Thursday, March 19, 2020

Spring is Here!

Today is the first day of spring in the USA But does it feel like spring? Does the sun bless you with the warmth of its rays or have the lingering frosts of winter outstayed their welcome and remained?

Although today is the vernal equinox, the day when we have almost exactly an equal amount of daylight and nighttime, it doesn't necessarily mean we will have spring like weather conditions. In Alaska the first day of spring has seen temperatures as low as 24°F. At the other extreme on the first day of spring in Florida the temperature has reached highs well into the 90's.

NOAA's U.S. spring extremes map visualizes the warmest and coldest temperatures recorded on the first day of spring across the United States. You can choose to view either the coldest or warmest days on the map. The color of the markers reflect the coldest or warmest temperatures recorded. You can click on these markers to view the coldest and warmest recorded temperature at that location and when those temperatures were recorded.

We can track how warm spring is this year by tracking the first leaves and first blooms to appear on trees and plants across the country. The National Phenology Network (NPN) tracks the timing of seasonal events in plants and animals in order to understand and record the years' seasons. In Spring the NPN uses its First Leaf and First Bloom Indices to measure how early or late spring has begun.

On the NPN's Status of Spring page you can view maps which show locations which satisfy the First Leaf conditions and locations which have satisfied the First Bloom locations. The Status of Spring page also includes two animated maps showing on which dates the First Leaf and First Bloom arrived in locations across the country. These animated maps provide a good indication of where in the United States spring has really begun.

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