Spring Has Been Dealt A Setback

Morela at the snowy nest, 12 March 2022, 8am (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

13 March 2022

After yesterday’s 2.5 to 5 inches of drifting snow, this morning’s temperature is 14oF. Our progress toward Spring has been halted in only a day.

Last week I saw hopeful signs of Spring.

  • Skunk cabbage was blooming at Jennings Prairie on 5 March.
Skunk cabbage, Jennings Prairie, 5 March 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)
  • Northern magnolia buds were beginning to open at Schenley Park on 8 March.
Skunk cabbage, Jennings Prairie, 5 March 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)
  • Spring peepers had started to sing at Moraine State Park on 10 March, calling very slowly in the cold. Turn up your speakers to hear 5 creaky peeps in the video.
  • And The Crocus Report came back positive on 7 March when I found a lawn of purple crocuses blooming on North Neville Street.
Crocuses blooming, North Neville Street, 7 March 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)
Lawn of purple crocuses, North Neville Street, 7 March 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

But yesterday morning brought heavy snow and gusty winds, drifts and bare patches.

(building provides a dark backdrop so you can see the snow.)

The tender plants have died. Those crocuses are gone. Spring has been dealt a setback.

Keep up with the status of Spring at the National Phenology Network. Watch it move north on this animated map.

Six-leaf index anomaly showing the progress of Spring (animated map from the National Phenology Network)

(photos by Kate St. John and from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh, map from the National Phenology Network)

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