Yesterday was one of those mid-March days when you realize that we are closer to spring than the heart of winter. Temperatures reached into the 50s and with the abundant sunshine it really was one of the nicer afternoons so far this year. Occasionally, my work life allows me to take a break during the day. I was able to prune some roses, put down some organic fertilizer, and clean up the leaves around the stems of the shrubs. I am not sure if you get this way, but I actually feel giddy watching life as it emerges in early spring. I saw a tadpole swimming in the pond, noticed my snowdrops opening as well as a few crocuses that are showing some orange color. In some ways, the next 6 weeks are the best of the year to see nature change right before our eyes. I know that most people are stuck in an office and don’t get the chance to enjoy these days and I think that is unfortunate. Centuries ago this time of year, when we would all be starting to work in the fields or go hunting, light and temperature would have been a much bigger focus. Of course, many of us would have also died during the winter, so the trade-off does have its benefits. I’ll be updating my weather forecast for the week on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.
A flow of air out of Canada is about to put the kibosh on my early spring enjoyment. Temperatures the next couple of days will struggle to get out of the 30s. The only saving grace is there won’t be much wind. Clouds will be more prevalent today and that will add to the chill of the air. Friday looks to feature more sunshine and slightly less chilly air. Highs will reach into the lower 40s, several degrees below what we would expect for the ides of March. Saturday a small storm will cross south of New England. This could bring a quick rain or snow shower to the area. I don’t expect much, if any accumulation of snow. However, if snow were going to accumulate a bit it would do so across the higher terrain of the area, west of Route 495 and north of Route 2.
Another shot of chilly air crosses the area late in the weekend and early next week. This cold air will be in place when a new storm moves towards the northeast corner of the United States early next week. Right now, the timing of this storm is such that Monday night and Tuesday will be the time of greatest impact. It’s too early to say exactly whether this storm brings rain or snow. There is the potential for significant amounts of precipitation as our stormy pattern continues. I suspect that many areas will see at least of coating of snow before a change to rain.We will have to closely watch the cold air that can get trapped at the ground in these situations. This could cause some sleet or freezing rain well inland during the transition to all rain. Precipitation is running much closer to normal this year. So far we have had just over 7 inches of precipitation as compared to less than 5 inches last year when spring started very dry.
Once the storm passes, chilly air will continue for much of next week and it wouldn’t surprise me if we have a few days that stay under 40F. Spring may be here, but this year winter is going to linger a bit longer. Above is a chart showing temperatures and precipitation predictions for the next week. This is but one of the many models and gives you an idea of the trends ahead. Notice how cold it gets behind the storm on Tuesday. That green line is 32F. The chart uses Zulu time. 00Z=8PM and 12Z=8AM Temperatures are definitely not hitting close to 70F any time soon.
Gardening this week
A very common problem with house plants is aphids. These sucking insects leave a residue on the leaves that can then cause a secondary infection on your plants. If you notice a black shoot-like coating on your houseplants, you probably have black sooty mold. This problem while not generally fatal to a plant can be an indication of an insect infestation. Check out this weeks video on black sooty mold and see if your plants have this issue.
I’ll be updating my weather forecast for this week on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.