Is the Warmer Winter Tricking Trees and Flowers?

As deadly tornadoes ripped through southern Illinois and Missouri Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning killing as many as 9 people (revised number), a blizzard with 12-18″ of snow and winds of 50-70 miles-per-hour raged across South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Back home in the Quad Cities, we had some non-severe thunderstorms that brought temperatures in the 50s, wind gusts of about 40 miles-per-hour, and up to one-half inch of  rain.

Wednesday marks the end of “meteorological winter”, December, January, and February.

You’re correct if you think it has been warmer this winter with less snow.

Our temperatures were about 6° above average and snowfall  in those three months totaled 12.6″ in Moline, Illinois, which is only 49% of our average.

Last meteorological winter, December 2010 through February 2011, temperatures were 2.5° below average, snowfall was 46.3″, which was 20.8″ above average, and precipitation was below average at 4.88″.

The warm winter has some trees and flowers thinking it’s almost spring.  I talked with plant and garden expert Craig Hignight to see if that’s going to be a problem if winter returns for March.

For the Quad Cities, the Climate Prediction Center is predicting March temperatures and precipitation to be above average.  As for “meteorological spring”, (March, April, and May), temperatures are expected to be above average.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jewel on February 29, 2012 at 11:56 am

    With as mild as the winter has been, I hope spring follows the same path. I would hate for the fruit crop to not make it if the temperatures plummet. Prices would go soaring if that were the case.


  2. Posted by Mikey99 on February 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    It makes me wonder if the Spring severe storm season is starting a bit early this year. I woke up this morning with a standard poodle huddled against me, so we must have had a thunderstorm last night or this morning.


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