I really think this year is going to be a cooker by what science and climatologists are predicting. I reported last month that our area is experiencing drought conditions and many questioned this. I attended a talk on bees and the speaker was very concerned for the weather upcoming this year.
“Drought conditions in more than half of the United States have slipped into a pattern that climatologists say is uncomfortably similar to the most severe droughts in recent U.S. history, including the 1930s Dust Bowl and the widespread 1950s drought.” (source)
Can we plant our way out of a drought?
Perhaps we should learn to cope with what nature presents and plant species known to take heat and dry conditions, judging by the last few years.
I have a post coming up on drought tolerant plants I use in garden design, but this means nothing if rains do not come for months. Really, there is no way to plant landscapes out of a drought. We can just be more mindful of what we plant.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has said that 2013 is already worse for drought than either 2012 or 2011. Climatologists are predicting rainfall will decrease, temperatures will rise, and the drought could be possibly more severe than previous years for a good portion of the country. The video below shows graphically what areas are going to be the most affected.
February this year has 54.2 percent of the nation in drought conditions and that is up from last year at 39 percent. Climatologists are at an advantage over previous severe droughts in their ability to predict weather conditions at least for three months ahead.
They had no means for the Dust Bowl of the thirties or the drought of the fifties to make long-range predictions. The former drought lasted nine long years and the latter five. But they did learn the Dust Bowl was caused by above-average temperatures and poor farming practices. At least now farmers can grow different crops, ration water usage, or have better farming practices to ease severity of loss.
“Farmers plowed their land too deep and too frequently, stripping away the plant life that held the soil together. Once the dirt became airborne, the dark particles absorbed incoming heat from the sun, stabilized the atmosphere and stopped the formation of rain-inducing thunderclouds.” (source)
The Dust Bowl will not occur the same way since they found better farming practices to eliminate the creation of the dust.
If you want to see what is predicted for your area, check out the video from the Climate Prediction Center.
Spring conditions did bring the bulb plants into bloom, but temperatures in the seventies have made most early blooming plants reduce bloom time. The first three months of the year had below average precipitation. This too affected bulb development.
Our area is expected to experience above average temperature for the next three months, but precipitation has an equal chance forecast. This means they are not certain if it will be above or below normal amounts.
As I reported earlier this year, smaller-than-average snowpack in the central and southern Rockies has added to concerns about the drought in western states. This could increase wildfires also. So much goes into whether an area is facing drought for any given year, and what damage that drought will produce.
Some blooms are still on the way, but will open in higher than average heat.
A few of these images were taken on cloudy days, but no rain. We had sprinkles a few days, but nothing measurable. April 25th was .53 inches and the rest of the month .00 – .02. It is sad for the blooming plants. To view your own area, go here.
Does our robin below not look a little miffed? I am guessing, with no rain, the worms are a bit harder to extract. He looks like he is saying, “Get out that sprinkler, will ya?”
I put out the hummingbird feeder because the Ruby Throated Hummingbird has been spotted on its migration in our area. I checked the map.
Now it is wait and see time. See the green behind the feeder? That is the next post.