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bill_mn_z3b

Let's talk about the Weather in the colder zones-2-3-4.

6 months ago

I'm mid central Minnesota, newly designated from 3b to 4a (I'll be growing palm up here before you know it!) ;-)

This is the first time that I can remember it raining all day and all night on Christmas Eve Day and forecast rain all day on Christmas day. I'm not complaining, it's been droughty here lately, just a little unusual for my latitude. Also had some nights above freezing with high temps high 30's to mid 40's.

Generally, we're up to our knees in Snow with temps rarely getting above Freezing during the day.


Anyone else seeing a wide upswing in temperatures? Unusual precipitation?

Comments (89)

  • 3 months ago

    ' so much for any upward zone revisal '


    According to the map, the border between z3 and z4 was a few miles to my south, it's now ~30 mi. to my north, Caveat Emptor. ;-)

  • 3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    I'd like to respond 41 North but this thread is titled:

    ' Let's talk about the Weather in the colder zones-2-3-4.'"

    I am just saying, expect changes to your local norms. Northeast seems ahead of the curve & changes, could be ocean temp related. Was reading, Midwest and northern plains not seeing it, YET. As for envy, who knows who will envy whom once the earth has its final say in the matter.


    Peace out, Happy Spring!


    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
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  • 3 months ago

    All I know is I'm getting pretty darn sick of this back to winter stuff so late in March. But this is more or less a normal phase, for us here barely in usda zone 4.

    7df this AM with a foot of snow in the forecast and a couple more single digits above zero after that! Sheesh, I'm only human.


    I wish you well 41 north! ;-)


  • 3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Back to Winter stuff is NOT limited to MN! There have been years when cold, arctic outbreaks late in the season have spilled into the DEEP south and North Florida. North America is a beautiful but bad as! continent. They cause MORE damage south than they do in the great North!


    P.S., we just had another dumping of 3 plus inches of rain.




    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
  • 3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    3-26-2024:

    We're finally at the end of our first spring blizzard of this year. Still snowing but tapering off during the day today.

    I don't know exact amounts bc a strong ENE wind blew the whole time. Switching to the NNW today @ ~25 MPH. Makes for drifts and hollows. 16"-18" maybe? Fairly heavy water content.

    It's been the first time in years we've had precipitation steady for 3 days in a row. Hope it's a sign of continuing rains this spring and summer.

    A look out the patio door this morning:


    The snowplow buried the end of the driveway twice now but I'm getting good enough to run the snow blower. 3 months have passed since and haven't needed any help so far with this open winter.

    :-)

    eta: THE END!

  • 2 months ago

    Thanks Marcia!

    We got spoiled with the mild weather. Now everyone's in shock with this late blast of winter.

    Only a high of 24 today but with that high March sun, things are melting fast already.

    ;-)

  • 2 months ago

    In my part of the world, November and December were fantastic, THEN January's wrath of cold bringing the depths of bitter temperatures not experienced in 45 years. Has remained predominately cold of late, though briefly some very nice temperatures to come before another prolonged chilly stretch of wet and snow. Have heard that April and May are to continue to struggle here, hopefully won't be an overly tortured spring.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked FrozeBudd_z3/4
  • 2 months ago

    Man, what differences there can be in localities!


    We're slipping out of winters grip finally. The first week of April looks warm and sunny.

    The biggest danger we have is if it gets too warm in April and things start to grow then get a solid couple days of below freezing temperatures. Generally, the nights are cold enough to prevent breaking dormancy early.

    Otherwise, the streets are dry with more sun in the forecast. We picked up a good 1-1/2" of moisture from the snow.


  • 2 months ago

    Yes, I'm in the land of the extremes! Early next week possibly as high as 22 C / 72 F and tumbling afterwards for a lengthy spell of near freezing highs. I guess, the gardens will continue to rest in winter slumber and I'll receive notice of my rose order being held back until more favorable conditions.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked FrozeBudd_z3/4
  • 2 months ago

    If we get past the first week of April, the low temperatures mainly stay above freezing or hover near freezing +- a degree or three.

    However, a few years ago we had a Mother's Day killing frost in early May that killed everything that was newly planted, uncovered or sensitive.

    And years back it was -15 one night in early April. So, we never know except for just watching how the season develops and to be entirely safe, only plant things you can cover if an unexpected frost develops.

    Ordinarily we wait until at least first week of May before we plant anything sensitive, watching the forecasts intently until near end of May. Once I can remember a killing frost on June 1st.

    We've rarely had a hard frost after the trees are leafed out. I can remember once or twice in my adult lifetime and wasn't any permanent damage. I've seen the swelling spruce buds freeze only to redevelop and grow on unabated.

  • 2 months ago

    Lots of storms and srong NW flow which means lots of wind here. I’m tired of it. Ready for a pattern change

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked L Clark (zone 4 WY)
  • 2 months ago

    me too. :o)

  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    It never stops raining here, I am done too!

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
  • 2 months ago

    Ground is still frozen here.

    Had some slush showers last night that looked like snow but came down fast and melted as soon as it hit the ground.


    Today the sun finished melting most of the snow in the yard except for the larger drift along the east lilac hedge, it acts like a snow fence when the storm winds are easterly.


    Been hard to hit 50d yet the last couple of weeks but more sun predicted next two days and after a couple wet days, we're supposed to get into the 60's by Sunday and next week.


    Always a lot of anticipation this time of year and Ma nature doesn't always agree on how soon the growing season will start. Never as fast as I would like it to anyways. ;-)


  • 2 months ago

    4-7-2024:

    Today, 37df windy and cold all-day rain, continuing into tonight.

    Yesterday, near 60d and sunny so got all the composted manure spread under the expanded mulch piles on the newly planted trees and lightly spread granular (10-10-10) fertilizer around the deciduous yard trees, hoping to get a little more growth this season after 3 in a row near drought summers.


    Didn't have a chance to get the rain gauge outside yet but it's looking like ~3/4" if forecasted correctly. The ground was already somewhat moist with the recent snow melt.


    It just doesn't get any better than this, at least not where I'm located. :^)

  • 2 months ago

    Keep getting wind storms. Tired of it

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked L Clark (zone 4 WY)
  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Here in New England, we had beautiful weather for the past two days, but above normal temperatures. They forecast a high of 53F which is about average and I ended up with 60F on both days. So now, I'm concerned that we are going to skip over spring again and right into a HOT dry summer.

    Now they are forecasting another round of "showers" and a big downpour on Friday with wind. My garden is loving all this rain. I am just fortunate that our neighborhood and this property for some reason, handles extra rain. We have a lot of mature trees in a small area and I assume the roots absorb it. Our entire neighborhood is flat level land and streets, maybe that has something to do with it.

    Anyway - still - the weather has become more unpredictiable and way more stormy here. And what is with all the wind? Last year we had a lot of "showers" in the forecast which often meant, days of cloudy weather with no rain. I had trouble getting plants to bloom in less sun.

    And has anyone else noticed that weather people are having a hard time forecasting the weather? They will give a 5 day forecast and whatever they forecast for that 5th day, by the time it gets here, the weather pattern is just the opposite of the forecast they gave 5 days ago. Is it really a forecast if you have to wait for the day before for it to be accurate? Something seems to have shifted.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    4-10-2024:

    First yard peeps for spring 2024:

    Paeonia Lactiflora x Paeonia Officinalis (Red Charm peony). ;-)


  • 2 months ago

    10-11-2024:


    We're not out of the woods yet. After a coming weekend in the 70's, its forecast for mid to high 20'sdf coming by the 4-19th and 20th. The frost is almost out of the ground except for some shady/sheltered spots, but even that's on its last leg.


    Took some pictures of what is showing life around the yard doesn't look like any losses.


    Betla papyrifera catkins:

    Taxus canadensis strobilus:

    Pinus ponderosa var scopulorum buds expanding:

    Rosa Blanda chomping at the bit:

    Larix Laricina budding green:


    ;-)

  • 2 months ago

    4-16-2024:


    The rain falls as we speak/post. :-)


    It always comes a day or two later than what was originally forecast, for some reason, and most times, less in amounts than what was said several days ago. Conspiracy? haha/jk.


    Windy and cooler for the next day or two, then the frosty nights (3?) will arrive. Might have to pull out the old standby blankets/sheets and cover a few of my plants here.


    Comparatively, its looking like an early spring but it's still early so we'll have to remain vigilant. ;-)


  • 2 months ago

    This year in southern Alberta we had the lowest temperature (-39.7C) I've recorded since I started systematically keeping track back in 2008. So this year is going to be the big test for all the borderline plants I've planted over the past several years. Nervous to see what does and doesn't come back!

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked prairiegardener_canada
  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    That's just plain cold. And almost the same in Fahrenheit.

    There's always that shadow of doubt no matter where you live, and zone hardiness is not always a sure-fire indication that plants will survive. A sheltered planting location, microclimates, snow cover and length of time it's been planted in the ground will all enter into the equation.

    Also, some plants that can take the cold, are not always frost hardy. So, they will survive the winter just fine but it's after they come out of dormancy in the spring and the late frosts hit them that they can be weakened severely and eventually die.

    Let us know how things turn out this summer.

    I think I'll wait and post later this summer, on everything in my yard, all in one fell swoop, instead of finding and then updating all my earlier posts. :-)

  • 2 months ago

    This has been such an odd winter - higher than normal temperatures and lower than normal precipitation. That being said, there's an inch of snow out there this morning! That's not exciting in itself, but it does mean moisture, which we and the prairies west of here are sorely lacking. In spite of the milder temperatures, spring has been slow in coming. Maybe next week!

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked Marcia Pilipishen
  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    27df last night with the next two forecasted to be the same.

    In a normal winter, 30's for lows would've been the norm and not until early or mid XXXXX eta: May.

    Now everything has already been waking up so we'll have to see.🤞

  • 2 months ago

    Really cold high temps here, but the lows not mich below average. 26 f or so the last few days

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked L Clark (zone 4 WY)
  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Looking like spring will be earlier than normal. One more cold night Tuesday into Wednesday although it's possible for Mother nature to press a sneak attack in May. ;-)

    Highs in the 50's next week. That means it was warmer last February and March.

    Is that rain in the forecast? I hope the forecast holds true. We need some 'catch-up' rain.


  • last month
    last modified: last month

    We did end up with 1" of rain last night, with more forecast so things are looking up.

    All trees been breaking bud for the last week with some having leaves showing already.

    Time to set up the rain barrel again and maybe put out the garden hose.

    Late frost or not, this is going to be an early spring, calendar wise.

    And unlike last year, we're starting out with recent moisture in the ground. :-)

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Snowed here last night

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked L Clark (zone 4 WY)
  • last month

    At least it's water. :^)

  • last month

    What a bizarre winter, Bill. I'm wondering if there will be some dead plants due to no snow cover nearly all winter. But then again, it wasn't that cold either. But then again, it only rained twice and never snowed during a 3 month span, it seemed. I won't be relieved until I see all my trees and shrubs fully leaf out and all my perennials poking up from the ground.


    It appears I lost a lot of my 1st year Eastern red cedars. They must have dried out too much over winter. Huge demand for these right now for lining the outside of solar farms. Very frustrating.


    After the last 3 seasons, it's a relief to see all this spring rain. Leaves are ahead of schedule by easily a week to 10 days. I'm going to have some wet, muddy digging this week as we rush to get finished digging trees.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked mntreegrower
  • last month

    Raining now and rain forecast the rest of the week. Which is good because I'm sure the subsoil (sand) several feet down have been depleted over the last few years. We needed this kind of extended soaking rains.


    Not much for cold here either. The deciduous trees in the yard are breaking bud albeit a little early. One of my Ostrya virginiana, started from seed in 2019, has catkins for the first time and the Korean maples have emerging leaf tips for the third time this spring. The latter have shown good zone and frost hardiness.


    Sorry to hear about the J.v.


    All my spruce is holding back on buds but been on the cool, cloudy side lately but I'm not complaining. You know what they say about April showers. ;-)

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Has not been much of a terribly pleasant March and April with below normal temperatures, frequent overcast skies and windy as heck! Not abnormally horrific weather in general, though one or two nice days followed by quickly deteriorating conditions. My plants in the greenhouse are slow and pokey for the lack of any substantial heat, peppers are really lagging just sitting. Greenhouse outlets are now just setting outside their stock of tender annuls and all, and of course today it's snowing and blustery! Decent good moisture the last several months and nice not to be going into spring bone dry, though some heat would be appreciated to get things growing and giving opportunity to farmers to get crops seeded. What the summer brings is only a guess, though the last three have been very challenging that it's either been absolutely bone dry or in the case of last summer sopping wet, horrific mosquitoes and high humidity made for one of the most unpleasant gardening seasons. The mosquitoes so bad that within the subdivisions no one was outside enjoying the summer evenings, just silence, no children playing nor folks lounging having meals and socializing, the summer a bust!

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked FrozeBudd_z3/4
  • last month

    4-30-24:


    FB, that's interesting. I can remember when I lived out in the country, there was a year or two that the mosquitoes we so bad, you could hear the buzzing outside after dark, just like a swarm of cicadas but more suppressed in nature.

    2.2" of rain here since last Friday. There's been a good soaking rain every week for the last 3-4 weeks. We had snowflakes flying last weekend, between rains but it didn't amount to much.


    We missed the last couple of chances for frost because the weather has been so unsettled it hasn't had a chance to go calm and freeze. I looked it up and our last frost date is now May 10th from what it used to be (end of May? I haven't looked for a long time) so, if the forecast stands, we might be done with the cold for this season.


    Most trees are breaking bud so hopefully it won't freeze that hard anymore.


  • last month

    5-5-2024:


    With all weather stations insisting it was down to 34df last night, I had ice on the deck rails and glass table. The adjacent houses had lightly frosty roofs. :-\

    If it truly was freezing temps, they only lasted less than an hour and nothing took any damage that I could see.

    Most deciduous trees and shrubs are leafing out and spruce buds are breaking. Lilics have blooms that are halfway developed.

    60-70 forecast with no frost forecast the next 10 days. Hope that's the last of it.


  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Had 19 two days ago and it froze my hostas. Do those recover well from frost damage?

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked L Clark (zone 4 WY)
  • last month

    What's a hostas? ;-)

  • last month

    Many days could run the heater 24/7 in the greenhouse, plants sulking especially heat lovers. Received another round of rain and high winds. Ground definitely not suffering for moisture, rain has hit drought regions so that's positive. Appears some really nice agreeable weather in store, hopefully such holds true, this far north farmers only have a short time frame to get the crops sown, a few more proceeding rounds of wet and the window of opportunity is jeopardized.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked FrozeBudd_z3/4
  • last month

    It hasn't been very warm here either. This next week will finally hit the 60's but still lows in the mid 40's, so not much growing season here yet. I've seen some small grain up in places.

    Off and on winds too.


    When work demanded, I'd travel from here to Steinbach Manitoba and I'd notice the Canola and Rape fields along the highways, beautiful scenery for miles and miles and.... ;-)


    Glad to hear some of the drought areas are finally getting some relief and hope farmers get things planted.

    We've had a few inches of rain (~5"+) during April and May, not any too much but at least coming on a regular basis now.

    Been about 1" average per week, with about 3/10ths today.


    A few more soakers wouldn't hurt any but with our nutrient poor, coarse, sandy soil, it tends to let nutrients leach down into the far depths and allows organic matter to float the surface which can then be washed away with too much heavy rains. We do better with JIT (just in time) rainfalls as we need them. ;-)

  • last month

    We had one day of low 80's last week but have had a hard time of getting out of the 60's most days with an occasional day in the low 70's. 40's to 50's still the norm at night.


    The biggest difference this spring is it's been raining pretty regular in between the sunny days.

    Everything in the yard has recovered from anything that might be considered 'winter damage' and not a lot of it considering the mostly open winter with no snow cover.


    My rain collection system. Even when I have to fill it with the garden hose (city water), it gives the water a chance to disperse the low levels of chlorine and warms it a bit and it's surprising it doesn't get hot at all in that brown barrel, even on a sunny hot day.


    Right now, I'm just watching things overflow because when it rains regularly, like it has this last couple of weeks and all my reserves (pails) are full. ;-)



  • last month

    Easily could be among one the coolest more overcast of Mays I've ever experienced. Since setting the plants in the solarium in mid April, there's been but five or six days it's actually been toasty warm in there. Some of the tomatoes are yellowing for being sensitive to the chill, same with some tall marigolds I had sitting out on the deck, they're developing a yellowing of new growth. Just another week and it's deadline for field cereal crop seeding, some farmers are only half done and yet more rain is on forecast to further delay them. I also have not even had chance to plant garden for the wet. Yes, good to get a decent bounty of moisture, BUT we've been locked into a three month period of not so great weather and it's time for a shift into gear!

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked FrozeBudd_z3/4
  • last month

    I'm not much of a flower guy anymore. We have a few hydrangeas, a hybrid peony, a few poppies and one bed that comes from seeds of what was there the last few years. Sort of a 'Surprise Package'. This year is thick with various sprouts and some sunflowers from feeding the birds last winter.


    I saw a couple of tractors connected to corn planters, stuck in the fields last week. A wide variety of soil types in this area. Some fields are so sandy, you can get 3" of rain and within an hour or two, be out there plowing again. With the more clay soils, it could be days or weeks of drying weather before you'd get going again. Farming can be a tough business to be in weatherwise.


    The latest tree I have for pushing leaves is my northern hackberry, Celtis o. It finally leafed out several days ago after a 2", two-day rain. Every year it appears dead but now I know better.


  • last month

    I always shut off the basement infloor heating in April, not this year it still remains on! :(

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked FrozeBudd_z3/4
  • last month

    Yeah, I usually don't turn the heat up in the morning this time of year but with the 40-50's at night, it's easier just to turn the dial, rather than putting on more clothes. You end up taking some off after a while anyways once the sun makes its appearance. ;^)


    I'm not complaining, 3 years I've been hoping for rains after the leaves come out. We might see appreciable growth for a change this year. ;^))


  • last month

    Cold, windy and dry. We needvsome if that rain.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked L Clark (zone 4 WY)
  • 29 days ago

    They're saying that May will turn out to be among the top cloudiest on record, we've been locked into three consecutive months of dominate low pressure with scant few breaks of high pressure ... such will seal the deal for farmers in regions where seeding has yet to be finalized. I've never seen such destabilized weather as in the last handful of years, they got it right when predicting that climate change would bring about an abnormal shift in balance.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked FrozeBudd_z3/4
  • 23 days ago

    Finally hitting some 70's this week, still bouncing around 50ish at night.

    Sunny to partly cloudy with a couple of really nice thunderstorms that moved through without causing any damage. Lots of thunder and lightning. About 2" of rain total all week and the rains have been coming at night.

    So, things are beginning to grow.


    I can't help you with climate change, FB. And I'd wager a bet that we won't see much change for the increasing warmth we're seeing', at least not in our lifetime.

    Look at the Tertiary period, when the Dawn Redwoods covered North America, it began hot and humid and ended in an ice age. So go figure.


  • 12 days ago

    I want to bring Dawn Reds back to all of N.Americaa!


    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
  • 11 days ago

    I really, really, really want to plant a Dawn Redwood in my backyard by a creek. I read online that they don't mind (even prefer?) wet soils and I think it would be the perfect spot. It would be a somewhat sheltered area but I fear I am too far north as most everywhere lists them as being just zone 5 hardy.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked mntreegrower
  • 11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    The water will not be an issue. What is your zone? Aside from those gardening zones, they do not like surprise frost or heat out of seasonal "norms", so more interior climates have some challenges.


    P.S., I have the native Taxodium/Bald Cypress, but prefer this cousin.

    BillMN-z-2-3-4 thanked 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
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