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I am new to Dave's Garden and just exploring a few forums. I have been a NWS Co-op observer for several years and also CoCoRaHS observer. I live in east central Kentucky, about 40 miles SE of Lexington. Part of my interest in weather is related to anticipating rains that bring the Red River (which borders our farm) into flood so that we have no access in and out.
Our bridge crosses a creek that is a tributary of the Red River, and may go under water if rain is sufficient. The weekend we moved here (or attempted to) in 2004 was the second highest recorded crest on the river. My husband and daughter had to go in and out by jon boat for 6 days. I had just retired, so was happy to stay here during that time since house is on high ground.
Hi sunfarm, Welcome to DG.
We've been having temps at 0 or below for several days. We are supposed to have a gradual warm up in the 30,s the next week.We have'nt broken any records except duration records.
I live on a mountain in the Arkansas Ozarks abt 30 miles from town.Still have snow on the ground.
We retired outhere in the middle of nowhere and love it.
I'm intrested in weather also.More so in theory tho. And natural observational weather.
Always helps to have your house on high ground. LOL
There was practically no snow melting today.Still more school closings for tomorrow.A couple of schools had frozen than broken water pipes. We are learning the hard way what northern people have known forever. 0 degree temps are not good for people,pets,or pipes. Hopefully they are bad for ticks,chiggars, and other pesky bugs.I have heard a hard winter kills them. Hope so.
Yes, this weather is pretty weird. We did not get above 24 degrees yesterday but some of the snow melted and consolidated when the sun came out. We have 2" total still on the ground. The temperature dipped to near zero in the early hours of the morning but was over 20 when I did my 8AM official observation. Bad news is that my husband's car did not start when he tried to leave for work. He didn;t even try to go in Friday, as roads were too dangerous. I am sure there are still slick spots, especially on rural roads, but he will try it as soon as the battery takes a charge.
Hi sunfarm, I'm a SKYWARN member and ham radio operator (NV5X), located in Baytown, Texas. At one time I had an official rain gauge and called in rainfall amounts weekly on a radio net. Since moving to Baytown, I just never got back into it.
Hi Don, I was a HAM novice WN5AWU Way back when. Was so busy being a mom to my two and their classemates I never followed thru. I did injoy it tho and met some super people.
We've got warmer temps but that brought fog down on our mountain. So still a pain to travel. As long as i can keep the car between the lines, i don't worry.Once i get into town the fog lifts.
Welcome to the thread.
Am i right Baytown is just below Houston?
Glad you read my post. Maybe CoCoRaHS [Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network] would be something of interest to you and to others interested in watching the weather. It is a volunteer effort nationwide to track precipitation by a great number of local reports.
All you need is a rain gauge (of an approved design) and a board for measuring snow for those of us for whom frozen precipitation is expected. Reports are submitted online, so it is easy and quick. It is not involved with tracking temperatures or other, more complicated weather phenomena. It is based at Colorado State University. Check out the program at www.cocorahs.org. The data collected are available almost instantly to the public and are quite interesting to those of us watching where precipitation is occurring--or not.
Hi cando1. We have had a warmup too. It was 55 here yesterday and about the same expected today. We had almost two weeks where the temperature did not go above freezing. At last the snow has finally melted. We are expecting nearly an inch of rain starting after midnight tonight and into Monday morning. I am grateful that it will be coming from the south and that there is no Arctic airmass to cause it to arrive as snow. That would be both spectacular and difficult, as recent snow:rain ratios have been running about 40:1.
Yes, my rainfall measurement activities were CoCoRaHS sponsored. I loved that rain gauge until some idiot used it for target practice. I have the CoCoRaHS web site bookmarked. I love weather watching and might order a gauge and get back into it. Lord knows we don't need a snow gauge around here.
Cando, I don't do much as a ham nowadays. Hurricane Ike took out my antennas and I haven't had the heart to rebuild them. Anyway, I have too many hobbies. lol In fact the reason I found DG a few days ago is because my koi pond sprung a leak and I had to tear it out and build a new one and needed some advice on some things.
The main environmental threat to my rain gauge has been my daughter's horses reaching over the fence and taking the tops off. Boredom, I guess. I now have the gauge mounted on a board that cantilevers off the fencepost into the yard so that they are less likely to reach it.
cando1 wrote: Don have you seen any sign of spring at all? or is it too early yet for you too?
No sign whatsoever. In fact, we have had the coldest winter I can remember. Dang, this global warming, anyway. Actually, Monday is supposed to be a nice day with temps approaching 70 degrees. Maybe I can get some work done on my koi pond.
Hi, all! I haven't done any "official" weather watching for any organizations--just unofficially for my own benefit--LOL. I don't have a rain guage but I do have a big thermometer on my back porch where the sun can't hit it and I keep an unofficial eye on the temperature. I need to check out that link which you posted
sunfarm, and see what I need to do to join.
