Spring is never coming to the midwest

franktank232(z5 WI)March 14, 2013

Its true...all the extended models i've looked at show almost no warmth (this time of year warm is above 50F and more like 60F...last year we hit 80F in March and had many days of 70F+..obviously that wasn't normal).... We still have many inches of snow/ice...its snowing hard right now and there is another 6 to 8 inches of snow in the forecast the next week... I doubt we get much above 40F between now and April 1st...and i doubt we see much melt either between now and then. I've become so annoyed, that i brought in 10 container trees and am forcing them to leaf out! They'll be ready to go when it does finally warm up on Memorial Day :)

Is there anything wrong with this? No... do i want to get out on my bike and go riding, do i want to do some pruning to my trees, do i want to spray some copper on my peaches,,,YES...

... Its suppose to be 90F+ in Phoenix the next 4 or 5 days!

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Frank, trouble with being a weather watcher, it's seldom what you want. Do you like this year or last year better?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Here, it was 22 this morning. Spit snow all day yesterday but no accumulation. Last year , I worked my fields on 3/10, had onions done by 3/14, and picked first asparagus on 3/17. Peaches were in full bloom on 3/15. Oh well, I still don't have all my pruning done.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:38AM
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Not much sign of spring here in Madison, either. We have 6 or 8 inches of snow on the ground, and it is snowing at the moment. At least the daytime highs have moved into the low 30's, so I guess it will warm up eventually...

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:20PM
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Yesterday it never got out of the 40s. This morning it was 20, and tomorrow's high is supposed to be 70. Typical "spring" weather in Tennessee - always a rollercoaster of temps.

We've had cool weather last longer this year when compared to recent years. At least it never got extremely cold. Lowest this winter was only 17. With the extended cool temps, it's keeping the trees from flowering. Maybe that will help to avoid any late frosts.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:35PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


Me? I want last year every year...but i'm not a farmer and I didn't have a huge crop failure like so many did (especially in Michigan)..so no...really i'd rather have a """"normal""" year...which usually includes a few 50F days in March, along with the first 60F day...March 2010 was perfect.

I agree...this is good for late blooming and should avoid most late freezes...better in that aspect... I"m just so sick of clouds/20F temps (its 23F out right now)...and more snow/rain/sleet/ice... We've had snow on the ground since Jan...and we have 2 feet of frost in the ground because we got a bunch of rain in Jan, it got really cold (below 0F) with NO snowcover and that ground froze...then we got a bunch of snow in Feb/March to insulate that frost...so I could also see major flooding issues this year.

Just complaining..no vacation for me this year like many around this area take (Mexico/etc)/...:( someday!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:53PM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

So much for global warming, I guess⦠or is this really just another effect of the on-going climate change? Last year spring came super-ultra early, so this year Mother Nature is compensating by sending us a super-ultra late spring, so that the bottom-line average is that it's "situation normal, all f'd up" (SNAFU). I'm not too worried about it. If anything, I see this year as totally normal, which to me is a breath of fresh air as compared to the crazy hot and dry weather that we've had most of the time over the past 10+ years. More bizarre weather patterns to continue over the rest of our lives, I'm sure. Nothing to get too upset about. Personally I prefer the cold to the extreme heat any day anyway. The snow is growing tiresome, but like I said, it's actually closer to normal as far as I can tell. Okay maybe a little too much snow. And yes, I'm growing tired of it. But⦠I'm pretty confident it won't be too much longer now to spring. I've begun pruning my trees, and it is actually far easier to see the branches against a snowy white backdrop versus brown and green. Right?!? It's not all bad.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:58PM
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It never went above freezing yesterday, just west of Detroit. Today the sun melted most snow but we will get two inches tomorrow night. I have to chill some beer for a party tomorrow evening, I will have to dig some snow from under my mailbox. The ground is barely unfrozen and tomorrow I will break ground in the orchard.

in 2003 I think, it went below 0F one last time the night between March 13 and March 14. It had gone below about 15 times during the winter. This year it went to -1F one night, for a few hours. And this year we will get a crop. I have a freezer still half full of Goldrush at 38F, but the winter veggies are gone. I am growing 3 jars and two trays of sprouts.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:02PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


Perhaps the later spring is more localized in the upper Midwest. Down where I am, it's pretty much on schedule.

