She’s been a warm one
The 85-year-old Solon Township man has already harvested tomatoes and cucumbers planted in a grow box earlier this year. His other garden vegetables, planted on the east side of Co. Rd. 651 south of Cedar, are also growing quickly.
Garvin planted his earliest crops in mid-April, a little sooner than usual due to the unusual weather pattern which brought on spring prematurely. While those seeds took root, plants may not have developed as quickly. According to published reports from the National Weather Service, June marked the first month of 2012 in which high temperatures came in lower than the 20-year average of 76.8 degrees — or probably not. The statistics are “probably not reliable,” according to a NWS spokesman.
The temperature data was incomplete, missing a two-week period from June 9 through 22. However, substituting temperatures taken in Traverse City, June turned out to be warmer than average — by more than two degrees.
“It’s been a hot pattern. The longrange climate outlook had us in it,” said Keith Berger, meterologist with the National Weather Service Gaylord office. “This has been true in the northern Great Plains and Great Lakes. All trends indicate this will continue for the next 30 to 60 days.”
The year 2012 started warm, and stayed that way.The New Year brought in an average high of 34.1 degrees, nearly five degrees higher than the average between 1981 and 2010. Things moderated a little in February when the average high in Maple City was 36. Still it was 3.5 degrees higher than the 29-year average of 32.5 degrees.
The average high that month was 56.4 — nearly 15 degrees above the 1981-2010 average of 41.6. This was also higher than the 30-year average for the following month, April, with an average of 55.
May was five degrees higher than average at 72.4.
Even with incomplete data and barring an unforeseen, extended cold snap, Leelanau County appears headed toward one of the warmest spells in recent memory.
In the final days of June, high temperatures averaged 85 degrees and continued to swelter through the first days of July.
The thermometer has reached or eclipsed the 90-degree mark three times since the beginning of the month bumping the average high to 4.8 degrees higher than the 29-year average.
“We went through 600 bags of ice in a two-to-three-day period last week,” said Roger Mikowski, meat manager at Buntings Cedar Market. “We had our best Fourth ever.”
Mikowski said sales of water during the Cedar PolkaFest doubled over the same period last year.
Based on the short-term forecast, it will continue to be good garden weather. Highs were expected to range from the high 70’s to mid-80’s by the weekend. The first sign of showers aren’t expected until Sunday.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last year was the coolest since 2008 in terms of global average temperature, which was about 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit (14.4 degrees Celsius.). But it still remained among the 15 warmest years since records began in the late 1800s, the agency said. Temperatures were also above average for the period 1980-2010.