This spring really sprung ahead

Phenology is the observance of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate (ice out!), plants, and animals. We include a ton of such information in each year’s Weatherguide Environment™ Calendar and Almanac by teaming up with the phenomenal Jim Gilbert.

The USA National Phenology Network compiles a lot of this information and recently put together a national picture of how advanced spring was in various parts of the country. It’s an eye opener. You see firsthand that Minnesota was over two weeks early; it’s amazing how much of the U.S. was that or more.

Freshwater Society ties into this in two ways. We just sent the 2018 Weatherguide calendar, with its extensive phenology content, to the printer this week and are already taking orders from people who pounce on their Christmas shopping early.

Secondly, we’re working with cities and watersheds to facilitate discussions about how communities will adapt to changing conditions. For example, stormwater sewers built more than a decade ago are likely undersized — city engineers are now anticipating larger and more intense storms when they design new sewers. We help communities figure out what to do and how they want to accomplish it.

— Steve Woods, executive director