Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A warm fall

Now in early December, the shortest day of the year is just a couple of weeks away.  Our shortest day still has almost 10 hrs of daylight (we're under 10 hours for just a couple of weeks), so it's not that dark.

But what's been remarkable this fall is how mild it's been.  We've had a few light frosts, a couple of heavy frosts, but not a killing freeze even yet.  This mild fall has been experienced throughout the Eastern U.S., even as the midwest has had early cold, and in some cases, unusual snows.

Today, balmy humid air was pushed out by a cold front (with accompanying rain). We're approaching normal rainfall for the year, but it's been unevenly distributed, so we've had much longer periods without rain (August and September) than normal, with warmer temperatures, too.

It makes me wonder about the conventional rubric of the 'first frost date' as a date on the gardening calendar -- it's all about how cold, how sustained, and what soil temperatures are, not just about being 32°F as an air temperature.

1 comment:

  1. Reading through your last few posts Lisa. It has been a crazy fall. I was all set to sow some seeds (to be done after frost) and had to wait a bit longer. So glad we have had the rain lately. Seems like further upstate has gotten more than us...but the yard is soggy, so I can wait for more rain until the last one soaks in. (Finally got my husband to think that putting excess leaves in large plastic bags to keep over winter was a good idea.)

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