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Cherry Blossoms in Wintertime

January 4, 2007

washington%20cherry%20trees.jpg Over the last couple of weeks, most of my neighbors and fellow New Yorkers have scratched their heads a few times when it came to the weather -- with temperatures sometimes 20 degrees or more above normal (it almost hit 60 today), it seems as if this is the "Year of the Winter That Wasn't". By this time, this far into the season, we've usually had a few snowstorms and a bunch of sub-freezing days.

Unseasonally warm temperatures are present all across the Eastern seaboard, and Mother Nature appears to be genuinely confused. I've heard stories about crocus buds popping up in gardens in New Jersey, and cherry trees sprouting buds in Washington, DC. In fact, there is a growing concern that this premature growth will seriously diminish cherry blossom production in May and June -- the normal season for the trees to be budding. If this keeps up, I'm sure we'll be hearing about animals doing some strange things as a result of their winter cycles being interrupted.

frozen%20cherry%20blossoms.jpg Amazingly, most of the scientific commentary about our weird weather points the finger not at global warming, but normal shifts in annual weather patterns, such as a north/eastward shift of the El Nino effect.


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