Weekly Weather Report
For Farmers and Others
Week of March 3, 2015
From Friendship Farms & Fare
A Community Service To the Local Farming Community
65 degrees at 4:00 AM, March 3, 2015
Historic Average (for 3/1): 74 HIGH, 56 LOW–Weather Underground: http://www.wunderground.com/
Historically, the average high temperature is now 74 degrees (four degrees higher than the lowest average low  of the year), and sixteen degrees lower than the highest average high ). Our average low is now 56 degrees, which is five degrees higher than lowest average low , and twenty degrees lower than the highest average low ).
The average low and high have begun their annual assent of about a degree a week, which will peak in early June for highs and late June for lows, and remain constant (at 90/76) until early September, when the annual decline begins. This means for three months the average high will be 90 degrees, and the average low will be 76. It will also be humid during those months.
Note: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that 2014 was the hottest year on record (since records have been kept, 1880). Ocean and land temperatures were at their all time highs.
This is no great surprise to us. 2014 seemed hotter than usual here at the farms, and the past few years, our highs and lows have typically run a bit higher than historic averages. Last year the trend continued, and so far this year, it is still continuing. Although humans may enjoy unseasonably warm weather, above normal temperatures stress the winter crops, which flourish in cool to cold temperatures.
Weekly Weather Report
Here Comes The Sun and Heat
Last Week (2/21-2/27): As expected this week saw temperatures rebound, with several days above normal and others a bit below normal. Cooler days were midweek, with warmer days at the beginning and close of the week. We received even more rain at midweek in conjunction with weak fronts moving south, then drifting back to the north.
Rain is the real story here. We received more rain last week – nearly half an inch. February rainfall, so far, is just over 5 inches (5.1). The average for February is 2.7 inches. Our January rainfall was 2.95 inches, compared with an average of 2.6 (using records for St. Petersburg). So, for this winter we’ve already received 8.05 inches, compared with the historical average for the first two months of winter 5.3. Remember, this is the Florida dry season.
Last week saw close to normal temperatures. The highest high for last week at WU was 78 (2/22). The lowest high was 7o (2/26). The highest low was 65 (2/23) and lowest low was the day after the freeze (44) (2/21). Four of seven days were above normal for highs and four were at or above normal for lows. Our average high for this time of the year is 73 and our average low is 55.
This Week (2/28-3/6): Get ready for the warmest weather of the winter. Look for highs above 80 degrees for most of the week. After a mild Saturday, with a chance of rain, the 80s arrive, and stay with us from Sunday through Wednesday. This is well above normal for this time of the year. There should be a little dip on Friday, then back to near normal by the end of the week.
There is a chance of rain over the weekend and then later in the week, by Thursday.
Looking Ahead: We are still in the driest and coldest time of the year. Rainfall averages are creeping upward (like the temperatures). Historic norms indicate cool and dry conditions through March, although we are not running true to form on this. Dry conditions will require more frequent irrigation. The rainy season is still months away.
Average temperatures are gradually rising. By the end of March averages will be in the upper-70s for highs and upper-50s for lows.
We are almost out of freeze season, with the week being the latest date for a recorded freeze in this area – March 5, 1893 the temperature reached 32 degrees. There are no recorded freezes for any date for the rest of the year, until November. On November 16, 1940, the low was 31 degrees.
Averages are not good guides, and we are currently running above historical averages, but with rather dramatic fluctuations. We reached or exceeded 80 degrees four times in January. February has been cooler. Readers will notice spring flowers appearing, well ahead of schedule. This means the winter vegetables may also flower early and bolt – if the warm weather continues.
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