As Vickie (cando1) has said, we have had some unusually (for us) cold temps here in Arkansas the first 2 weeks in January. Vickie lives probably an hour and a half to the west and slightly north of where I am. Plus she lives on a mountain so she normally has cooler temps and more snow than we do here in Cabot. However, the last few days have been warmer--even up into the 60's. I took advantage of the good weather on Friday to spend a couple of hours in the flower bed. It rained on Saturday but yesterday was another nice day. I got out and took a few photos of some of the things that are pushing up through the
leaves. I was very surprised to find anything at all but it did give me hope that spring will be here soon! (hopefully) This is a photo of some sedum which I discovered beneath the leaves.
Hi Marsue, please do check out the CoCoRaHS website. You can look at information for your area (or others of interest) without committing to become an observer, but the do welcome anyone willing to record and submit precipitation information. Particularly if you live in a mountainous region, as I do, the weather can vary greatly over just a few miles.
We are in the midst of the "January thaw." I know it won't last but hope DH can get some better tires on his car before the next round of ice and snow hits,
Sure did injoy our brief warm spell. Temp is now below freezing.I've been keeping an eye out for some Crocus. But so far,notta.
Saw 3 deer grazing in my field so there must be some Rye grass there among the old growth weeds. Also looking for the first robin. Sometimes a pair will spend the winter but not this year.
Vickie, I saw 6 robins in my yard a couple of days ago--did that ever make me happy! When the robins arrive can spring be far behind? However, you were correct in saying that it was a 'brief' warm spell. It got cold (to me) again last night. It was a mere 36F on my back porch this morning. (I know all you northerners are rolling on the floor laughing right about now.)
ALL RIGHT Marsue!! They should be up this way within a week.
They will get a rude welcome tho. Up here in northern ARK,We're predicted to get rain changing to ice,sleet and snow for thursday into friday.With temps in the 20,s
Hope it misses you.
Hi - I am new here and have always been interested in weather, and it is something there is a great deal of here in coastal Maine. I observe for CoCoRahs, station name Hancock 2.5 SE. CoCoRahs always need new members. The more data they have the better, and the information is useful to several organizations. Only takes a few minutes each morning.
It felt like spring today, sunny, up into the 40's, the wind is very cold though. Spring is slow to come here on the coast. The ocean keeps it considerably cooler than it is even 10 miles inland. In order to keep one's sanity, it is helpful to realize that April is a winter month here, and it is only the beginning of March. Still a long way to go, but nice to have a bit of a break.
Hi ledgegardener! It is good to hear from another CoCoRaHS volunteer. My station is KY-ES-2, aka Irvine 9.9 NNW. I wish we could get more people willing to help with the project. The goal is to have an observer for every square mile of the US, but they have a long way to go. As you say, it takes very little daily effort. I sent them a contribution in January and got a cool T shirt.
I will be glad when we are past needing to record snow data, though I have found an easy way to do the cores for rain equivalents. When I retired four years ago I sold most of my company's equipment, though I kept a lab scale that weighs to 0.01 gram. I have a pair of glass dishes that are the same diameter as the rain gauge outer tube, so I just invert them over the new and total snow portions of the board and weigh them with the captured snow, using a spatula as necessary to scrape up any bits left on the board. The dishes are already tared and I had previously figured out the weight equivalents for 0.01" of rain, so I don't have to go to the trouble of melting them to get the rain equivalent. Saves a lot of time.
Yes, melting snow is a bit of a chore, and I am under the gun to be off to work by 7:15 a.m.! I have a scale and will have to check to see if it does 0.01 gram.
I invert the gauge in a small sauce pan, use a spatula as you do to get the last flake out. Then I turn the burner on and watch with an eagle eye until the last clump of snow melts, and then very carefully pour it into the measuring tube.
I have a pretty good spot for my rain gauge that is convenient, and also a spot to measure new snow - I need to improve that spot so I can measure total snow (it is not a large area). Next year I should probably shovel a path to a spot I can use for total snow measurements. The trouble is there has been so much wind !
Sure do wish more folks would join CoCoRahs. Many gardeners watch the weather anyway and sharing the information can help build a better data base for lots of useful purposes.
You do not necessarily need a scale with such great precision. According to my calculations, a 4" gauge would have 205.82 grams of water per 0.01" of rainfall. I haven't figured where the breakpoints are for rounding. I also tared the funnels and tubes of my gauges (I have both the plastic 4" gauge and an 8" metal and plastic NWS gauge) for ease of weighing accumulated snow or ice without having to melt them down.
