- Author: Ben Faber
Port Hueneme in Snow. January 11, 1949, I.N. Duggan.
Hail and lightning and thunder are not common along coastal Southern California, and when it happens, it's worth stopping and looking. On March 11, 2021, it fell from Goleta to the LA beaches. And it hit especially hard in some orchards from Moorpark to Ventura where it scarred fruit, especially young lemon fruit
It looks like feeding damage by stinkbugs or earwigs, but there aint no stink here. It's just the physical damage of the hail striking the fruit. If the fruit is small enough, in this case about an inch in diameter, the scaring will disappear with time. It will heal over, like wind scaring on young fruit. Older fruit, if they were scared, will carry it to the packinghouse and be downgraded.
Fortunately, this doesn't happen very often around here. About the same time, there have been similar storms and freezes in the Mediterranean that have caused havoc amongst all tree fruit growers, from Spain to Turkey. Undoubtedly, there is more whacky weather to come.