Weather Commentary

 

2007’s Cold Early Spring, Hot Sizzling Dry and then Super Wet Summer & Mild Autumn, so far, is just a hodgepodge of extremes!  Spring took its time getting to our gardens, with Old Man Winter refusing to abdicate. The weather through Mid April was horrible with heavy snow and late freezing temperatures nipping many emerging spring flowers in the bud, as well as damaging the new leaves on many bushes and trees. While few plants were killed by Winter, I just felt my garden was trashed by Old Man Winter’s refusal to leave. Spring finally came with late April’s temps ending on a much higher temperature with the mid 80s on the 29th. May’s average temperature was also above normal

Summer arrived with good moisture but then, in many parts of Wisconsin, the rains simply stopped. The east side of Madison received 3.5-5” of rain, but parts of the west side received 0.25”. Rain fall was very erratic. Then in August, the clouds burst forth and we ended up with the more rainfall in August since weather records were begun in 1871. It continued raining in August for the most rainfall for any month and then continued for the most rainfall for any Summer. This is amazing, as early summer was very dry.

With continued warm temps and lower humidifies, September’s weather is drawing the moisture out the landscape giving us a dry late September.

And then came the Mosquitoes. We were blessed in early Summer with so few, it was a pleasure being out all hours of the day and night. But soon after the rains came there arrived so many of the blood sucking beasts that they swarmed in masses rivaling biblical proportions.

Working outside, in any occupation, was almost like giving daily pints of blood to the Red Cross. Home gardening came almost to a bloody halt. For those in the landscaping and other infield maintenance and construction occupations, the desire for relief soon sold out supplies of DEET and anything else that provided relief.

Mild winter temperatures allowed for a near record number of Japanese Beetles to devastate the foliage on Tilia, Betula, Corylus, Rosa, Dahlia, Ulmus, Malus, Prunus,Vitis, Parthenocissus, and a host of other plants. Pheromone Traps caught so many the bags were almost bursting at the seams.

And if that was not bad enough, the 17 Year Cicada was cacophonous and damaged the newer branches on many trees by cutting into the young twigs. Some fruit trees were so significantly damaged by so many cuts on the small branches that they were disfigured.

The rains came in time for good crops of agricultural products, but the rains caused tomatoes to burst and other vegetables to not form properly. But, sweet corn, melons, peppers and other crops were fabulous.

Plants will be plants and every year is different.

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Newsletter Volume 21 - Autumn 2007
 


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