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Warmth coaxes plants to sprout

Earth News: Wisconsin, USA
Photo: Unseasonably warm weather has caused some springtime plants to begin growing, such as these daffodils found Jan 06 in Hales Corners.

Jan 06, 2007
Unseasonably warm weather is starting to push plants such as daffodils, crocuses and tulips from their bulbs extraordinarily early this year. Normally, these plants bloom in March or April. Mosquitoes, in fact, have been seen buzzing around, and ticks are still present in southern woodlots. Saturday was the 29th consecutive day that winter temperatures were above freezing in Milwaukee and Madison. (Winter, in the eyes of the weather service, starts on Dec. 1 and runs through February.) If the mercury rises above freezing until Tuesday, it will break the record in Milwaukee. The weather service is predicting daytime temperatures above freezing until next Saturday. "This is probably the most extreme situation I've seen because (the warm weather) has lasted so long." The key farm crops that could be affected are winter wheat and alfalfa. Both are now greening up because of the warm weather. A more tenuous situation awaits them in February and March, when periods of freezing and melting can cover the plants in ice, serious damaging crop production

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