Evaluation of peanut disease development forecasting
Efforts are now underway to operationally forecast favorable conditions for Sclerotinia and leaf spot during the upcoming 72 hours. These forecasts are based on operational WRF and MM5 simulations produced by the State Climate Office of North Carolina and NWS's National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD). Surface observations in the peanut production regions of eastern North Carolina are compared with these operational forecasts during the 2008 growing season (1 May – 15 Oct). The WRF model utilized two domains (15km and 5km) and the MM5 had a resolution of 12km, all three centered over North Carolina, using similar physics packages. The NDFD used the 5km CONUS grid. The results suggested that the MM5 model is the least accurate for predicting leaf spot favorable hours. NDFD also compared poorly with observations, and in a few instances had higher errors as compared to MM5. The WRF model generally had the lowest error both on a monthly and overall basis in comparison to MM5 and NDFD.