Why Is This Winter So Cold?

by Kathy Purdy on January 10, 2010 · 14 comments

in Weather

snow covered trike

Yesterday, the low here was 8F (-13C). That’s not too surprising. But Dee Nash of Red Dirt Ramblings told me her low that same day was 5F (-15C) in Oklahoma. Whoa! What’s going on here? Check out Eric Berger’s explanation in the Houston Chronicle. It turns out a lot of factors have contributed to the south being colder than the north in many cases.

Of course, today the low was -7F (-22C) this morning, the coldest it’s been all winter. But we’re used to it (whether or not we like it) and those Southerners are not.

About

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy's been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

I don't mean to complain about my own garden. It serves me and satisfies me quite well, except at the moments when I get into despair over it: very frequent moments, when I long to have some other sort of garden, quite different; a garden in Spain, a garden in Italy, a garden in Provence, a garden in Scotland.
Vita Sackville-West

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Dee/reddirtramblings January 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Yes, it’s been very cold this year. However, our weather is supposed to improve over the next week until we’re in the 60s. Such are our winters. Thanks so much for the link love.~~Dee

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Kochsgarden.com January 15, 2010 at 4:15 am

Eric Berger has the info. Its been really cold here in the Great Lakes but thats normal for winter. Its all about long term cycles and there is nothing we can do other than move. I wish I could move but with work and family I just can not do it. So I’ve been thinking about a highend greenhouse. That would be a great way to beat the winter blues. Love the blog!

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Bob January 13, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Hello,

I live in St Petersburg, Fl. and I know alot people laugh when we complain of the cold down here. We usually will endure a light freeze or two in a typical winter and my garden makes it thru with little differcult. This winter however was different. In my area we have had 7 consecutive days of hard freezes. My yard which is very large and tropical in nature looks like a wild fire went thru it. it will take years to repair the damage.

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Kathy Purdy January 13, 2010 at 7:41 pm

It’s no laughing matter. Cold and heat are relative to what you are used to. If you’ve planted plants appropriate to your climate, and they get killed by unusual weather, it is really disheartening.

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Ilona January 12, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I found myself sympathizing with the Southerners- “They’re just not prepared for this”. What a winter, eh?

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Mr. McGregor's Daughter January 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm

This has been a weird winter. While slightly colder than the “average” here, it really hasn’t been a cold winter in Chicagoland. It’s like the area of cold is just a lot bigger.

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TC January 11, 2010 at 11:35 am

The older I get the colder I get.

(Ms. Kathy, thank you for updating my old Blogger blog to my new WordPress blog in your Garden Blog Directory.)

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JWLW January 11, 2010 at 10:18 am

Good Morning Kathy: Eric Berger’s Explanation answers a lot of questions about what’s going on. Those of us living in the North East for many years have been conditioned for the cold weather and garden accordingly. We also have a place in Florida and can sympathize with those from the South. Neighbors are telling us everything looks OK but they have not taken a close up look, we know what can happen when the plants thaw. Going to Florida Soon and will see what has happened.

Have a great Day,
John

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commonweeder January 11, 2010 at 10:06 am

It’s cold here – as usual. Actually, perhaps not quite as cold as usual. One neighbor complained to me but I thought we are just having seasonal weather. When we first moved here January temperatures stayed below zero, sometime well below zero for days and weeks at a time, with wind! We were inZone 4. Now temperatures rarely go below zero and don’t stay there for long. I think we are pretty safely in Zone 5 – except that we still do have that wind, lots of wind, that makes us feel really cold. It is my daughter near Houston, and granddaughter in Florida who are really not happy these days.

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Kathy Purdy January 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm

My experience is similar to yours. It hasn’t been as cold in recent years as it was 20-plus years ago when we moved here. Some winters are windy and some are not for us.

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Pam/Digging January 10, 2010 at 10:56 pm

It was 15 in my Austin garden a couple of mornings ago. Not good for plants used to light freezes, if any.

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Lynn January 10, 2010 at 6:40 pm

5 degrees in the OK state is rough. Interesting to read the reasons why. I was recently thinking it hasn’t been as bad this year as last winter, but now recall the really cold bits didn’t come until the 2nd week of January. The pretty snows help raise the winter spirits a lot, too.

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Katie January 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I’ve noticed that my blood has thinned CONSIDERABLY since moving to coastal North Carolina from the Adirondacks. But, it could be that I also just don’t have as many warm clothes as I used to!

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Debra Lee Baldwin January 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Kathy, that photo of of the tricycle really says it all. Brrr.

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