Saturday, March 12, 2011
Record Lows and Winter to Spring all in a few hours!
The good news here in St. Johns is that most of the frost this morning is on the rooftops or cars. I found a little slight frost in the grassy areas. Our lows here hit 35 degrees. Jacksonville International Airport had a record low of 32 which broke the record of 33 set back in 1998. The beaches as expected had lows near 40 while the normally colder locations like Folkston and Macclenny plummeted to 31 degrees. The frost in these areas was light which is good news for our plants. There are different degrees of frost and with our warm ground thanks to several days with highs in the 80s in February it does look like any plant damage will be minimal. This type of frost is called a "slight frost". A light to moderate frost usually occurs when temperatures fall as low as 28 to 31 degrees, while a killing frost usually takes place with temperatures below 28 degrees. We did not see anything like that last night as forecasted. Now we can get on with our Spring and the world's biggest 15k run!!
Bring on the rite of Spring here in Jacksonville which of course is the Gate River Run and it will feel like Spring. Today's rebound in temperatures may be even more impressive than last night's record lows. By noon most of us will be in the middle 60s. Temperatures will be rising about 8 degrees per hour. Dry air masses can cool down quickly but also can heat up in a hurry especially with a strong March sun. Make sure you have your sunscreen for the race. Best of all, you will not have to worry about running against the wind over the Green Monster or Hart Bridge. You will have a slight back wind! Have a great race!
I am off to my garden where my plants are in good shape! My daughters are ready to help me out. It does not get any better! We have a lot of planting to do today especially with no more frost to worry about in the forecast. In fact, warmer than average temperatures will likely be with us through much of the rest of March. Next week we will be running about 5 to 10 degrees above normal with highs in the middle to upper 70s on the way by Sunday. We could top 80 by St. Patrick's Day which is next Thursday. Unfortunately, the news on rain is not as good for the fertilizer I am putting down today. I will have more on this here on the blog this weekend and talk more about the Japan earthquake that actually impacted the earth's rotation! God bless all those folks and have a great day!