Author Topic: Our Weather -2020  (Read 2425 times)

whwoz

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #15 on: 2020-01-05, 12:07:26 AM »
good to hear that the smoke passed you by Richard, we have had it for the last 4 or 5 days limiting vision to about 500m, lights on in car if driving anytime of day..  air cleared a lot today with 6 mm of rain, but expecting smoke to come back.

Have heard the rainfall of some of the areas of southern NSW that have been hit hard recently, Moruya one example 900mm averge rainfall, last two years 400mm and 200mm, no wonder that the rain forests went up in smoke

Richard Watson

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #16 on: 2020-01-05, 01:08:10 AM »
Looking like the smoke will not be pushed this way in the coming days, looks to be heading more to the NW for at least 4 days
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
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PhilaGardener

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #17 on: 2020-01-10, 04:41:59 AM »
The Australian fires are such a unimaginable loss of life and natural diversity in such unique ecosystems.  It is an incredible tragedy . . .
Growing near Philadelphia, PA, USA

Richard Watson

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #18 on: 2020-01-10, 09:49:15 AM »
After a cool start to summer the weather pattern changes from today onward, had lots of winds from the south that's kept it cooler than normal for the last month, now high air pressure sits over us meaning away from the coast things heat up, just as well as there's been so little growth in my Camote clones, hopefully should see the flowers start to open over the next two weeks.
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps

William S.

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #19 on: 2020-01-10, 10:46:50 AM »
The Australian fires are such a unimaginable loss of life and natural diversity in such unique ecosystems.  It is an incredible tragedy . . .

The reports of wildlife destruction certainly sound bad. Keep in mind though that these are fire evolved systems and even though the scale is perhaps greater than ever, total destruction of the ecosystems by fire should be a slow process. That said, it sounds like Australia is pretty low elevation in general which puts it at very high risk and may make for systems reaching the edge of their ecological tolerances sooner than in systems with more of an elevation gradient.

I used to work in a Southern California mountain range with an enormous elevational range. In a system like that you would expect to loose the subalpine at the top and then everything else just kind of bumps up the mountain at least potentially. No mountains, no where to go.

Talking Australian plants in North America, I've seen Eucalyptus species growing from Southern California to the Seattle area. Usually at pretty low elevation.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Richard Watson

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #20 on: 2020-01-10, 01:06:16 PM »
Thankfully the native forests of NZ are low in inflammability. Last summer there was a forest fire north of here that burnt out a pine plantation that was surrounded by native trees, the fire only scorched the trees closest to the pines.
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps

whwoz

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #21 on: 2020-01-10, 07:20:32 PM »
Yes you are fortunate Richard.  Here we have had over 40 000 years of fire culture which has adapted our bush to burning, not a real problem in itself unless you stop that pattern of burning....

There  are often small pockets of bush left untouched in our bushfires, but whether they have survived and are large enough to support animals for re-colonisation remains to be seen.  Only time will tell what the true ecological cost of these fires will be.

Much cooler today in the South East and we got some spin off rain from cyclone Blake, but nowhere near enough and the fire zone got even less.

Richard Watson

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #22 on: 2020-01-10, 09:30:37 PM »
The spin off from cyclone Blake also stirred up a fair amount of dust too looking at today's satellite ,

Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps

reed

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #23 on: 2020-01-11, 10:07:16 AM »
I guess the eucalyptus trees are pretty flammable. The only tree we have here with similar properties is Eastern Red Cedar but they are extremely difficult to set on fire unless they are extremely dry, like after a couple weeks in the house as a Christmas tree.  A small tree caught in a tall grass fire might burn, more likely it is just killed and finishes turning brown and drying up later on. A big healthy tree simply shrugs it off entirely. Also our other trees for the most part are not badly harmed if the dry leaves under them burn.

