Why is everyone buzzing about spring right now?

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)March 17, 2012

Even the nursery owners I talked to are excited about how dry and warm its been.

Trees are starting to swell everywhere. Many many shrubs are starting to leaf out.

This is a SERIOUS problem for this time of year when my freaking Cornus mas and witchhazel are still blooming yet.

The warm weather stretch continues for several days yet and then back down into the mid 30s for a low.

People better start crossing their fingers and stop buzzing with the average last frost still 60 DAYS AWAY!

Ah, what the hell can't do anything about it anyhow...happy spring!

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Spring....Isn't it almost summer by now (-;

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 4:57PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

mother nature is a cruel mistress..

and i expect.. a lot of posts bemoaning the frosts and freezes that will have to happen ....

in my entire life.. there has never been a spring w/o a freeze after ground thaw .. and many frosts ... [in my z5]

i will not believe it .. until july .... when i am proved wrong.. and then i will admit .. that i was a pessimist ...

and until then.. all you peeps hootin it all up.. ought to be very leery that this will hold ...

ken

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 5:36PM
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wisconsitom

The pattern I've been noticing, and be assured, I pay close attention, is that springs are coming sooner and warmer, but that paradoxically, the last frost has been later and later. A very bad combination for someone like me, tasked with putting out 13,000 tender bedding plants each "spring".

+oM

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 6:21PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

It actually felt like summer today! I think it hit 80 degrees.

Ken, as you mentioned its guaranteed there will be frosts. I'm thinking with the winter so far that a freeze will stay away.

I know this is one of the first to leaf out but even my Aesculus pavia planted on a the NORTH side near the house is leafing out as of today...wow.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 6:23PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Most early bloomers (daffodil, crocus, etc) are able to tolerate freezing temps. Its fruit trees and a few others which typically bloom later which you have to worry about. That will be a worry soon, but in many places, not *quite* yet.

Not much you can do about it anyway. Enjoy the good weather, bad weather will return soon enough.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 6:48PM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Oh Frost Shmost! Live for today!

It's going to be 75 degrees and sunny all week. I'm enjoying this for all that it's worth.

(Besides, I have plenty of garden quilts for the inevitable frost. lol)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 7:42PM
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picea(6A Cinci- Oh)

We are and month+ ahead of where we should be and a similar thing happened 5-6 years ago. Everything leafed out and then we had a week of nights in the 20's. The japanese maples and other non natives that tend to leaf out first were hit hard. Out traditional frost free day is Mothers day, almost 2 months away. This could be bad. On the other hand this winter had been very mild with few extremes in temperature fluctuations so we may get lucky,

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 8:17PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Makes me nervous, but got no choice but to go with it. Everything is busting out all over here. Even many oaks have green buds. My bermuda lawn is greening up, and it doesn't get to stage it's at most years until late April, and then really grows in May, but it's not going to wait that long. Seems to be nothing but extremes anymore. Extreme flooding last spring, tornadoes, then drought and extreme heat all summer, nothing much of winter (after super cold last winter), and now we are forecast to get extremely heavy rain (local weather service office is estimating 5.5" at this time with locally 10" possible) again early next week. Would love to get normal for a while, but that just doesn't seem possible.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 9:19PM
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subtropix

Arktrees, it's been the same here and we're a thousand miles away. Drought or flood, extreme heat, tons of snow or subtropical, winter warmth. 'Normal' does not exist anymore. All my tropicals are outside and we are concerned about drought now though just last year we were flooded out with over 80 inches of rain, while there was severe drought just south of here. Weird!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 9:30PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Here in western Wa. State, we had a green Christmas and a white St. Pat's Day.

Picture taken this morning, St. Patrick's Day.

Chamaecyparis obtusa, 'Nana Lutea'.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 10:27PM
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j0nd03

I declare: THE FROSTS ARE OVER (for my location)

Here at least we are quickly approaching the average last frost date (4/14 and last year was April 4-5). High tomorrow in the mid 80's. Drenching on the tab for next week but lowest lows only in the upper 40's. It was hella hard just to get freezing temps in the heart of winter. With this very warm spring trend, I would bet an Andrew Jackson to any takers Fort Smith will not get another frost until the fall. Even the hickories and crape myrtles have broken bud and are leafing out. That is a sure thing, right? ;)

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Pick your state

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 10:44PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Normal weather doesn't exist. Its just an average of the extremes.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 12:04AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Well does very abnormal suit you then? Not a chance in ^%$# that you would have all time record cold (-25.4F), hot (110F), flooding (27" rain in 5 weeks, 46" is annual average), near all time record snowfall (24" in 6-7 hours), and drought (no significant rain for months) so bad that it kills grown trees in their native habitat by the thousands. All this in 6 months. Don't much care what anyone has to say, the climate/weather is screwed the #*%& up!!!!

