The past month has been one of very noticeable temperature extremes, with nighttime and day time temperatures being more extreme than average. Of course, the excess heat is what gets people talking, and justifiably so. This month we set more record high temperatures, both locally and around the globe. The past month ran about ten degrees above the average high for Winston-Salem, with the nighttime temperatures occasionally dipping under the average low of 53 degrees. October 20th was particularly significant, breaking the 1938 record of 86 with a scorching 88 degrees. While it might not feel right to be carving pumpkins or shopping for Halloween costumes in flip flops, us North Carolinians should consider ourselves lucky. Temperatures in Arizona have also been record setting, with a good portion of the month being at 90 degrees or higher.
While these temperatures are unusual and even a little unsettling, September broke the streak of monthly average record high temperatures. While it was still above the 20th century average, last September was slightly cooler than the year before. It will be interesting to see where October falls in this fluctuation of records set.
Though it is unclear how this will affect our weather long term or our chances of having a white Christmas, we will keep an eye on the trends and learn to adapt with hardier plant selections. Even varieties of Bermudagrass are being developed that require less water and are more winter hardy, making them a more sustainable selection for our area. TifTuf Bermudagrass is a new selection of sod that tolerates foot traffic and keeps color longer, making it suitable for athletic fields and residential applications. Though it may be departing from the more traditional fescue, it may be the case in the future that we have to opt out for more tolerant species and varieties. For more information, please see our references below:
Despite the dreary rain and this week’s temperatures that are well below average, it has been reported by an article on wral.com that the planet as a whole has broken the monthly heat record for a 12th month in a row. The article attributes this in part to global warming and to El Nino, a oscillating weather pattern that can affect weather globally. The last month that did not have record setting warm temperatures was April 2015 and the last month that was not above the 20th century average was December, 1984. The last month to break a monthly cold record was December, 1916. This April broke the record set last April by two degrees. While it may not seem like much, this record warming is leading to consequences such as record low snow in the northern hemisphere.
How is this warming trend going to be affecting us this summer? Research conducted by North Carolina State University is predicting a very active hurricane season this year, with four to seven more named storms than normal and one to three more major hurricanes. This will be primarily driven by warmer than normal water temperatures near the coast (despite a cooling trend in the Atlantic) and lower wind shear. Of course, it doesn’t take a major hurricane to cause damage and flooding so it is best to prepare now before the hurricane season starts on June 1st. Check your emergency kit for a good supply of non-perishable food, water, blankets, clothing, batteries, and any pet supplies you may need.
To read more about the record setting temperatures, hurricane forecast, and how to prepare for potential summer storms follow the links below:
It appears that the groundhog was to be taken seriously this year as spring has arrived in full swing! Temperatures have swelled to much higher than average and have been right around record breaking, not that anyone’s complaining. Long-time residents of North Carolina may be questioning if these sweltering temperatures are here to stay, as we are often prone to a late frost or even snow. While the week has been extremely pleasant, it does seem that the weekend will bring on a regression to more normal temperatures before bumping back up into the 70’s. Warm temperatures and longer days have caused several plants to break into full bloom, most notably the tell-tale signs of spring, daffodils and crocuses. Species of cherries and magnolias are very apparent right now, with maples and redbuds not far behind. Unfortunately, unseasonably warmer weather will also bring about an unseasonably early allergy season. A surge in pollen production is already visibly apparent.
How will this weather affect the homeowner? If you have yet to have Larmore Landscape Associates prune your crape myrtles, roses, or ornamental grasses, now is the time! These plants need to be pruned before they begin putting out new growth, and in some cases that has already begun. With these high temperatures we are seeing plants break dormancy before they typically would. Make sure you are beginning your lawn care program! Your turf should have been aerated and seeded in the fall and now that you have a strong stand of grass to work with, you want to maintain it by having us spray for weeds. Remember, with the grass actively growing that means the weeds will also be actively growing. If you would like Larmore Landscape Associates to schedule any of these services, give us a call at 336-765-6340 and we will be happy to help!
If you would like to stay up to date on Larmore news and reports about the Winston-Salem climate, subscribe to our monthly newsletter by clicking here.
Photo Credit: From our Pinterest board “Fall Bulb Planting”
Here are some holiday events happening around town, each guaranteed to bring a little holiday cheer.
Take a Tour at the Reynolda House:
Reynolda house is offering A 1917 Christmas Day tours which include typical Christmas customs of the era and carols played on an Aeolian organ. Tours are $15 for members and students and $20 for non-members. Tour will be running until December 22nd.
Visit Old Salem:
Old Salem will be featuring historical Christmas traditions with both self-guided tours and their Christmas by Candlelight tours December 17th and 18th.
The Festival of Lights:
The Festival of Lights at Tanglewood Park will be running nightly through January 3rd. This is a delightful drive through the park accented with over 100 light displays.
UNC School of the Arts will be presenting the Nutcracker at the Stevens Center from December 12th to the 20th. The ballet is accompanied by a student symphony orchestra and guest principle dancers.
Winston-Salem Holiday Parade:
This parade will take place on December 5th and will start at 5PM on Fourth Street. The parade will conclude in a tree lighting celebration.
There are also many holiday events just outside of town. A quick Google search on Pilot Mountain Christmas, Bryson City’s Polar Express, the Country Christmas Train in Denton, and the Speedway Lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway will quickly yield plenty of holiday activities to keep any family in the spirit!
Larmore Landscape Associates, Inc. recently donated $11,500 to the Forsyth Humane Society. The money was raised during Larmore’s 2nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament, which was held at Maple Chase Golf and Country Club. Over 100 golfers participated in the event.
The gift will help the Forsyth Humane Society (FHS) feed, house, and find loving homes for over 800 cats and dogs this year. FHS is looking forward to helping even more animals and people when they move into their new home at 4881 Country Club Rd in the spring of 2016.
The Forsyth Humane Society has been working towards raising $3.8M with a capital campaign. They report they are very near their goal.
Larmore’s first Charity Golf Tournament raised money for Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful and Lab Rescue of North Carolina.
Registration for Larmore’s 2nd Annual Golf Tournament is now open. We’re doing our ticketing on Eventbrite so you can register 24/7 and use a credit card to sign up.
We have a new landscape designer: Jennifer Pries. Jennifer graduated from NC State with degrees in English and Horticulture. She also minored in creative writing and biology, with a concentration in landscape design. While at State, she spent two years in the plant disease and insect clinic assisting in the diagnosis of plant diseases.
Larmore has Father’s Day gift certificates available. Just give us a call — any amount is fine.
Please take a moment to read our April newsletter and find out what’s happening at Larmore Landscape Associates, Inc. Spring is a busy time for us and this month we begin our regular weekly mowing routes. It may be hard to believe but Larmore mows 3,000,000 square feet of lawns each week.
In this issue, you’ll find pictures from our Pinterest page and photos from a recent container project we did for a new restaurant in town.
If you are reading this issue and you are looking for a lawn care company to maintain your home or business, please give us a call at 336-765-6340. Ask for Pam Ripsom, our COO.