Spring's Coming Out Party May Spell Trouble

With a spring fever alert out for the next week all seems well. But Tony says this early warmth might backfire on us. Might the beauty of spring be fleeting this year?

 Spring Fever Alert for Days!

 Extra, extra, read all about it. Spring is early this year and for the next one to two weeks, Old Man Winter will not even get within sniffing range. You see one of those rare weather patterns is unfolding that will lead to a prolonged period of May-like warmth.
In fact by the time it does get cold again, we will have changed the seasons and it will officially be spring.
This Tuesday evening the sundown temperature was still close to 70 degrees with at least one girl’s softball practice on-going at the 3rd avenue and 28th street diamond here in Huntington. Dare I say ball fields are also busy from Frank Horn Field in Inez to Harmon Park in Point Pleasant to Tracy Park in Portsmouth?
Meanwhile the season of rebirth has also jumped the gun with flowers and trees bursting at the seam. Mind you the crocus and daffodils are known to frequent our region in mid-March, but rarely with such early vibrancy and luster. Here’s a look at the flowers in full bloom at Central Park in Ashland through the digital lens of Jammie Leigh.
Since Easter is a bit late this year and the flowers a bit early, the tradition at Central Park to take pictures with young kids/infants will have to be done in the next few weeks else you risk missing the floral finery.
Meanwhile, the trees too are bursting onto the scene. The Redbuds started in late February this year and are in full bloom this week. Now the Saucer and Tulip Magnolia are having their coming out party. On my walk around the lake today, the weeping cherry and flowering crab apple trees were bashfully emerging and as I showed on 5:30 Edition the ornamental Bradford and Cleveland pear trees are coming out of tight cluster in the white bloom stage.
Given how warm it will be for the next week, I suspect full blooming pear and cherry trees next week. While the ornamentals are non-fruit-producing, they mirror the stage of the fruit making pear, cherry and apples trees. I spoke with Steve Richards from the famous Richards brothers orchards in Jackson Ohio today. “We are way ahead of schedule and so yes, there is a concern we will come too fast too quickly”, Steve told me as we talked about the last time this happened.
Recall in 2007, we had an extraordinarily warm month and the trees hit full bloom in late March. When a long cold snap arrived Easter weekend complete with snow, the beauty of the season was zapped and the worst fruit freeze since the 1960s virtually wiped out the peach, pear and apple crops that year.
Are we heading down that road again this year? Time will tell but my gut says a moderate to severe freeze is a good bet because of this prolonged spell of early spring weather.
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