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About 6:00pm on Saturday, June 20th our calendars recorded the arrival of the Summer Solstice. Springtime was officially over. Lin remarked one day in mid-June that it had been a comfortably long and pleasant springtime. Turns out that it was quite unusual.
We know this as a result of analysis of citizen science data submitted to the USA National Phenology Network (https://www.usanpn.org/) an organization focused on tracking and sharing information on the timing of seasonal biological events such as leaf-out and flowering through an all-volunteer network.
For example, in our area, the data showed leaf-out of deciduous trees started earlier than usual and was ongoing for nearly two months longer than usual. At the same time, arrival of other signs of spring such as flowering was shorter than average.
Spring leaf-out arrived across much of the country 3-4 weeks earlier than the long-term average (1981-2010) in parts of the West, Southeast, and Northeast and up to 3 weeks late in parts of the northern Great Plains, upper Midwest, and upper Northeast.
Spring bloom flowering arrived across much of the country and followed a similar pattern of earlier spring bloom across the Southeast and later spring bloom in the northern Great Plains, Midwest, and parts of the Northeast.
In parts of the Southeast and Northwest, this year’s spring leaf-out was the earliest in the 39-year record. In parts of Nevada, Wyoming, and Montana, this year’s spring leaf-out was the latest on record.
In parts of the Midwest and Northeast, this year’s spring bloom was the latest on record.