Here, last year everything bloomed about a month early. Peaches bloomed the first week of March. Very early.

This year I expect peaches to bloom in the next 2 weeks which is normal. Today was in the 60s and tomorrow's supposed to be 70+.

Latter half of Feb. and early March was pretty cold down here this year. I was worried the ground would still be frozen when trees arrived. I planted trees today. No frozen ground, just wet.

By the way, I can't believe how fast trees got here from NY. Cummins shipped trees Monday night (according to the tracking info.) and they arrived today (3 days). The tracking ledger looked pretty amazing, scanned in one destination and 15 minutes later scanned out. The trees arrived faster than Adam's trees which were shipped earlier that same day, had less distance to travel (Gettysburg PA) and aren't supposed to arrive till tomorrow.

On a separate issue, I ordered some tooling from NY on Tues. and it arrived today (2 days)! What is it with these NYers that they can get stuff moved so fast. I don't even think I could drive myself to NY in two days.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:12PM
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All my trees has swelling pods. The problem is the bloom and flowers then the frost and no fruit.I tried to use Xmas lights to hanf on the appricot trees but I wonder if it works. I am praying for some warm weather I am not greedy just 75 will makeall my trees happy. I am flexible how about 70.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:08AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

It was 34 degrees this morning in central Florida......and today is our official frost free date. What ever happened to that man made global warming?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:51AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the weather is irrelevant ...

you have a fever ...


welcome to the club.. moaning about it.. does NOT make it come sooner.. nor faster ...

man up.. and quit whining.. it will come.. when it comes.. lol ..


ps: what you really missed in your tirade ..... is the dark.. dank.. grey days of jan/feb ... just endless battleship grey days .... what spring fever is really about.. more than temps.. is that brilliant bright blue sky ... and you see it from the windows ... burning your retinas ... only to open your door and freeze your private parts off .. lol ... but on some level you dont care.. because blue skies matter ... [this is otherwise known as SAD.. seasonal affective disorder]

PPS: now.. put the link on your ipod.. and go skipping down the street ...

ppps: why did i type this in the fruit forum .... lol ...

Here is a link that might be useful: here is a pick-me-up for you ....

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:12AM
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Frank! We had our first real winter (freezing temps) for the first time in three years. This is the first time I will have to plant new dahlias in this three year span. I liked the snow and the freezing temps. It means the weather is doing what it should. Spring always comes and you know it. We just a flurry yesterday, am. I think it is so good for my trees to having their 'freeze' time. I have my share of chill hours but they are not bad. Better, than wishing for chill hours! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:30AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Just want to get outdoors. Being stuck inside with 3 kids since October or whenever it was last warm gets old. All the clouds/snow the past 6 weeks are depressing.

I usually check the GFS, Euro and the Canadian weather models, a few times a day. What I'm seeing is that warm air won't be here until at least April at this point...

The NAEFS is based off the Canadian weather model..shows the period March 23-March 30th being well below normal for midwest/east half of the country (this has been growing colder and colder every day the last week or so

This is the 5 day running mean on March 25th, based off the 6z GFS... Basically shows this through 384 hrs.

day 10 Euro shows a large trough in the east

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:39AM
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Clearly Newfoundland is the place to be, right now. Wonder if they have any snow on the ground.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:53AM
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Sorry guys, just wanted to rub salt into the wound ;)
Here are some pics of Southern California, 9B right now.
Its about 90F today.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spring has sprung in 9b

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:51PM
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Been one of the most mild winters I can remember in the state of Washington. I am loving this winter, been in the 50s and 60s the last several weeks. Our winters are definitely not nearly as severe as they once were and that's fine with me. All the daisies, daffodil, croakus up and blooming. Most of our shrubs starting to leaf. My blueberries not quite open, soon though.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 6:05PM
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I hate winter Frank and don't blame you a bit for complaining. I think the only way to escape long winters is to go south every year! My brother just retired in Florida, says he wishes he can go down there 20 years ago.......about 80 every day.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:02PM
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If I'm fretting about the weather this year, it's wrt the delay getting the vegetable garden started, not the fruit trees.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:35AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Look at this soil temps here in La Crosse...40 inches of frost??

