Warmer drier winter predicted

>> Monday, November 26, 2007

This winter is predicted to be the warmest winter since record keeping started 127 years ago. This is according to the National Climatic Data Center. Previously the record was set in 2005. I didn’t have a perennial garden bed during that winter so I wasn’t as concerned with sustaining a garden as much as the usual worry of getting enough snowfall to get through the next summer.

Utah depends a great deal on winter snow melt to provide most of our water. Snow, tricky to forecast, might do well this year in the Northern Rockies. That may or may not mean much for Utah. It is too early to tell.

The Climate Prediction Center says La NiƱa strengthened during October, making it even more likely that the USA will see below-average precipitation in the already drought-stricken regions of the Southwest and the Southeast this winter.

I am beginning to worry about the new plants I put into the ground this past month. Do I continue to water them? Are they going to make it through a drier than normal winter without my help?

With temperatures, December through February, predicted to be 4% warmer than the 30-year average, is this increase in temperature enough to make me drag the garden hoses out of storage and start watering again? Are we going to expect future winters where we don’t even disconnect our irrigation systems because we will use them year round?

Predictions coming from the Farmers Almanac aren’t very rosy either. Their predictions pretty much match everyone else’s.

The only areas forecast to be wetter-than-average are in the Pacific Northwest and the Ohio Valley. And since I don't live in either of those areas, I guess I'll just have to break out the hoses and continue to water.

Well, enough whining for now, there are plants to be saved! So what if I have to drain the garden hoses every day and put them away every night, this is what I signed on for and this is what I’ll have to do.

Happy gardening everyone!


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