I use two snow boards given me by the NWS that are smooth-coated white masonite. I use them on a picnic table top that is in an open location in my yard and not subject to traffic by the local dogs and wildlife, except the occasional bird. MY NWS co-op station is CSYK2; I report to the National Weather Service;s Jackson office, one of three in Kentucky. We are about 40 miles SE of Lexington, in the western part of the Appalachians. The terrain has a tremendous influence on local weather conditions; we have over 260' of elevation difference on our farm. I discovered the variations in weather and microclimate when I worked as a construction inspector for many years--sometimes making the difference of whether or not we could pour concrete .
Yep - I definitely have to figure out a better way for measuring accumulated snow cover. The new snow I got covered. I do not have a lot of "open space" since it is very wooded here, and any place I can get to easily my 140 pound buddy can get too also, and his hot little tootsies pack down the snow and turn it to ice. He likes to find the highest spot and play "king of the mountain".
Micro climates here too - in winter by snowfall, usually more here than 12 miles away in Ellsworth and in the summer it can be 90 in Ellsworth and 70 here if there is a sea breeze. Eventually, I would like to report for the NWS. I have always enjoyed watching the weather.
Being a co-op observer for the NWS is not that difficult, but does require daily input at a particular time. This was ideal for me as a retiree. I was lucky to have family members as backups to submit reports when I was hospitalized last year.
The NWS supplies a device for measuring temperatures (MMTS is electronic, with the receiver in a convenient indoor location and sensor outside) as well as rain gauge. Usually they provide the same gauge as that used by CoCoRaHS, though I wanted the old-style 8" gauge as well. They also supply reporting forms on paper as well as online.
I goofed in reporting the weight equivalent of rain for my 4" gauge. The 205.82 grams is for 1.00" of rain. I guess it would be "heavy water" if it were one hundredth of that!
The spring newsletter for CoCoRaHS Kentucky has just been published on the website for NWS Jackson, Kentucky. I was surprised to see that I was one of only 18 (of the 278) observers in Kentucky that did not miss an observation since Dec. 1. I guess they are grateful for whatever data we submit.
The observing has just become part of my daily routine. Most observers do their at 7AM; I find it more convenient (and safer1) to do mine at 8AM. By that time, even with Daylight Savings, it is light enough to see what I am doing when I go out to the garden and I can see and report sky conditions as a part of my co-op observation to NWS.
BTW, Ledgegardener, I looked at your profile and checked on the books you had reviewed. They are right up my alley, so I ordered both from amazon.com. Thanks for the suggestions.
Hey keep up the good work with the daily reports! I miss once in a while, but not too often. When I do it is because of a lack of internet connection: - 1 - from heavy precipitation or ; 2 - Wild Blue slows my connection speed to 127 K for over use of bandwidth. Only way to get anything better than dial up here is with satellite.
This was my first winter with a hoop house. Had a total collapse in first snow! But got it to go back up after having to slice the plastic to let the snow and ice drain inside. A neighbor put in a temporary ridge pole and I got some 2 x 4 's underneath to hold up the roof. It has worked - so far. Yesterday I harvested the first little bit of lettuce, enough for a salad. Wonderful to have fresh greens from my garden at this time of year. I did learn that one has to find a way to keep moles / voles or whatever little critter it is from eating the greens. A plastic milk jug pushed into the ground works well.
I hope you like the books - The Garden Primer is my favorite garden reference - chatty and filled with info. The Four Season Harvest - well that is where I got the idea for this little green house adventure. It would work even better down south where you are. Can be done on the cheap too. Had plans with pics from the internet. Barbara Damrosh and Eliot Coleman live on the on Cape Rosier on the other side of Penobscot Bay - maybe 30 miles as the eagle flies. Took a drive over to their Four Season Farm last fall, with the summer neighbors - but they were closed. Will go again this summer. Enjoy the books. Pic is of the buried greenhouse (after something of a recovery from the collapse.)
Sorry about your hoop house collapse. How much snow have you had this winter? We have had 19" so far (and I hope that is it) which is 50% more than last year. That probably doesn't sound like much to you, but anything more than 1/2" is a problem for most Kentucky drivers, and we live in a rural area with steep hills so have access problems if it gets icy, even with 4WD.
I have thought about using some old windows to make a cold frame type structure for starting some things, but haven't done anything yet.This is the time of year I get antsy about gardening and overambitious. I have to remember that I am still recovering from breast cancer this past year so still have problems with stamina. I don;'t need to overdo, even though I am feeling pretty well.
Tell me about Internet access! We don't have broadband available this far out, and when we looked into satellite we found it was not secure enough for my husband to use it for any of his work. He is an engineer for a printer manufacturer and must commute to Lexington (40 miles each way). He'd love to be able to do some work from home. We had a dialup connection @ a miserable 24 kbps until "mobile broadband" through our cellular service [the only one that works out here] became available last summer. It is supposed to be 6X faster than dialup, but often leaves much to be desired when there is much traffic on the local towers.
