We had .27 of an inch of rain yesterday in Otsego. We briefly reached 74.5° for the high temp before dropping to the low 60s when the rain moved through with some gusty winds before 5 pm. We have expectations of scattered showers right on through the weekend due to a couple of sluggish low-pressure systems moving through the area. We will still be in the 60s for high temps today and tomorrow before dropping back into the 50s on Sunday.
This is the time of year when the weather warms we have a hankering to start planting outside especially when the perennials start blooming in our flower gardens. It is still early to think about the planting annuals due to the possibility of frost. Below is an article from CoCoRaHS with links to give you an idea when it is safe to start putting out the veggies.
Day of the Last Spring Freeze?
Here is a very helpful message from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center:
Just when you think winter is over …
Every spring, we are teased with intermittent warm periods that motivate us to plant flowers, plant our vegetable garden, or sit back and watch our local farms, orchards, and communities green-up. If we are lucky, once we take that action, a freeze event will avoid us for many months – long after farms have been harvested and flowers have lost their luster. If we’re unlucky, at least one more freeze event will make an appearance and damage our positive planting efforts.
So, how long do we have to wait before we know it’s safe? Every year is different, and weather forecasts can certainly help. However, the climatology of past spring freezes can help remind us when there’s still a chance. NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) provides a map of the “Day of the Last Spring Freeze” based upon the 1981-2010 US Climate Normals. This product shows when the average last spring freeze occurred over that 30-year period.
If you’re interested in when the latest last spring freeze occurred during that period, the earliest last spring freeze occurred, or multiple other combinations, check out the “Midwestern Regional ClimateCenter’s (MRCC’s)” Vegetation Impact Program’s (VIP’s) Frost/Freeze Guidance website. This website provides various climatological products including not only a freeze event defined as <=32F, but also “hard freeze” events defined as <=28F. There are also a variety of climate monitoring tools on this site that provide daily, updated information such as:
- Date of the most recent freeze event
- Days since the most recent freeze event
- Number of freezing days over the past 2 weeks
- Lowest minimum temperature this past season
- Accumulated growing degree-days since the most recent freeze event
All of these products are designed for the public, gardeners, forecasters, and other stakeholders to understand the potential for spring (and fall) freeze events given what has happened in the past – both recent and over the past 30 years.
-- Wet pattern continues -- IR loop shows a well defined upper low spinning over far SW Wisconsin. The low is going to move slowly north, but be close enough to SW Lower to provide scattered showers. We may see a few thunderstorms over the southeast CWA this afternoon where a little better instability will exist. However, the instability is a bit less than we saw Friday and we expect fewer storms to develop. The upper low will get kicked out by another low that will take a similar track. The ECMWF has had a good handle on the Saturday system and the GFS is also coming on board to show a decent surface low move north from the Gulf. This low will be deeper than the Thursday low and should result in a few more storms and perhaps more rainfall too. A half inch to perhaps locally an inch seems possible as the system moves north toward the UP. There will likely be a lull in the precipitation Saturday night when the dry slot moves overhead, but the continued presence of the upper low will likely mean scattered showers through Sunday. The upper low will weaken considerably after Sunday, but not totally go away, due to blocking in the atmosphere farther east. Thus, while precipitation chances will decrease next week, they probably won`t be zero. -- Cooler next week -- Highs will be in the 60s through Sunday before cooler air from Canada works into the Great Lakes. ECMWF ensemble highs are around 50 for much of next week, which will be quite a change from the past few days.