Arktrees

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 12:20AM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Extremes do seem to be the norm now. Dry Colorado had nearly complete snow cover on the eastern plains over this winter and only 75% of normal snowpack in the mountains.

It was the opposite last winter, dry as a bone here in the flat land and roughly 120% of normal snow pack in the mountains. We're having a very windy spring, so there is moisture in the ground, but evergreens are getting crispy in the wind.

0 precip so far for March, our snowiest month on average. We're having fires in the foothills, not a good sign!

Barb

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 2:50PM
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subtropix

Arktrees, check out the website 'Weather underground' for detailed data and stories on meteorology, climatology, historical records, and forecasts. In particular, click on 'severe weather' and then go to 'extreme weather'. There are daily maps posted for the country and the rest of the planet for records of all kinds. It's a new feature of the site. We live in interesting times.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 3:42PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

njoasis,
Thank you, it is much appreciated. I actually spend about as much time on weather underground as I do here. I have posted Dr. Master's blog on here from time to time, and it's blown up each time. Reading the comments to his blog can be very educational at times. I've watched the weather my entire life, but those peoples knowledge blow my amount of knowledge away.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 8:05AM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

Welcome to my world nearly every winter/spring here in North Florida. We have long stretches of warm= (highs in the 70s and 80s) punctuated by quick drops to the 20s and even teens. I have severe damage almost every winter to many plants that aren't native and some years even native plants have all new growth destroyed (as was the case this year with many oaks). Plants that are hardy several zones lower than where i am can even be killed (i.e. boxwoods last year).

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 2:22PM
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ricksample(6)

What's this so called spring that you are reffering to? It's summer here... Spring was back in January lol. It looks like it'll be in the upper 70's all week. Only a few of my maples have started to leaf out. What's the affect on conifers if we happen to get another frost or two after they start pushing new growth? They haven't yet, but I'm sure I will see some by the weekend.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 4:02PM
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krycek1984(6a/Cleveland)

The most shocking thing of all is that there appears to be no let-up in regards to the warmth in the near or mid-term future. I keep looking at the 10 day expecting to see the inevitable crash of temperatures going down...but it isn't happening yet. 70's for the new 5 days, after that 60's, no major cool down in the forecast. It's really getting to be kind of weird.

Here on the coast of Lake Erie last frost is usually late April; further from the lake, the technical average last frost is May 18. Still have another month and a half maybe to go until danger of frost is over. But this is definitely getting bizarre.

My plum will be flowering any day now and most trees, even oaks, are actively budding.

I agree with a previous poster about weather underground...the guy who owns the site (Jeff Masters) has a blog and he keeps track of extremes in the weather, it's enlightening to say the least.

This is not normal. Even considering the fact that some level of extremes are normal, this is beyond that.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 5:51PM
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wisconsitom

Here in E. central Wisconsin, we've accumulated degree days already that are equivalent to fully one month from now, in terms of average. Likewise, soil temps are now what they typically would be this time next month! Record high temperature records have been broken every day for a week now. And record high night time lows as well. I recorded a low last night of 61 F. That's normal around here in July!

+oM

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 10:06PM
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terrene(5b MA)

The warm weather is lovely, but I am annoyed that the woody plants are breaking dormancy so early. I was expecting a longer window to do some transplanting this Spring.

I just hope we don't have a freak Spring storm that causes significant damage to tree limbs, buds, flowers, etc. But it wouldn't be surprising, since we seem to be in a pattern of weird storms, like the October snow storm last year. It caused tremendous tree damage, even to the Oaks, because the snow was heavy and wet and many trees still retained most of their leaves.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:39AM
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subtropix