Just my opinion, but I think flooding could become a huge headache this year in North Dakota and along the Mississippi River... There is a good amount of snow/ice/sleet/slush on the ground north of here...any amount of rainfall and warm temps...and its going to all run into the river due to such deep frost.

All iced up and flurries this morning...solid 25F here.

Extended range might offer a glimpse of warmth, around the end of the month we may hit normal (which is around 50F at that point)...

Parts of Michigan have like 50+ inches of snow on the ground...it could be worse :)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 11:13AM
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I want this, keep things dormant. No snow would be good, so I could get back in the bike in a consistent manner. My goal is to start a serious training regimen and put on about 5000 miles in the season running through Halloween. About 150 miles last week, so I have a long way to go. And a torn hamstring. But I really want a great garden this year, I have been working with a dietician and three personal trainers and am doing a diet of basically produce, protein, and "good" fats. So, looking forward to eating from the yard.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 12:41PM
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FWIW, a year ago today it was 82 and brilliant sun, I was trimming trees and got a sunburn. Followed by the notorious week of 80/90 weather, followed by killing freezes in April, 22 at my house the last Saturday of April. Right now, 26 with two inches on the ground and flurries.

Although not as much fun, this is much more "normal" and I hope it stays cold until it's time to warm enough to avoid killing freezes. Should be a great crop on everything if we can avoid killing freezes.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 12:48PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Yup...last year was a joke. I escaped most of the damage here, but the bugs were super early, were thick and the plum curculio never died!

March 2012:
"With the unusually warm soils and well above normal growing degree days, the growing season is well ahead of schedule. Forsythia bushes and spring flowers (crocuses, hyacinths, and tulips) were flowering anywhere from two weeks to a month ahead of schedule. Meanwhile fruit trees and rose bushes were at least a month to 6 weeks ahead of schedule. There were even some mushrooms at the end of March (usually not seen until May)."

It will be late April before we see any flowering here...

To me it reminds me of a pendulum...last year it swung very far one way, and this year its just trying to equal that out the other way...although in the long run (global warming), we are going to see the "normals" push to the warmer end of the scale.

Extreme cold temps have been nonexistent the last 2 years here... I think my coldest reading has been around -12F or so...normal for this area is a good -20F to -25F for coldest temps...and we avg something like 26 days below 0F...this year it was like 5...

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 1:02PM
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I think we got below 0, by one degree, once this winter. There used to be a lot of speed skating outside here, but I can't recall the last time when the ice allowed it.

The flooding and runoff we have here is more due to getting most of our recent precip as rain, not snow, that melts more slowly to sink into the ground.

But the trees are all out there with nice fat, closed buds, waiting til the right time, like they ought to be.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 1:24PM
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All fats are good if you can avoid fats derived from grains (including animals fed primarily grains), Dennis, and if you do not get the fat past the smoke point when you cook. As far as I can tell the ground has frozen again here. No chance of any planting weather, realistically, before April 7. The 16 days weather forecast says below 35F the next ten days. It may go to to 40F after that.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 1:52PM
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alan haigh

Here in the northeast it's the same story. Cold but not exceptionally cold- about "normal" except without the usual occasional warm spell. The snow we got 8 days ago is long gone although we got a foot here.

Yes, global warming includes erradic weather according to models suggested, it is just the overall warming over the years that is consistent but even in a local weather-sense, season lows are high again this year barely getting below 0 when -15 used to be common.

I will savor the additional pruning time with the hopes of a spring segue much less frantic than previous years and hope that later spring will be less destructive than last.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 2:02PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I really need to spray copper and I can't find a day that will work. Its 27F today and cloudy..tomorrow 31F and then all next week looks cold/snowy...lows in the low single digits. Way too cold to spray anything. Maybe by the end of March I'll get a sunny/calm day in the 40Fs to spray.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 5:02PM
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alan haigh

Frank, just think of everything being set back and don't worry about spraying. The opportunity will probably come as the trees will likely wait for warmer weather before first growth.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 5:44PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Model runs continue to keep the cold around until early April... Picked up 3 inches of snow yesterday and right now its 12F...

