I know most of us are happy with the mild/warm winter so far but there could be some consequences on down the road. Let's talk low temperatures. We have had only nine days below freezing at National airport since December first and only three of those in the twenties. On average we would have had sixteen nights in the twenties Downtown but not this year. Believe or night we have had only one day when highs held in the thirties. What could this lead to?
(Picture: Corcus up in Dnawnestown, MD)
The warm weather could fool plants into thinking spring has already sprung only to be shocked back with a cold snap. I have heard birds chirping that you usually do not hear until late February or early March. For example, if you planted a tree in the last month and it starts to push out roots thinking winter is over and then we get it with an arctic blast it could kill the tree. It could be a case where it never pushed out leaves in the spring. When and if we forecast an arctic blast you should soak the roots of any tree or shrub planted in the fall or early winter.
Another consequence of a warm winter could be a big year for ticks and mosquitoes. Arctic outbreaks are actually helpful in killing some unwelcome insects. We have already seen a consequence of a mild to warm winter with the increase in flu cases. Now, we can't blame that all on the mild winter but it does play a factor.