Mild winter. Is it?

We've had quite a mild winter, with our coldest days coming very early -- in mid-November. Temperatures have been in the 40's F (5ºC) for most of the winter, or even warmer. We've had plenty of moisture too, mainly in the form of rain.


"Mild" can change to "wild" quite quickly though, as a high temp of 66ºF (19ºC) was followed later in the week by 10" (25cm) or more of snow.


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Who watches winter forecasts more closely than gardeners? (School children and teachers maybe?) As a bamboo grower I'm always hoping for a nice, mild and wet winter so I can see some good bamboo size increases in the spring. You can see how green all of the bamboos are still, evidence of the mildness so far:


The ice and snow doesn't really bother me too much, even though there is much bending:



Those culms will snap back up for the most part after a melt. (That's the view looking down from the bedroom window. There's usually a lot more driveway visible.)

What really worries me is the forecast for this weekend: a low of 0ºF (-18ºC) or possibly lower.


I had major bamboo damage last year with temperatures in this range, with well over a hundred dead culms (maybe over 200 -- I stopped counting). That was after a very dry autumn and early winter though, and those dry conditions reduced the cold hardiness of the bamboo significantly. We'll see how this goes when they're well hydrated.

When the winter is mainly warm with one or two short very cold snaps, is it still considered to be "mild"?

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outlawgardener  – (January 16, 2019 at 9:24 AM)  

Yup, teachers do love to watch weather forecasts. Thanks for the link. That's a lot of snow after a high of 66. We've had a mild winter so far and I'm hoping we don't have an unexpected cold snap. Hope your cold temperatures don't last long and your bamboo damage is minimal!

Alan  – (January 16, 2019 at 3:34 PM)  

And in a nice twist, the forecast temps for this weekend have been revised upward. :)

chavliness  – (January 17, 2019 at 10:56 AM)  

I always dread snow and ice, and so far Seattle had neither this winter. Fingers crossed there will be no surprises. Enjoy the snow while lasts.

Sr. Sinc  – (January 19, 2019 at 7:52 AM)  

I was hoping for some bamboo in the snow pics! Thanks Alan. Now that I am considering myself both Gardener and teacher the weather checks are multiple times daily.

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