Fire Blight Warning for Central Virginia: Severe Thunderstorms With Hail & Gusts Possible 6 April (Rustburg VA)

TO ALL SOUTH CENTRAL VA POME FRUIT GROWING AREAS: There is a significant risk that today’s thunderstorm(s) will bring hail and 60 mph gusts at locations listed below. If in your or in neighboring orchard there was a recent history of fire blight be ready to apply streptomycin up to 24h after the storm starts to prevent trauma blight. Fire blight primary inoculum is readily available either from overwintered rootstock blight or any cankers carried over from last year. Since it is possible it will vary highly from location to location wait to see if hail or gusts actually affect your location and then decide on applying this spray. Any physical damage to the plant can open wounds that can be entry points for fire blight bacterium. Even if you do not get hail and winds are violent, there is a chance fire blight can reach your orchard from a relatively distant location. If you used captan recently, DO NOT add Regulaid or LI700 to streptomycin for this emergency spray. In you did no use captan recently add Regulaid or LI700 to streptomycin for this emergency spray. Bare in mind that hail can damage not only fruit but branches and trunk, opening wounds that can be infected with fire blight (trauma blight). If you had a history of fire blight and storm does occur on your location, this spray is essential. For other locations that had no fire blight history, bear in mind that 60 mph gusts can carry fire blight inoculum from relatively distant locations to (your) location that had no fire blight in the (recent) past. Hence, if violent storm described below happens and catches your orchard, make sure you spray apply streptomycin. The complete warning is pasted below and screen shot is inserted.

Action Recommended

Take shelter in place or per instructions

Issued By

Roanoke/Blacksburg – VA, US, National Weather Service

Affected Area

Campbell County


The National Weather Service in BLACKSBURG has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for… Western Campbell County in central Virginia… Northwestern Pittsylvania County in south central Virginia… South central Bedford County in south central Virginia… Southeastern Franklin County in west central Virginia… Until 530 PM EDT. At 426 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm was located near Sontag, or near Penhook, moving east at 25 mph. HAZARD…Golf ball size hail and 60 mph wind gusts. SOURCE…Radar indicated. IMPACT…People and animals outdoors will be injured. Expect hail damage to roofs, siding, windows, and vehicles. Expect wind damage to roofs, siding, and trees. Locations impacted include… Gretna… Penhook… Leesville… Sago… Smith Mountain Lake State Park… Western Smith Mountain Lake… and Pittsville. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Prepare immediately for large hail and damaging winds. For your safety, move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Stay away from windows. When it is safe to do so, please send your reports of hail of any size, as well as reports of any wind damage, including downed trees or large limbs, to the National Weather Service by calling toll free at 1…8 6 6…2 1 5…4 3 2 4. Reports and pictures can also be shared on the National Weather Service Blacksburg Facebook page and on Twitter. THUNDERSTORM DAMAGE THREAT…CONSIDERABLE; HAIL THREAT…RADAR INDICATED; MAX HAIL SIZE…1.75 IN; WIND THREAT…RADAR INDICATED; MAX WIND GUST…60 MPH
Thunderstorm prediction on 4/6/2023 for Rustburg VA (Source: