March 30 2016 – The downside of many days in the 70s and 80s earlier this month was just that, it was early in the month. The warm March helped to speed up the Cherry Blossoms peak bloom in Washington last week, and farms in southern Maryland. After a long cool spring last year limiting the growing season, there was high hopes to make up this go around. But as is often the case, an early warm up will be followed by a sharp cool down thanks to an active and wild jet stream. That is what we had as temperatures dropped close to freezing, frightening many farmers this morning including Swann Farms in Calvert County. The growing season has begun and frost can be detrimental to peaches and especially strawberries.
Kelly Swann has been proudly sharing the beautiful bloom photos around her family’s farm. Last evening that turned to concern as they raced to protect their livelihood. Temperatures dropped below 35°F overnight in Calvert County. That is when the alarm sounded. Air temperatures are measured with thermometers between five and six feet above the ground. But at the surface, it can be colder and support ice crystal growth.
Kelly said there was moderate frost, but it was a good thing that they are located by the river. It’s also a good thing that they covered their berries with tarps to act as a protective blanket to avoid frost formation. It seems like it worked, for now.
Are we done yet?
Hardly! I’ve been tracking the next dip in the jet stream as the Polar Vortex gets dislodged into easter Canada and helps to drive some cold air our way next week. Over this weekend there will be a chance of flurries or snow showers in parts of our area…. mainly north of Baltimore. But the cold air will be filtering south. There may be more chances for very chilly overnights into next week. Hint: Opening Day won’t be warm! As for the duration of cold air, I will have more on that in my evening report. But you have to believe that it will warm up and stay eventually. That is part of our new campaign Faith in the Flowers. All of these items are part of a fundraiser for Save a Limb Fund through my friend Lexi Hack. See more here:
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