“Came the Spring with all its splendor,
All its birds and all its blossoms,
All its flowers, and leaves, and grasses.”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Hiawatha”
The stirrings of springtime were well underway before its actual March arrival date. Warmer than average winter weather prompted an early bloom for many trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers throughout parts of the U.S. In the Southwest, an “early spring” was more pronounced than in other areas. My prediction of cooler days in last week’s CV Weekly was not fulfilled; Monday’s temperature climbed into the low 80s. A scientific definition of the word “prediction” (Latin prae- “before,” and dicere, “to say”) or forecast is a statement about the way things will happen in the future, based on experience or knowledge. Outside the science world, a “prediction” may refer to nothing more than an opinion or maybe an unsubstantiated guess. Merriam Webster may be correct, but my personal definition of prediction is infused with hope and rain.
Scientists and allergy sufferers alike will agree; the emergence of pollen-laden plants came two to three weeks ahead of schedule this year, countrywide. Here in the west, we can blame the ongoing drought and unseasonably high temperatures. When the weather is altered from its typical conditions, there are always the affected and unaffected among all types of animals (human ones, too) and plants.
The early and prolonged allergy season makes life pretty miserable for those suffering allergic reactions from the wind-dispersed pollens. For us human animals, anti-histamines may help alleviate the symptoms. Wildlife is the most vunerable to conditions brought on by shifts in seasonal weather patterns. Animals, for sake of survival, become acclimated to and dependent on an established stable environment. If climatic conditions change, food availability, migration patterns and breeding cycles fall out of sync. When Mother Nature’s perfect balance is disrupted, animal species will suffer the impact. Adaptation is the key to survival.
Phenology is the study of the timing of seasonal events. The information used by a phenologist is put together from current scientific data and the notations in leather-bound notebooks by early naturalists. The premise, for both these studies, is based on the start time of annual flowering and animal, bird and insect migrations. All are well underway in our very own micro ecosystem, i.e. backyard.
The expected Santa Ana winds and accompanying Red Flag warning were downgraded as low pressure overtook the high along the West Coast. A cooling trend is forecast into next week, including a prediction for wet weather Wednesday through Friday. As said, the word prediction “is infused with hope and rain.”
No matter – it’s up in the air for now!
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.