The month of February has so far been a cool one. Several cold fronts moving through the area throughout the month have kept temperatures below-normal. In fact, there have been several days with freezing temperatures. Data through Wednesday, February 16th, shows temperatures across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions have averaged anywhere between 4 and 8 degrees below normal.
The recent stretch of cooler than normal temperatures is apparently keeping most plants and trees from thinking it’s spring, causing then to leaf out and bloom. Normally by mid-February, we see several plants and trees waking up from winter dormancy, putting out green leaves and spring blooms.
According to the National Phenology Network, a group which tracks the first leaves of spring across the county, spring leaf out started arriving over a week early in the southernmost part of Texas and Florida but then it slowed. Their latest calculations show spring leaf-out will be arriving one to two weeks late across much of Texas and the southeastern U.S. Spring bloom is predicted to arrive in the southern states, days to a week late in Texas and Florida, and days to several weeks early in Southern California. The spring leaf anomaly compares the arrival of spring leaf out this year to the long-term average of 1991-2020.
With more cool temperatures expected next week, the arrival of spring trees and spring blooms may be delayed even further. Stay tuned as we see how the late winter weather pattern evolves.