When normal isn’t normal

You may have read in the news earlier in May that NOAA has updated their “normals” for temperature and precipitation at stations around the country. In climatology, normals are the calculated averages over a specified time period. Usually, we use a 30-year period to capture what the average weather is like in a time period … Continue reading When normal isn’t normal

Tropical storms and hurricanes and how they affect your gardens and properties

Last month I discussed the forecast for the Atlantic tropical season and pointed out that it is likely to be an active one. As I write this, there has already been one named storm (Alberto, which went into Mexico but dropped a lot of rain in southern Texas) and two more areas of potential development … Continue reading Tropical storms and hurricanes and how they affect your gardens and properties

Don’t be a Horticultural Hot Mess: Climate-Smart Gardening Practices

While there are still doubters out there mostly thanks to politics, it is pretty clear that the climate is changing and humans are affecting the speed at which it is occurring. The number of record-breaking temperatures and the shift in the USDA hardiness zones show the current effects of this change that will affect almost … Continue reading Don’t be a Horticultural Hot Mess: Climate-Smart Gardening Practices

“Hot, hot, hot!” –A new source of heat information for gardeners and a look ahead to the 2024 Atlantic tropical season

We are entering the hottest time of the year for most of our readers except for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere or in tropical locations where there is not a big seasonal cycle. Heat can have a big impact on both gardens and gardeners, so this is a great time to look at … Continue reading “Hot, hot, hot!” –A new source of heat information for gardeners and a look ahead to the 2024 Atlantic tropical season

The Times They Are A-Changin’—What the new La Niña Watch means for the NH growing season

In this blog I’ve talked several times about El Niño and La Niña and how they affect climate across the Northern Hemisphere as well as their impacts on the rest of the world. We are currently in a strong El Niño with sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) that are much warmer … Continue reading The Times They Are A-Changin’—What the new La Niña Watch means for the NH growing season

Unpacking a Peck of Purple Genetically Engineered Tomatoes

Excitement spread across social media recently with the announcement that a genetically engineered tomato, creatively named “The Purple Tomato” is now available for home gardeners. Gardeners, plant scientists, and others rejoiced at the news that a purple tomato engineered with genes from a snapdragon to boost the plant pigment anthocyanin is now available for home … Continue reading Unpacking a Peck of Purple Genetically Engineered Tomatoes

The warmest year on record ends–will 2024 be hotter?

This year is almost certain to be the warmest on record for the earth as a whole, although there are still a few days in December that could slightly affect the final numbers. As we close out 2023 I want to spend a few minutes reviewing the weather and climate of the past year, both … Continue reading The warmest year on record ends–will 2024 be hotter?

Plant Disease Primer Part 5: Malicious Misfits

Over the last several months, I’ve covered plant disease basics and discussed plant diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, and viruses. In this fifth and final installment, I’m going to talk about diseases caused by anything but those three different agents. There are a few diseases caused by pathogens that fall outside of those well-known classifications. … Continue reading Plant Disease Primer Part 5: Malicious Misfits

5th National Climate Assessment and an Update on the Plant Hardiness Zone Map

This month has been an exciting one for climatologists around the United States with the November 14 release of the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), a massive project that is undertaken every four years to capture our current understanding of climate change based on recent research. I was a chapter author for the Southeast and … Continue reading 5th National Climate Assessment and an Update on the Plant Hardiness Zone Map

What a strong El Niño means for winter weather and our gardens

Earlier this spring, I posted an article about seasonal climate forecasting and noted that we expected to see the development of an El Niño after three years of La Niña conditions ended in March 2023. And sure enough, an El Niño was declared in August 2023 and has been strengthening ever since. It has a … Continue reading What a strong El Niño means for winter weather and our gardens