I only half believe most of the weather forecasts that I read or listen to. I generally take a broad view, assuming that the predictions are more ball park suggestions of what might happen day-to-day in my part of the world. Long-term forecasts seem more accurate than the dailies, but meteorology is an inexact science, which makes it fascinating to follow and keeps gardeners on their toes. Sometimes, those are frozen toes.
The forecast for Sunday was 100% rain, possibly turning to snow, with temperatures remaining a smidge above freezing. With the forecast of possible snow for Sunday, I was piqued, but realistic: nah, not gonna happen.
Mea culpa, I’m glad I was wrong! It did snow!
Snowfall is rare here in Austin, Texas. In past decades, we’d receive snow at intervals less than yearly, roughly every-other-year. In these climate change times, we’re much more likely to experience ice storms rather than snowfall. Yesterday, the white stuff began falling mid-morning and didn’t stop until late afternoon. My garden received an 1.5 inches of snow and was a welcome sight and wonderful change.
We prepared the beehives for the next few days of wet and cold conditions, mixing up a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water, just in case the bees have eaten through their honey stores (unlikely, but still…). So far, in these cold temperatures, the bees haven’t slurped the sweet stuff, but sugar water is ready for them in the next few days if they need it.
When the snowfall began, I assumed it would be a short event, turning to rain within an hour or so. As the temperature hovered just above freezing, I assumed the whatever snow fell would melt immediately, or nearly so, which proved accurate in the first hour. After a couple of hours of light to heavy snowfall, with no slow-down of snow fall, I donned a coat, hat, and gloves and commenced covering the few cold-sensitive plants in my garden. The only thing I regularly protect from our limited bouts of frosty winter weather are the several groups of Dianella or Flax Lily, Dianella tasmanica. A great plant for our hot summers and one of my favorites, as it’s beautiful in shady conditions, it’s the only plant that suffers true damage during cold temperatures. I really like this plant, so I’m committed to covering.
This morning sees clear skies and melting snow. It’ll warm a bit today, but a hard freeze is forecast for tonight; it’s January, it’s expected.
So for Monday, we say so long! to our brief snowy show and appreciate the distraction from the craziness of the world we live in.