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How does the spring of 2017 stack up to the recent past?

Sat, Mar 04, 2017

March 20th is the Spring Equinox, which marks the official start of spring on your calendar. In 2017, the biological start of spring occurred much earlier than average in a large part of the Great Basin, Great Plains, Midwest, and mid-Atlantic.  Spring also arrived 2-3 weeks early across much of the South, although it typically has arrived by March 20th and therefore is represented as "average conditions" on this map. In the Great Basin and central Great Plains, spring arrived even earlier than 2012, a recent year with a very early start to spring.

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Lilacs showed very early activity in 2012

Wed, Jan 15, 2014

Dedicated volunteers have been tracking the phenology of cloned and common lilacs for decades, and these observations have been invaluable in documenting plant responses to changing spring conditions. In 2012, we launched a campaign to garner more commitment among Nature's Notebook participants to tracking lilacs.

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In Memory of Joseph Caprio (1923-2011)

Mon, Oct 31, 2011

Joe Caprio initiated the first spatially extensive phenology monitoring in the United States. As a professor in the College of Agriculture at Montana State University, he collaborated with agricultural experiment stations in the 1950s to employ phenology to characterize seasonal weather patterns and improve predictions of crop yield. This project eventually included around 2,500 volunteer observers distributed throughout 12 Western states.