Summer In March

Summer_in_MarchIt’s been warm here – upper 60’s to 70’s. Sounds comfortable, right? Sure, and it would be ok if it was late May or June. It’s not, though – it’s only March. Our big old silver maple is showing buds and will soon sprout leaves. The grass is also turning green.

The local forecast shows these temperatures continuing into next week. Sure, it’s fun to run around in shorts and flip flops (or rubber boots for farm chores), but these aren’t the right temperatures for this time of year. According to an “almanac” source, the mean temperature here last year was 43 degrees; in 2014, it was 47 degrees and in 2013, it was 39 degrees. It’s 2 p.m. and it’s currently 70 degrees.

These temperatures will likely have a profound impact on farming. If that ends up being adverse, it will also impact food prices. The question also remains of what this means for summer – will this trend continue? Will summer, when it’s officially here, be unbearably hot? If so, both animals and people will suffer. We had to dunk our chickens into buckets of cool water last summer to help them handle the heat, and they didn’t like it at all (and neither did we).

It’s difficult to plan if the seasons aren’t at least somewhat predictable. Maybe this is just a weird “blip” on the weather radar and it will cool off to more average temperatures. Or maybe it won’t, and we’ll be sweltering (even more than usual) this summer. Let’s hope it’s the former, not the latter.