We Need To Talk About the Weather

Today is August 31. Tomorrow starts Meteorological Autumn. Yes, I know, the true astronomical start to Autumn isn’t until September 22 (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere). But for those of us that follow the meteorological seasons, Autumn begins September 1. So the last day of summer is today (or it was a month ago if you live in Connecticut where we only get winter and July).

Summer was a doozy here. It was actually summer. For the first time in a long time it was warm most of the time. I didn’t wear fleece in July–very unlike me.

But of course that meant that it was warm–very warm (once the snow stopped in May). We broke the record for 90 degree days. There were 39 of them this year. This is nothing compared to places like Tucson which is breaking its record for 105 degree days but it is still remarkable.

It is also remarkable because it came during the driest summer on record. At my house, during July and August we had less than an inch of rain each month. June wasn’t much better. Our entire state, with the exception of one county, is in severe drought.

Dying rugosa roses in parking lot island

This is just one example of what things look like around our state. And yes, it’s easy to say that this is a hot area surrounded by pavement but these are rugosa roses. They are actually on our invasive plant list. If something like this is browning out, you know it’s bad.

Yellow Knockout rose

This is my garden–my rose garden to be specific. Remember how hardy Knockout roses are supposed to be without any extra water, fertilizer or chemicals? Here’s my yellow Knockout rose, yellowing badly. Others I have are not faring quite so poorly. You can see other roses in this bed holding their own as well. But clearly this Knockout is stressed.

You’ll notice that I talked about the fact that this is weather, not climate. The old saying goes that if you can observe it in your lifetime, it’s weather, not climate.

I won’t make any judgment yet. I will say that this is the second drought–this one being short term so far–that we have had. The last was over a 2-3 year period and was only a couple of years ago.

As for heat, our summers had been relatively mild. It was the night-time temperatures that were creeping up, leading to a lack of cooling overnight. We really haven’t had long-term heat like this.

So no dire predictions from me, just observations. And a remark that when I could get the tomatoes from the critters, they were great. This was a great year for tomatoes!

5 thoughts on “We Need To Talk About the Weather

  1. tonytomeo August 31, 2020 / 3:10 pm

    That exactly what my great grandmother would say, after observing weather for almost a century. She remembered some rather severe weather in the Santa Clara Valley, so could get annoyed when people complained about the weather. ‘Microclimates’ is a term than annoys me. There are many small climates zones around here, but they are legitimate climate zones.

  2. gardendaze August 31, 2020 / 3:20 pm

    I usually only refer microclimates when referring to something around my house! If something is growing well next to a warm brick wall, say, that’s a microclimate. I don’t think of it as anything larger than that!


  3. Mominthegarden September 1, 2020 / 4:28 am

    Oh dear! I hadn’t realized Connecticut was in a drought this summer. Sorry to hear that – tough on all accounts. Hopefully the weather will improve!

  4. gardendaze September 1, 2020 / 4:58 am

    Oh thank you! No one knew about our multi year drought a few years ago either and that one was pretty dramatic. We had watering restrictions and lakes were drying up and old towns were showing up at the bottom.

    But generally, if New England isn’t getting hit with a blizzard, our weather is ignored. People think it’s boring here, I guess. And compared to some of the devastating weather in other parts of the country right now, I would say that they are right.


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