25 May 2008

Weather data

The current owners of the farm have replied to my query regarding the weather there. I really had no clue what is would be since it is relatively high (2,550 feet at the head of the driveway) and probably in a micro-climate formed by the Blue Ridge Mountains (six miles away) but nonetheless it is in the South.

The Strattons have kept careful records during the decade they have lived there and note:
The first frost is late October or into November. Last is officially May 15. Gardening gets underway seriously around here in early May but some folks say you should wait until June 1. I only remember one year when we had a serious freeze in May. A more common problem is freezing weather when fruit trees are in bloom in April. Last year everyone lost all peaches and cherries. This year they look excellent! In the last 3 years we have had a total of 4 days when it went above 90 deg (only 1 above 91) and we averaged only about 20 days a year when it got above 85. (The bigger surprise was mild winters: rarely below 15 deg. In the last 3 years we had only 5 nights below 10 deg. Lowest we have seen in 10 years was +6F.

This is very similar to the last decade in Santa Fe although the farm's summers are cooler and the winters are warmer, both by only a few degrees, but those few degrees can determine which plants thrive and which fail (as well as setting heating and cooling expenses). As far as I can tell from NOAA data, there are no tornadoes in Floyd County, a great relief to a boy raised in the tornado belt of the USA. Can this be Paradise?

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