Could be a very late bloom this year.

This is March 27- April 3rd...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:51AM
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alan haigh

Very late or just a little late depending on what you consider normal. The forecast is for "normal" temps in early April and it will take very little time for trees to react. If we get to half inch green for early apples during second week of April here that will be within normal range.

It may also mean that varieties that are sweeter and firmer when the weather is not too hot during ripening (many of my favorite apples) may have better quality this year.

Even as climate gradually gets warmer, as most expect but no one absolutely knows, we will continue to have fluctuations from warmer to cooler seasons, from year to year, of course.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:16AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I'm trying to locate some average bloom dates here, but i'm not seeing much...my own personal observations only go back 5 years or so...not much help.

Interesting map of the difference one year can make in regards to snow cover:

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:40AM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

I think we are seeing two extremes here in the Midwest these past two years. Last year was crazy early, hot and dry, this year is crazy late, wet and cold. Consider these two seasons your two extremes going forward. Every season from here on forward for the rest of our lifetimes will fall between our experiences these past two years. I think it's kind of cool to know exactly what the bounds are. I should say, the new bounds. And perhaps I really am in Zone 5b after all, which is interesting. It's been a few years since the last -20 F temperature here. Maybe I can indeed get away with growing some of the fruits meant for Zone 6 and even 7. Maybe. This could open a whole new world of gardening. We can get all the snow in the world this year and it will probably never get this bad again, and with respect to temperature, it's not cold enough to kill some stuff that otherwise would have been killed in the old -20 F days. Jot down notes on your new bounds, and go with the flow.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Central MN. -1 last nite. Over 2' of snow cover. Even if it warms up a LOT it'll be 3 or 4 weeks before the ground thaws.

Oh well; at least it's not very likely that all the blooms on the fruit trees will get frosted out like they did last year.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 2:24PM
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The more snow, the less the ground freezes under it. Within limits.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 3:49PM
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Spring is here now... so take some solace in that... I would say normal to maybe a week late...

My Dad loves to tell stories of Hard Freezes even till July 4th up in Northern Michigan.... so late springs and cold weather is not totally unheard of... I don't think I could take that sort of Winter weather... but the Summers up there sure are nice...

My peaches and plums are mostly all in bloom..... Apples aren't yet, though...

My concern is late killing freezes since the flowers are out... Easter is our traditional "Safe" date....

I gotta say... I am thankful that we didn't get another super duper early spring - followed by WAVES and WAVES of Bugs and Disease like last year....


    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 4:29PM
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I had two days last week without rain, snow or strong wind, so I sprayed copper and dormant once. Since then we have had rain, freezing rain, snow and more rain. I will have to spray those two again?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Yuck, weather forecast here in NW Mo. isn't looking pretty :(

Looks like 30's for highs and snow coming this week...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 6:24PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


Except this year we had no snow cover (bare ground) back in Jan...we got RAIN...then we had temps drop to -12F ....then the snow came...and has been there ever since...the National Weather Service here in La Crosse is calling it "concrete frost"...because its as hard as concrete...and very deep.

I would imagine we'll see flowering of the apricots some time in late April at this pace....just a ball park figure...

Wx model this afternoon drops 4 to 6 inches of snow over this area late in the weekend...yum!

Whatever happens, its interesting seeing what an extreme range of weather we can get from one year to the next.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 7:36PM
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We grow in interesting times.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 7:42PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Just an update...Spring still hasn't shown up..no 60F temps and only a handful of days in the 50Fs..

April so far (notice its in C not F)...

Oh..and the NAEFS continues this trend...

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 1:38PM
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I hear that it's coming in May

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 4:17PM
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In MN it went from winter to summer with 90 degree temps and last year I was catching bass in late march that were full of eggs, that just doesn't happen!! My grapes only started to turn 3-4 weeks late.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 1:04PM
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We need a new thread: Fall is never coming to the midwest

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 1:09PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

ltilton, thats why I thought this thread was alive again. This weather is wild, first it looked like an early fall in the unusual cool of late Aug, now it looks like summer is back with a vengeance. We are finally cooling off in a few days.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 9:05AM
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