It is hard to believe but we still have some fruit on the trees! Exactly what type of crop is still unknown and it probably will be another month before we know for sure. One of the bright spots are the pawpaws (oh yes, I don’t believe I mentioned them yet this year). They are loaded with flowers. In 2010 when we lost our apple crop the pawpaw flowers were also frozen out. By the way, while I have had frost damage in my orchards since I started selling fruit (1976) 2010 was the first year the apples were wiped out almost completely. The problem that year, like this year, wasn’t late (with respect to normal) frost but early bloom, although the apples in 2010 didn’t bloom nearly as early as this year–this year was unbelievable!. An interesting note. We have a few apple trees at our home by Pickerel Lake and I checked the blossoms–no damage was discovered whatever! The coldest I know it got down to at our home was right around 32F although it could have reached 31F. If it gets as cold as some forecasts predict this weekend, we also might have problems with our tomatoes that we planted in our high tunnel last week. So far they came through those light frosts over the weekend just fine.
Now a bit about the warm up that’s coming starting one week from today. First off, I think there is a good chance that we won’t have a damaging frost in May of this year. While our frost free date at the farm is right around May 15, I remember several years there was no frost in May. How warm will it get next week? It looks like at least the 70s and if more big solar flares happen at the same time, it could again set records. It seems obvious that heating in the interior of the sun creates the solar flares and this heat is then projected to the earth causing a slight increase in temperature wherever it’s clear AND their is warm air aloft since the warm air keeps the sun heated air down near the surface.