So far it has been an easy winter, Mid December to mid January we had a couple of snow storms that seems to last 3 days each (see picture below) - and the only precipitation since then was a heavy rain storm when the mid Atlantic got their 30 inches. Not quite mid March yet and the ground is bare now, only a little left in the deeply shady spots in the woods. We are not out of the woods yet as far as snow. The year before last the heaviest snow storm 18 inches came in mid April!
I knew I should have put supports on under the greenhouse roof, and I had it on the weekend to-do list, but I finished stacking the wood on a Wednesday afternoon and the snow came in the night on a Friday. I was out there in horizontal blowing snow cleaning off the roof off and the wind was blowing in the 40 to 50 mph range. That would have been fine, but it turned to a heavy wet snow and then to rain, and by light in the morning the roof was down. It is recoverable though and I am the wise for it. I like weather - it is a challenge, although I no longer think it is fun to drive in bad weather. Had a "simple car accident" while doing some winter driving for work - went off the road with a jolt and ended up with a spinal fusion. I have to pace myself too ... but it is better for me to keep moving - just the correct pacing is a challenge.
So Sunfarm - you take care of yourself!
I tried the digital modem - but because I an in "extended coverage area" it was just as slow as dial up. Internet access is a big problem here. New tower going up in Lamoine, that might make a difference.
The picture is on the snow on the wood pile in early January - the corner of the greenhouse is in the picture.
Ledgegardener, you can keep the big snow! We have had a total of 19" this season and hope no more comes, though traditionally we have a last blast before the end of March. That may happen this year.
I have gotten more conservative as a driver as I have gotten older. I can remember driving from a town about 40 miles from where I worked all the way in second gear, about 20 miles per hour because of the snow. No more of that! I shall just stay home as much as possible. The birds need me to keep their feeders full.
Sunfarm - I could not agree with you more! I hope no more snow for us this winter too. It is deceptively springlike here, touched 50 yesterday. We are not out of the woods snow wise until mid April. ( A sad fact of life is April is a winter month here.)
Congrats on doing so well in the contest. We have 278 observers signed up in Kentucky, but according to the recent quarterly newsletter only 18 of us submitted reports each day from the beginning of December to the end of February. I was one of them. It is not that much trouble.
Happy first day of spring. It is mild here today (near 70) but was at freezing this morning. Rain is due tomorrow afternoon and evening. We are in pretty good shape so far this year (as to precip), but are looking at longterm possibility of drought by late summer. We grow Christmas trees on our farm, so we don't need that!
Under normal weather standards today would be considered a pretty good day in March. It is cloudy, threatening rain / snow showers and in the low 40's.
Yesterday - the first day of spring was incredible - it would have made a perfectly good first day of summer. It was sunny, no wind and the temp made it well into the 60's. The clouds moved in late in the afternoon, but the temp still held in the 60's. Both Bangor and Portland broke record highs for the day.
We are in need of a good warm soaking rain. We are behind! The last significant precipitation was February 26th when we had 1.78 inches of rain (not snow). That was the weekend of heavy rain and snow to the south of Hancock county.
Fir trees in the yard when we had snow. My land is a mixed forest - maple, oak, pine and various fir trees.
Nice picture of the snowy trees. We grow Douglas fir, white spruce, and Norway spruce as choose-&-cut Christmas trees. The previous owners of our farm started the Christmas tree operation with scots pines and white pines. Most of our land is rough, in third growth deciduous woods with some pines and junipers. We had a bad drought the second year we were here--the well went dry and we lost all seedlings we planted that year. The water table changed enough permanently that we cannot grow trees in areas where the trees were before. I hope that doesn't happen again. We had to haul water to the white spruce field in 2007, but all the tiny trees made it.
It has been a dry winter, normal snowfall in December and January, but then no precipitation of any kind until a rainstorm when the Mid Atlantic coast got all that snow, then essentially nothing until yesterday when we got 1.67 inches of rain.
Had a drought a few years back and lots of people on East Side Rd had to have new wells drilled. I was fine - when I had got the house, I dowsed (sp) the site for the well. I get 22 gallons of water a minute of the sweetest, coldest water you could ever want, at 125 feet. In contrast the summer neighbor's well is 435 feet and has a strong odor of sulfur.
Last summer was very rainy, in fact we only had 2 weeks of "summer" in August - terrible gardening year. I did not get the blight here though, I think because I grew my own tomato seedlings.
Manna from the Heavens - in the form of rain - makes all the difference - no matter how much water you apply to your vegetable patch it will never do as well as when that moisture is applied from above. Something pondered for eons, but true just the same. When someone comes up with the answer please share.