That Halloween storm did a lot of damage as deciduous trees were still green. Ironically, my northern Star and Saucer magnolias seemed to suffer more than the evergreen, Southern Magnolias. One thing that struck me yesterday was the kinds of clouds in the sky. Usually, we don't see those big billowing cumulus clouds in March, but later in the season. The atmosphere is just warmer and more ladden with moisture. One prediction I saw has the core of hotter than normal weather moving to the west--Great Plaiins. East and Lakes and Mid-West is supposed to above normal but not as extreme and expect a bigger cool down in the South. I wonder about PRECIP though. It's severe drought one season and extreme flooding the next. I have to add two observations I have noticed resulting from the crazy weather patterns. One is that I sometimes find myself momentarily foregetting what seaon I am currently in (especially in the cooler months). Two, I notice how fast people seem to adapt to whatever change there is in the weather. Just give us a few years and we'll come to expect 80 and sunshine in Chicago in Mid March.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:31PM
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ghostlyvision

Everything is blooming or leafing here around Houston, been hitting the 80's for weeks, funny though that other parts of the country are even warmer than we are.

According to Farmer's Almanac it looks like the drought in this area is over (for a while, anyhow):

http://www.farmersalmanac.com/long-range-weather-forecast/south-central-us/

Select your zone and save the link, it's quite accurate. Love Weather Underground too, esp. during hurricane season.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:25PM
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esh_ga

Pollen is everywhere!

And yes, the bees have been buzzing for weeks here.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:27PM
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j0nd03

I ALMOST pulled in to the car wash this weekend before coming to my senses and realizing the huge blanket of yellow on the hood would return in a matter of days.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:50PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

The farmers almanac says 'cold with snow flurries'. Oops, it almost hit 80 degrees for a 6th day in a row, 7th day is up tomorrow.

Looks like I might have to cut grass this weekend!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 8:44PM
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wisconsitom

Haha, I noticed that too-my front yard grass just about needs mowing! I'm not ready for that!

+oM

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:21PM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Not much going on here yet except weeping willow buds opening. But I noticed some honeybees working on pussy willows, so at least they didn't die off completely this year.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:20AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Our local weather guy said last night that we are not likely to *pay* for all this good weather. That he sees no indication in sight that this warmer weather is going to be ending any time soon. He said we basically skipped winter, and with these temps we even skipped spring! lol

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 1:25PM
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subtropix

"Our local weather guy said last night that we are not likely to *pay* for all this good weather. "

Au contraire, we are gonna pay for it. Seen any rain lately?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 4:29PM
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wisconsitom

^ That's what I'm thinking. As most everyone seems to be basking in this freakish warmth, I'm wondering when it's going to rain. Last thing we need is drought.

Storms have been lining up to our west and south for weeks now. Once upon a time, those were the storms and rain that would be coming into our area. So far this year, not at all. Everything dies out long before it gets here. I know that if I asked a weather person why this is, he/she would tell me about a bubble of high pressure hanging around here, keeping precip. away. Then, I'd ask why this bubble is hanging around here. Strange deal.

+oM

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:09PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Here is SE WI we are only about 1/4 inch behind our year to date precip and March is slightly ahead, so about normal. Same is true up in Green Bay (about normal for month and YTD). Still hoping to get some out of this next front (even if it does mean mowing soon (-;).

tj

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:35PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Oh man. Noticed the buds swelling on all my azaleas over the weekend. Went out back with the pups when I got home from school today and one of my azaleas is completely open. This is more than a month ahead of time. Keeping my fingers crossed we don't get some freakish cold snap (which would actually be normal, but not this year) now. The Cherry Blossom Festival here in DC has already begun this year. The ornamental cherries in my yard are blooming. I don't know about Mother Nature or my trees et al, but I am very confused. ;)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:32PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

How about this...Forsythia blooming, Cornus Mas blooming, Malus leafing out but not blooming, Redbud about to bloom, Magnolia about to bloom, Rhody not blooming....everything else, gasp, is LEAFING OUT! Well except Fringe Tree and Hibiscus...that is quite obvious though.

I see mid-30s coming up in the forecast.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:29PM
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wisconsitom

Tj, you're right. If anything, I think we're slightly above normal on the year to date precip. But the effective dryness, the coupling of these much-too-warm temps, with no recent rain, has me concerned. Forest fires are starting already, so you know it's quite dry.

Of course, springtime is always fire season around here-until the ground layer greens up. But things are at an extreme in that regard so far. I guess we might get some rain out of that system in the next couple of days.

Must be the Irish component in my ancestry: I don't like it too dry.

