Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Weather Bubble

The weatherman called it "a bubble".

Yesterday running errands, or actually walking errands; I was returning from the local automotive shop after dropping my car for new-to-me tires ("they're 75% tread!" for $20, was a definitely selling point) and on the north side of a maple I see a branch totally in bloom.

In bloom. On March 14.

Yesterday, was also my birthday. Not saying how many, y'all, but quite a few. As such, I have noted to myself what the weather was like on quite a few of those March days. I can think of only a handful of days quite so nice. I like warm. I think my birthday celebration should extend a whole week, at least, if the weather can make it so.

Yesterday, our temperature hit 79 degrees (F) here. It was not a record, but close. For many places in Wisconsin there was a new record high. Just for a dose of reality, the weatherman noted that our typical average high is 39...

Since moving home to central Wisconsin ten years ago, we have had one actual last frost date of April 1 and one of April 19. I think it froze Monday night, March 12. Last year it was May 26. Typically, I think of the last frost date as sometime around May 18. I have a lot of family born in May, so it is easy to bookmark in my mind weather conditions on this day or that day. The year my very baby sister was born on May 31 it snowed. Two years later, I was marching in a Memorial Day parade, fingers freezing, as it was snowing again.

I don't know what this year holds. Could our last frost date this year be March 12?

I have been trying to determine what, though, as any good gardener does, and get out in front of the curve. The weather man with all his fancy equipment last night predicted no night time temps below about 35, most higher for the NEXT TEN DAYS. Predicted daytime highs in that 55 to 75 degree range, most on the higher end.


Or is it?

My mom said my dad's maple syrup harvest is a bust this year with a scant dozen pints of undetermined quality.

Already the apple growers are concerned the apples will bloom without their pollinators or suffer a late freeze and drop any fruit starting to form.

I'm a little more sanguine about such things. I think trees know.

So will this nice spring weather, more summer-like and seemingly consistent, come crashing down around us with no apples and gardens freezing in June. I don't know. I am going to do my best to figure it out. I'm going to call down to the library and get the Snow Prognosticator's prediction (A. K. A. the Snow Witch) about remaining snowfalls. I figure if she has a bunch of snow fall predicted, well the temps needed for snow tells a story, doesn't it? Maybe a cool or cold May...

But if it is one or two, or even none, maybe we'll have just a couple cold nights around the time of the full moons, the next nearly a month from now, and then predictably, a month later.

Maybe this will be a great pea crop year. Thirty day until the next full moon is enough time to get radishes fresh from the ground, or sow a patch of lettuce, if I can work the soil without compacting it overly much.

I know the soil is warming up as my garlic is greening up. My forsythia has not bloomed, yet.

Being an optimist, I'm going to plant peas. I'm going to turn off my furnace for at least a few days and plant peas.

I encourage you to do the same.

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