I can’t get going on a Monday without coffee, so yesterday I clicked onto Weatherbell Site to look at Dr. Ryan Maue’s  temperature maps from the GFS model, and clicked on South America to see if the forecasts were right, and they had frost on Sunday morning. The pink in the very south of Brazil shows they did.

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This is news because it is only the start of Autumn down there. It is more usual to get frost in the middle of their winter, which is July. This is like the orange groves of Florida getting frost in October, rather than January.

I got curious about the GFS forecast, so I clicked ahead through the next few days, and could see the early cold snap faded away. New Antarctic cold threatens at the bottom of the maps, but is curved to the east by the roaring Antarctic westerlies.

MONDAY MORNING  Brazil 2 gfs_t2m_samer_5TUESDAY MORNING  Brazil 3 gfs_t2m_samer_9WEDNESDAY MORNINGBrazil 4 gfs_t2m_samer_13

It has been suggested some of the farmers in Brazil have tried to grow coffee too far south. The same thing happened in the USA when some tried to grow oranges too far north in Florida, and even in Georgia. So one needs to check the map to see if this frost actually reached north to where coffee grows. Brazil 5 brazil-coffee-screen-shot-2013_07_17-at-8_35_50-am

It looks to me like the frosts were  just south of where the coffee is grown. But, if Global Warming was real, they should be able to grow coffee further south. Frost on the first of May, when the trees are just blooming, seems a good reason to avoid planting further south.

Something to think about, as I sip my second cup.




The frogs have gone silent. Spring is on hold
As the forest reverts to wraps of white.
The whining child complains he is cold
Despite the high sunshine’s dazzling light.

How fickle is hope. A weather-vane’s swing
From warm south to cold north invalidates
The misty-eyed vows made when hope was king.
Dethroned, he slinks to the shadows and waits.

Who will believe him, next time he strides forth?
Has he no shame? No sense of remorse?
And will I ever learn, or bet on the horse
That threw me? It is par for the course
That the whining child is soon seen heading
For the hills, to go joyously sledding.

There are many reasons the workers at my Farm-childcare are fed up with winter, and this is only one of them: (Or actually over 50).

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The spring peepers were singing for only a single day last week, and then the cold came charging back to shut them up. On Monday morning the drive to work crossed a dust of snow swirling on the frozen pavement. We were hoping the dusting would be only a dusting.

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The weekend’s howling winds had flattened the basketball hoops.

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And then it just snowed and snowed, until we had more than we got all winter, and pulling into work next day looked like this:

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About the only consolation was that, in December, it would have been pitch dark at 6:15 AM.

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We had to take things out that had been put away until next winter.

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Some children got more exercise than others.

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But the sun is as high as it is on Labor Day, and the snow can’t stay long.

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A great project will never be completed, as the shell-shocked grass gets back to greening.

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We had two successive mornings with temperatures down to 13 degrees (-10.6 Celsius) and nothing looked eager to bud out, however I noticed something, looking at the trees.

AS13 IMG_2411The lichen on the trunks of the trees had changed from an ashen gray to a very light pistachio green. I thought the kids might be interested in this, and told them to gather around, and explained a little about how lichen is actually two lives living together, a fungus and an algae.

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I went on to explain how lichen can live in the frozen north, is completely untroubled by frost, and grows as soon as it gets above freezing. I explained moss also is quick to respond to the slightest warmth.

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I can find this sort of stuff very engrossing, but when I looked up, expecting to see small faces filled with wonder, I saw my class was like April snow, and had faded fast.

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Fortunately my wife didn’t see this interlude. She would have reminded me I’m suppose to keep my eyes on the children, not on the lichen.

LOCAL VIEW –No Frost; No Fires–

It is a chilly morning, but not as cold as the GFS model threatened. The winds never fully died down, and out on Main Street I could see the Memorial Day flags slowly flapping on the electrical poles before dawn, making waving shadows on the street in the light of the street lights above. There were also some scattered clouds, and radar showed a few scattered sprinkles (not flurries) in the mountains to our north. The coldest temperature I could find in southern New Hampshire was 35° (+1.7° Celsius) in the low flats of Keene, well to our west. It was around 40° (+4.4° Celsius) here.

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(A Dr. Ryan Maue map from Weatherbell. Pink areas represent freezing.)

By tomorrow the storm south of us will grow, but slip out to sea.  The weak storm northwest of us will be drawn into it.

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As the storm passes out to sea the rain will once again miss us, staying south over Cape Cod.

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The northeast winds will be cold, but keep the overnight temperatures less cold.

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But after the storm passes, the back-side winds will drag down another shot of very cold air from the ice-covered waters of Hudson Bay, and I’ll worry about frost again. There’s a chance this might be record-setting cold.

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After that the warmer airs will start to slide in, as west winds replace the north winds. I’ll be able to shift my frost-worries to drought-worries. The first chance of rain looks like it will be Tuesday, as warmer and muggier air pushes a warm front north.

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It looks like we might even get a half inch, which sure would be nice. Even towards the coast in Boston, which has received coastal rains and snows that missed us, they have had very little water since a drenching in December, and basically nothing in May.

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One odd thing I note this morning is that, despite the chill, not a single chimney in town is puffing smoke. If this was September, and temperatures were first dipping into the thirties, you can bet everyone would be getting into winter-mode, and the first fires of the fall would be cheering hearths. Now, however, no one can bother with such blazes. Everyone knows the sun will be summer-high by mid morning, and so they don’t worry about a bit of chill.

I think I am going to follow their example, and skip worry for the rest of the morning. Outside the chorus of birdsong is like a sheer gushing of noise, an avalanche, a little like someone spilled buckets of glass bottles but none of them broke.

The birds don’t seem all that worried. A small and jaunty bird is pestering a meditative crow that is trying to watch the sunrise, silhouetted atop a tree to the orange east.