+oM

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:54PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Its very dry by me, the soil is of the consistency of late June.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 1:35PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

LOTS of people worried about this map. Drought developing in the west, drought in the northern Plains and western Lakes, drought in the far South East, and abnormally dry in the Northeast. The concern for the northern plains/western lakes/northeast with the recent warmth further drying things out, is VERY similar to what happened in the spring of 2010 in western Russia, that produced the worst drought and numerous all time high temps in the region that contains the city of Moscow. At a time in the season where their average temp was 68F, actual high temps were 105F +/-. In short a similar death ridge as occurred in the south last summer, but located in the north. I AM NOT FORECASTING THIS, NOR MAKING ANY CLAIMS. Patterns can and do change. Just saying, the similarities of current conditions to those of the Russian spring 2010 are making allot of people nervous.

This combined with, that conditions seem ripe for another large record lose of Arctic Sea Ice. We have been losing ~35-40% of the Arctic Seas Ice each summer for the last several years over the historical average. However, there are several factors in place that COULD POSSIBLE significantly increase this lose this summer. What that might do to the weather if an even greater chunk is lost? We know that El Nino, and La Nina screws with the weather around the world, and this is a change of only a few degrees in water temps. The change from ice reflecting light and heat, to open blue ocean absorbing light and heat and adding extra water vapor, is a much greater change in conditions for a region than El Nino/La Nina. No way to know what it would do to the weather patterns, we have nothing in history to go by, if there is little or no Arctic Sea Ice. However the odds would be high that you wouldn't like it.

Arktrees

Here is a link that might be useful: Drought map

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 4:00PM
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wisconsitom

Obviously, given my earlier comments, I'd hate to see that unfold. I'd take any weather anomalie, any departure from average, over extreme drought.

+oM

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:57PM
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subtropix

Wisconsitcom, I had to laugh when I read your line about an aversion to drought and related it to your Celtic blood. I've always tried to surround myself in a lush, green environment for as long as I can remember and joked about the Irish link. So far, the vegetation seems to have endured the crazy swings (from drought to the average annual precip of Manaus, Brazil, etc.) At least for the Northeast, we are expected to see an increase in average annual precip (which is already fairly high on average--around 48 inches) . Last year saw in excess of 80 inches but the year before brought drought locally--even more severe in Eastern Pa.. April and May are historically the wettest with another peak in August but recent years have seen drier than normal Springs, either WET or DROUGHT in Summer, wetter Autumns (normally the driest time of year). And the Winter?...based on the last few years....ANYTHING GOES. You might have to build an igloo or seek some shade under your potted palms.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 6:31PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Crazy. The crape myrtles just started opening their leaves in the past couple of days here. They usually don't pop til April as far as I can remember. Hopefully there won't be any deep freezes before summer starts.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 7:43PM
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wisconsitom

Thanks for the comments, Nj. Now I wonder what my German, Dutch, Scottish-well that's pretty much Irish too-, and Native american ancestry is adding to my climatic preferences!

+oM

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:45PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Anybody else notice the Magnolias look INCREDIBLE! Especially the Saucer Mag. One in particular is probably the single most amazing sight I've seen from a blooming perspective. The blooms are so dense you can't see a single branch.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:50PM
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subtropix

I love Saucer Mags. Very nostalgic tree for me. But decades ago, they used to bloom in mid April around here and still be at risk of late frosts. Currently, we are at peak for the Saucers and the Southern Mags are even showing signs of Spring leaf drop.--A normal trait that usually starts to occur in May around here.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:01PM
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j0nd03

"...I wonder what my German, Dutch, Scottish-well that's pretty much Irish too-, and Native american ancestry..."

OMG we might be brothers... I have the exact same heritage(s). Surely we are related at the least lol

Thomas was actually my grandfather's name. He went by "Tom"... creepy

John

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:02PM
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deltaohio

Magnolia x 'Sue' (Arrowhead)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:25AM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Stunning!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 1:01AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

That's beautiful Frank.

Dax

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 7:07AM
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hogmanay

Buzzing about Spring?

Nah. Never mind that my trees are a full month ahead of schedule.

People are buzzing about an overnight low that broke the previous record high.

People are buzzing about Memorial Day water temps on St. Patrick's Day.

Thanks to AGW it appears we're playing with loaded dice.

Interesting times indeed.

Spring bloomers are pretty an all, but I'd just prefer it if the climate that has sustained homo sapiens for all this time didn't change in my lifetime.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:48AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

As expected...33 degrees arrives Sunday. Wonder what that will do to the tender Maple leaves that just popped.

Frank, nice color! Jane is looking pretty good too. I'll snap a pic this weekend.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 4:41PM
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