Climate normals are 30-year averages of weather data that provide a baseline to compare current weather. NOAA recently updated this average to the most recent 3 decades - what does this mean for our maps of spring?
Normals are long-term average climate products - they exist so we can compare today's weather to the long term average - for example, to find out if this January is colder than "normal." Since temperatures have been rising decade by decade, the period of comparison matters in showing the difference between current conditions and “normal.”
Hundreds of Nature's Notebook observers across the country are tracking the fall leaf color of plants including maples, oaks, and poplars. On our map below, you can see that while there is a range in the start of fall leaf color in all regions this year.