Warm temperatures prompt early blooms

Warm temperatures prompt early blooms

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - This has certainly not been a typical winter in the Mid-South. Temperatures for December and January were well above average and the month of February has continued that trend.

As a result, flowers and trees in the area have blossomed much earlier than usual. A classic example of that are the Tulip Poplars in full bloom in the area.

In comparing pictures from last year, I found that they were blooming more than two weeks earlier than last year. I've also noticed daffodils, azaleas, and other spring plants and flowers already in full bloom.

The average monthly temperature so far this month is 4 degrees above the norm. We've had temperatures in the 70s five days this month, with two of those days tying or breaking long standing records. These above-average temperatures have tricked plants and trees into thinking that spring has already sprung when in actuality we're still more than a month away from the spring equinox.

This early bloom, while lovely, could be detrimental to some plants, especially if we experience a hard freeze before the season is over. Fortunately for now, there is no freeze in the immediate forecast and there are more unseasonably warm temperatures with highs expected to return to the 70s over the coming weekend, and the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above average temperatures for the rest of the month. So, enjoy this early start to the spring bloom, but don't pack away the coats because winter isn't over yet.

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