Whatever happened to autumn?

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Having more or less skipped spring this year, the weather decided to go for a double and skip autumn as well. This it accomplished by delivering the hottest September on record—on a par with a normal July—and then plunging straight into winter.

Lest anyone doubt my word on the matter, I have a graph for you. In fact, two. Note the high temperatures during September (nineteen days over 75°F) and the sudden steep plunge at the end of the mont– a plunge, I may note, that has not been reversed as we move into October. (Please see the second graph.) Rumor (a.k.a. the weather report) has it that we may see entire twenty-four-hour periods above freezing at the end of this week, and indeed today, with temperatures in the mid fifties, felt downright balmy.

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Source: weather underground, history

If you refer (pointer please, Oscar) to the dates near the end of September, you may note that the last really warm day was the 29th. I got on a plane for Minneapolis and Toronto on the 28th, when it was still summer here. By the time I came back on the 4th, it had been snowing almost daily for a week. We got close to six inches several days ago.

We saw the change coming, and the week before leaving I scrambled around madly, trying to prepare the garden for the coming change. Of course I didn’t manage it, and my poor spouse was left to cover the big greenhouse himself. The beans, squash, and  tomatoes there weathered the freezing temperatures quite well, but when lows dipped into the single digits (double negatives, in Celsius), they gave up the struggle, went limp, and died. I can’t say as I blame them. Weather like this is really more than a vegetable can be expected to put up with.

7 Responses to Whatever happened to autumn?

  1. Kate, It sounds like your weather is right on par with mine! Crazy to see the funnies mother nature plays on us!

  2. Oh no, poor you! I thought I was being hard-done-by because I lost all my outdoor tomatoes last week. At least my greenhouse ones are still going. For now…

  3. I like your scientific approach! And yes, it’s a very unusual year. This summer was long and very good for us in the Pacific NW.

  4. Well, Heather, since you’re just over the border in Idaho, it’s not too surprising that you’ve seen similar weather. I’ve thought of going on strike, but I’m not sure anyone in charge of the weather would notice.
    I’ve forgotten, Amanda, is your greenhouse covered with plastic or glass or what? I’ll cross my fingers for your tomatoes…
    Greetings, Tatyana. After glancing at your blog’s many and recent pictures of flowers, I feel it’s clear that we live in very different regions, if not on different planets! Glad it was a good year for you.
    –Kate

  5. Mine’s got two layers of plastic, with air from the greenhouse blown in between the two. It went down to 0.6C (33F) this morning in there, so the plants are definitely living on borrowed time!

  6. Ouch! I live for fall. After two years of drought, we’re enjoyed a rare rainy spell mid-September which resulted in a glorious month afterward. Maybe we’ll go straight from fall to spring like we did last year. Of course, last year we couldn’t enjoy the warm temperatures because we were parched for water. From a gardener’s standpoint, it’s always something.

  7. Amanda, I just discovered that I never replied to this comment–probably because I was so jealous. Two layers, with warm air blown between them! I’m going to have to look back at your blog and see what this costs you.
    Zanthan Gardens, embarrassingly belated greetings to you as well. I see you’ve already got spring growth in your garden, while mine’s covered in snow. Well, it’s a big country.
    –Kate

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