Monday, January 4, 2016

Very Warm December

December 2015 proved to be one of the warmest Decembers on record here in western NC.  Day after day of temperatures more than 40 degrees above normal.  Nighttime lows higher than the normal high for the day.

We also had day after day of heavy rains.  More than 12 inches in one week.  It remained warm and there was flash flooding in many places.  Several roads were closed because of standing water.  All the fields and some houses along the French Broad River Basin were flooded.  But then the sun came out and the days felt just like spring.  We even got to 70 degrees!

I noticed our camellias were budding out so I clipped a few buds and put them inside, thinking I would save a couple of them before the inevitable frost.

How nice to have a flower in mid-winter

 To my surprise, the inevitable frost did not happen.  And so the camellias burst forth full blooms.  What a sight to behold.

 Such a strange sight on New Year's Day

No one is sure exactly what the effects will be for the spring flora.  Most say the fruit trees will not bear as well because they will not have had the required number of cold days.  The bulbs will be shorter stemmed and the tulips and daffodils will be only a few inches tall.  In the worst cast scenario, we could have a hard freeze prior to some colder weather.  It has not been sufficiently cold to bring the sap "down" so a hard freeze would be a death knell for some trees.

In truth, there is nothing we can do to change these events short-term.  So the best advice which I decided to follow is to sit back and enjoy the blossoms while they are here.  But there is also a bit of sadness when I realize the hellebores are done for the year.

Thank goodness our weather has returned to more seasonable temperatures.  That's a good start.  Now if it will just stay colder before a hard freeze...


Nance said...

Lovely! We here in NEO are getting Winter now, and I am chiding myself for being irked. Still no measurable snow, but the icy winds off Lake Erie make me stay indoors, and 25-30 degrees is a far cry from December's 40-65! How easily I became spoilt.

Incredibly, I had baby dill in my herb garden and new growth on my oregano, sage, and thyme. They are on the East side of the house and sheltered by the neighbor's home. It's all Very Odd, and like you, I wonder what Spring will look like.

Temperatures will be on a rollercoaster for the foreseeable; we are back to almost 50 later this week!

Carolina Linthead said...

I just got around to doing a bit of prep for winter here in Xenia. As Nance says, we are now hovering around freezing after a warm December, but the forecast is very volatile. Very odd...we came back from our cruise and washed all our light clothing, thinking we wouldn't see it again until May. Then we looked at Hickory's temps, packed some of the very clothes we had just laundered, and headed down for Christmas!

Busy Bee Suz said...

The blooms are beautiful indeed! It's been unseasonably warm here as well....which is not unusual, but unusual for this time of year. I think Christmas day and the past July 4th we had the same temperature and humidity. {MY HAIR!!}
I hope the days ahead look good for all of us.

The Bug said...

Yes - so hot in Hickory over Christmas! I was a sweaty mess - MOST un-Christmaslike!

Anonymous said...

We had unseasonably cold temps here on the north coast of California in December. Several nights of hard freezes. I think we're starting the year with more average temps, and I'm hoping for average rainfall, rather than the deluge we ended the year with. I hope things return to more normal temps and precipitation so all things will grow well in spring there.

Arkansas Patti said...

Wow, that is definitely spring like. Our daffodils are coming up and I hear the treas that usually produce acorns for the deer and wildlife to eat will suffer and not produce. This might be even a stranger year.

Ms. A said...

If I remember correctly, our Christmas temp was 83, so we had the AC on. Very unseasonable, even for Texas.

Unknown said...

Same thoughts in SW IN. With some spring shrubs blooming I wonder what this spring will bring, maybe not spring flowers. Daffodils and iris are growing. We picked really nice turnips last week and the radishes grown for ground cover are still very green and still growing.

Mary Lee said...

Our lawn is green and lush and our trees have already started budding. Unfortunately, the weeds in my plant beds are lush and green, too. 36 degrees doesn't exactly inspire me to go forth and weed though.

Your camellias are gorgeous. You have convinced me that I need a soft pink camellia bush.

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Lowcarb team member said...

The weather is well and truly mixed and may get more confusing, we will have to see what happens and deal with whatever comes / happens.

I just love camellias, yours looks a lovely colour.

All the best Jan

NanaNor's said...

I have to say I wouldn't mind having camellias during winter. We have had an extremely cold couple of months with more snow in the forecast by the weekend. Happy New Year to you and yours!

KB said...

What beautiful flowers to have blooming on New Year's Day! Gorgeous. Such a treat!

We had a scenario last year when Oct and early Nov were very warm. Then the temperature suddenly fell to -20°F. It had very bad effects on many shrubs and trees. The bears really suffered because their foods didn't grow like most years. I had no idea that an event in the fall could affect what happened the following summer!

Happy New Year to you.

Ginnie said...

It's interesting to live in the same State that you do but have such different weather conditions. I don't remember getting as much rain as we have this last month. I too am glad that the weather is more like normal now and hope the fruit growers won't be hurt too badly.

Vicki Lane said...

What beauties those camellias are! I've enjoyed the quince we brought inside -- what's left outside looks pretty sad.