Signs of Spring: Mr. Robert’s 1st Grade

April 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Dr. C's Blog

I visited Mr. Robert’s first grade class at Ida Elementary School again today. We talked about signs of Spring.

I first came into the classroom wearing my winter coat, hat and gloves and asked the students if they were ready to measure the snow. That really got a rise out of the students and was a lot of fun. I had the kids break up into teams of three. One student was to write down what the group observed outside. A second student was suppose to make sure the observations were good and the third student was to present back in the classroom what the group found. It was a lot of fun. There were flowers and buds on trees, etc. I posted some pictures below of what we saw as well as the students’ worksheets. I stressed to them that they needed to use descriptive words with their observations such as the color or size.









Spring Seems to Have Sprung

March 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Dr. C's Blog

Hi All,
Wow, spring has sprung in Toledo and much of the eastern US. The snow has melted and temps have gotten in the the 60’s. What is going on? Well, there is a high pressure system to our east and low pressure center to our west. This causes the wind to come from the south bringing warmer temperatures. This has been a persistent situation. The low to the west has been out there for at least four days and it will slowly move over Toledo. The high has been in the 50’s to 60’s for all four days. This nice weather will end so we should all take advantage of it. I plan to plant my snap peas in the garden today when I get home from work. It is sad that I have to work today…

After winter, vegetation in this area starts coming out of its dormancy. I took some pictures of the vegetation starting to come to life.
Flowers on a maple tree. These are flowers on the tree not the bud bursting. The buds will burst in 3 or more weeks from now.

Magnolia bud.

Daffodils coming up at the University of Toledo

Daffodils are one of the first things that comes up in the spring.

GLOBE has some great information about bud burst and plant phenology.

Toledo Winter Slightly Above Average

February 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Dr. C's Blog

Hi All,
The meteorological winter is drawing to a close tonight as we enter March. The meteorological winter goes from Dec. 1 to Mar. 1 each year. We often hear of the first day of winter being Dec. 21 and the first day of spring being March 20 (this year). These are the first days of astronomical winter and spring. Dec. 21 is the longest night of the year and on March 20, the day and night are about equal. At solar noon, the sun will be over the equator, that is why it is called the Vernal Equinox. Anyway, before the winter started, I made some predictions about how the weather would go in Toledo. I even made predictions back in the summer. For anyone that I told, if you remember, I had trouble making the prediction. When the Pacific Decadal Oscillation went negative a few years ago, it meant more cold winters in the Great Lakes. But, this year was an El Nino year. In the summer it was tough to tell how strong El Nino would be. Well, the US did feel the effects of El Nino with storms coming into California and going across the south and then up the east coast. That is why there was so much snow in the south and the east coast. Most of the drought conditions in California, Texas and Florida have been eradicated. That’s cool. So, I predicted a colder than average winter with much hesitation. So, I was wrong by not that far off.

The winter in much of the US was colder than normal. In Toledo however, we were just slightly above average by 0.33 degrees F. That is pretty much average if you ask me. I have been keeping track of the monthly average temperature values in Toledo since 2008. If we look at the past couple of years, 2008 was warmer than average by 0.33 degrees F for the entire year and the winter temps were slightly above average as well. 2009 was right on average for the entire year but the winter was much below average in particular because January was a very cold month (7 degrees F below average).