dr. Masters Blog Recap
4:20-4:30: Learning Corner about Coriolis Force
4:30-5:00: The Weather Show with Shaun and Tim

Please join us. We promise you will learn something!

Updated: 7:01 PM GMT on March 18, 2010

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The Daily Downpour Schedule for Tuesday!

By: shauntanner, 4:51 PM GMT on March 16, 2010

Some rare things have happened in the world of weather since The Daily Downpour last broadcast, including an interesting south Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclone. We will also discuss this morning's aftershocks in Chile and other important weather topics. The Daily Downpour begins at 4 p.m. Eastern and can be listened to by going to the homepage.

Here is the schedule for today:

All times are in Eastern
4:00-4:10: National Forecast
4:10-4:20: Dr. Masters Blog Recap
4:20-4:30: Member profile charlesimages
4:30-5:00: The Weather Show with Shaun and Tim

Please join us. We promise you will learn something!

Updated: 6:23 PM GMT on March 16, 2010

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The Daily Downpour Schedule For Thursday

By: shauntanner, 5:24 PM GMT on March 11, 2010

Some rare things have happened in the world of weather since The Daily Downpour last broadcast, including an interesting south Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclone. We will also discuss this morning's aftershocks in Chile and other important weather topics. The Daily Downpour begins at 4 p.m. Eastern and can be listened to by going to the homepage.

Here is the schedule for today:

All times are in Eastern
4:00-4:10: National Forecast
4:10-4:20: Dr. Masters Blog Recap
4:20-4:30: Learning Corner
4:30-5:00: The Weather Show with Shaun and Tim

Please join us. We promise you will learn something!

Updated: 7:28 PM GMT on March 11, 2010

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The Daily Downpour Schedule For Tuesday!

By: shauntanner, 5:16 PM GMT on March 09, 2010

We hope you will join us today for The Daily Downpour at 4 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. Pacific. The Daily Downpour on the Weather Underground Broadcast Network is the place to get caught up on all of your weather needs. To listen to the show, just go to the show's homepage.

The schedule for today is as follows:

All times are eastern
4:00-4:10: National Forecast
4:10-4:20: Dr. Masters Blog Recap
4:20-4:30: Learning Corner about General Circulation
4:30-5:00: The Weather Show with Shaun and Tim

I hope you will all join us and thank you for listening.

Updated: 7:45 PM GMT on March 09, 2010

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The Daily Downpour Resumes Thursday!

By: shauntanner, 5:50 PM GMT on March 04, 2010

You can listen to the Weather Underground Broadcast Network by going to the homepage. To call in to the show, please call (415) 983-2634.

We all hope you will join us for the second installment of The Daily Downpour on the Weather Underground Broadcast Network. The network has been developed to provide the Weather Underground community with the most up-to-date weather information on the web and will be hosted by Weather Underground meteorologists. The Daily Downpour will begin at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. Pacific and will last for two hours. It is our goal to provide a schedule, informative show that will also teach you about the atmosphere that is so important to all of us. No other weather provider gives you access to its meteorologists as call-ins are welcome during the broadcast and the schedule is as follows:

All times are Eastern
4:00-4:10: National Forecast
4:10-4:20: Regional Forecast
4:20-4:40: Dr. Masters Blog Recap
4:40-4:50: International Forecast
4:50-5:00: Member Profile with Blizzard92
5:00-5:10: National Forecast
5:10-5:20: Regional Forecast
5:20-5:30: Learning Corner about Radiation Budget
5:30-6:00: The Weather Show with Shaun and Tim (call ins welcome)

Please note that we do appreciate feedback and will be monitoring the chat room during the show. It is our hope that this network flourishes with your help and will become a force for weather information on the web.

Updated: 8:29 PM GMT on March 04, 2010

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The Daily Downpour Premieres Today!

By: shauntanner, 5:24 PM GMT on March 02, 2010

You can listen to the Weather Underground Broadcast Network by going to the homepage. To call in to the show, please call (415) 983-2634.  

We all hope you will join us for the premiere broadcast of The Daily Downpour on the Weather Underground Broadcast Network. The network has been developed to provide the Weather Underground community with the most up-to-date weather information on the web and will be hosted by Weather Underground meteorologists. The Daily Downpour will begin at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. Pacific and will last for two hours. It is our goal to provide a schedule, informative show that will also teach you about the atmosphere that is so important to all of us. No other weather provider gives you access to its meteorologists as call-ins are welcome during the broadcast and the schedule is as follows:

All times are Eastern
4:00-4:10: National Forecast
4:10-4:20: Regional Forecast
4:20-4:30: Dr. Masters Blog Recap
4:30-4:40: International Forecast
4:40-5:00: Severe Weather Update with Dr. Carver
5:00-5:10: National Forecast
5:10-5:20: Regional Forecast
5:20-5:30: Learning Corner about Reflection
5:30-6:00: The Weather Show with Shaun and Tim (call ins welcome)

Please note that we do appreciate feedback and will be monitoring the chat room during the show. It is our hope that this network flourishes with your help and will become a force for weather information on the web.

Updated: 8:23 PM GMT on March 02, 2010

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About shauntanner

Shaun Tanner has been a meteorologist at Weather Underground since 2004.

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