S91 Characterizing and Seasonally Forecasting Damaging Climatic Events Across the Snake River American Viticultural Area

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Charles Becker, Boise State University, Boise, ID; and A. N. Flores, D. Wilkins, and N. Glenn

The Snake River Valley is quickly becoming a highly desirable area for viticulture. However, the complex terrain is characterized by high variance in regional climate which often leads to large differences in yield and quality across small spatial extents and year-to-year production. Freezing temperatures are the leading cause of damage to grapes and grapevines in the Snake River Valley, though other climatic factors such as bacterial and fungal outbreaks, hail, extreme heat, and drought can also have significant impacts on grape yields and quality. Driven by a 30-year, high resolution regional climate dataset, we can geospatially characterize damaging events in the Snake River Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) through time. The relationships between a variety of large scale teleconnection patterns such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and the damage characterization is then exploited utilizing machine learning techniques to produce a geospatial seasonal forecast of hazardous conditions. The result of this project is an interactive webtool that provides site-specific exploration of climate data, trends, statistics and hazard forecasts to help inform local winegrowers and aid in decision making such as site selection, varietal selection, and seasonal mitigation of harmful climatic events.
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