Who says Global Warming is all bad? If you like springtime blooms, you just one extra month of them, in the normally soggy Northwest.
May Flowers arrive Early in the Northwest
Unusually dry April brings spring flowers early
by Joce DeWitt, StatesmanJournal.com -- May 1, 2013
Usually the April showers that pelt the Mid-Willamette Valley at the start of spring bring May flowers.
This year warmer temperatures and less rain have turned the age-old rhyme on its head: April showers brought, well, April flowers.
So far this year 7.65 inches of rain has fallen in Salem, said meteorologist Clinton Rockey of the National Weather Service in Portland. Normal rainfall is 17.32 inches. That makes the first four months the driest start to the year since 1892.
“It was quite a bit different from last spring. We saw lots of rain last spring. It was pretty gloomy until about June,” said Kathie Dello, deputy director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University.
Here in Oregon, we've just gone through a week of clear sunny weather, with temperatures 20 degrees above "normal" this week-end. Normally the "dry season" doesn't start here until "after the 4th of July."
When it comes to seasonal milestones, who's to say what is "normal" anymore, during this early-onset era of climate changes. They are predicting another week of sunshine, with a "slight chance of a shower" next Sunday. That is what you could call weird weather, if you know anything about Northwest springtime weather.
[Paint Brush wildflowers -- Mt Hood; photo by jamess]
Too bad "early flowers" aren't the only thing, this weird weather is bringing ...
Sorry to say, in addition to the early wildflowers, we are also seeing an "early arrival" of the wild-fire season too, here in the Northwest:
Weekend fires highlight early start to Oregon wildfire season
by Evan Sernoffsky, kgw.com staff -- May 5, 2013
Oregon experienced the driest January through April on record. Things are expected to stay dry with the National Weather Service predicting below-normal rainfall through July.
Wild-fires have an annual rhythm to them, which typically follow the rain-sparse Summer Thunderstorms. Work-forces are planned around them. Staffs and equipment are geared up to deploy and fight them each year. This year they are getting a very early spring start:
by Daniel Yawitz, climatecentral.org -- May 2nd, 2013
Fire season may come early this year in the West, as it has more frequently in recent years, thanks to ongoing drought conditions and increasing temperatures. According to a new outlook issued by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, major wildfires in California could begin as early as this month, nearly a month ahead of schedule. Wildfire season is also expected to come early in southern Oregon and Washington, as well as in the central Rocky Mountains and parts of the Southwest.
Here is that official wildfire forecast -- which is predicting dangerous events that can lead to the rapid "displacement" of homeowners too, often at a moment's notice:
Issued: May 1, 2013 -- National Interagency Fire Center
Outlook Period -- May, June and July through August
-- Significant fire potential will be above normal for south central Oregon, the interior mountains and foothills of southern California and the Sacramento Valley and adjacent lower foothills.
-- Significant fire potential will increase to above normal in southeastern Arizona, much of western New Mexico, and northern Virginia.
-- Significant fire potential will be below normal for most of the southeastern U.S., Puerto Rico and the southern half of Alaska.
-- Significant fire potential will be above normal over much of California and Oregon, south central Washington, most of Arizona and New Mexico, and southern Utah and Colorado.
-- Significant fire potential will remain below normal for the central Gulf states and Puerto Rico.
-- Significant fire potential will return to normal in northern Virginia.
There must be a plus-side to this disintegration of "normal seasons" -- but for the life of me I figure out what it is ... ?
[Paint Brush, Lupine, and Alpine bistort wildflowers -- Mt Rainier; photo by jamess]
More opportunities for taking pictures of wildflowers, I guess -- assuming the threats of smoke, haze, wind-driven flames -- don't get in our idyllic way, that is.
[Trail to Spray Park -- Mt Rainier, NW; photo by jamess]
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