We, in my memory have never had a drought lasting for years, I wonder if they might act differently if that happened.  I saw a terrible video of a koala trying to escape the fire by climbing higher up. If the eucalyptus is like our cedar in that a big healthy one shrugs off the fire that would be a good evolutionary strategy and one that makes since the eucalyptus, the koalas and the fires have coexisted for a long time. Seems like something is different now, other than just the size of the fires in area. Looks like it is so dry and so hot that everything burns.

Looks like what happened in the Smokey Mountains Park a couple years ago. Their trees are similar to ours  but when a drought combined with 90 mph wind and a spark, everything burned. The bark of big oak and maple trees was on fire top to bottom, the didn't survive it. Not just the surface of dry leaves, like I'v seen around here once in awhile  but the deeper layers of forest litter burned, on some of the steep slopes noting left but rocks when it finally did rain. Spooky stuff.

PhilaGardener

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #24 on: 2020-01-11, 04:31:49 PM »
Most fire-adapted ecosystems historically experienced fire on a regular basis - fires were fast and quick and kept the amount of flammable material from building up.  Some fire adapted species even require a burn to release their seeds and/or germinate.

When humans suppress those fires, the fuel builds up and then the burn is a unnatural in its severity and intensity.  That, with hot dry conditions, literally sets the tinderbox.
Growing near Philadelphia, PA, USA

William S.

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #25 on: 2020-01-11, 05:38:02 PM »
Here it's supposed to burn, ecosystems are fire adapted. The local indigenous people used to burn all the time to manage the landscape. They still do, but are only one wildland fire and land management agency for a relatively small area. Agencies try to run controlled burns to mimic that, also logging and thinning. Still way too many low elevation forests here are too densely stocked. Housing developments, farms, ranches, cities, and more are too close to the wildland urban interface which greatly slows the ability to conduct controlled burns. So ever since the fires of 2000 every couple years we get slammed with a mega fire year. Most recently 2017. We've had two years off, don't know how long that will last. Often if we don't get hit hard here in Montana some other Western state does like California or even Alaska. Though it is really a global phenomenon as the current fires in Australia show.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

William S.

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Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Steph S

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #27 on: 2020-01-12, 09:29:18 AM »
Our forest has a natural fire cycle too, which has been interrupted by greater effort to suppress fire, and also the encroachment of human habitation makes it still more undesirable to burn.   Locally where I'm living there hasn't been a fire for well over 100 years, maybe longer, and not much cutting either.   The spruce and fir here don't live more than 100 on average, of the older trees many are falling or fallen.  The uncut thickets that spring up are mostly killed by competition, leave a dense mess of sticks between the slightly taller survivors.  That generation is increasingly prone to the 'late fire cycle' fungi - witches broom and others that basically cause the tree to produce a mess of flammable resin and twigs, more or less fire bomb material.   
I am looking at a big job here to try and manage the situation, before our turn at drought comes around.
Seems counterintuitive to be cutting trees, but so many are just trunks with a frond on top, you would have as much photosynthetic mass again in a couple of years, only closer to the ground.

Richard Watson

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #28 on: 2020-01-28, 12:11:01 PM »
After a cold spell early in the month normal summer temps have arrived over the last week. The Camote clones have really taken off and so flowering shouldn't be to far off
« Last Edit: 2020-01-28, 04:23:18 PM by Richard Watson »
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps

Kim K.

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Re: Our Weather -2020
« Reply #29 on: 2020-02-06, 10:22:50 AM »
We're getting another ice storm today in New England, at least inland (by the coast it was too warm.) Just gearing up for more rain. It's been very warm the past 6 weeks, with temperatures often rising into the 40s during the day. A lot of the plants, even the native ones, think it's spring. There are snowdrops blooming in protected spots and budswell on Carolina roses (a native species around here.) I'm a little concerned that it winter could suddenly kick in in February and March and do some damage.
Gardening in rocky, slightly acidic sandy loam on the southern New England coast. Zone 7a, with wicked freeze/thaw cycles all winter. 44" of precipitation spread evenly throughout the year.