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Global warming threatens Central Valley’s fruit and nut crops

Winter tule fogs in decline; no rest for the orchards

A peach orchard in Palisade, Colorado in full bloom.

A peach orchard in Palisade, Colorado in full bloom.

STAFF REPORT

FRISCO — The winter tule fog in California’s Central Valley may be fading with climate change, threatening part of the region’s multibillion dollar agricultural industy, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley researchers,

High-value crops like almonds, pistachios, cherries, apricots and peaches all need a winter dormant period that is triggered and maintained by cold temperatures, but those are becoming less reliable as the global climate warms. The new study, published May 15 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found a 46 percent drop in the number of fog days between the first of November and the end of February during the 32-year study period. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Showcase

Trees and what-not

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Reluctant dance.

FRISCO — A recent iPhone shots from an early morning jaunt along Ute Creek Road yieled some nice images, including the twin trees that seem to guard the little road. Mot much more to say. Enjoy the pics and share them around! Continue reading

Climate: Average April across the U.S.

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Temps for year-to-date still running below average

Staff Report

FRISCO — Despite a few cold snaps here and there, the average April temperature across the U.S. was remarkably close to normal, at .7 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, according to the latest monthly report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

Most of the country saw near-average readings for the month, with a narrow belt of above-normal temps along the West Coast and pocket of cold in the upper Midwest.

For the year to-date, however, the average temperature across the contiguous 48 states is .4 degrees below the 20th century average, making in the 36th-coldest January to April period on record, and the marking the coldest start to the year since 1993 — mainly due to very cold readings in the eastern U.S. Read the full report here. Continue reading

Morning photo: May snow

Springtime in the Rockies …

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Blades of grass in roadside puddle catch the spring snow in Frisco, Colorado.

Even though it feels a bit weird every time it happens, May snow is not really all that unusual in high-elevation mountain climates. In fact, when I look back through the Summit Voice archives for the past few years, I see that there have been at least one or two May snowstorms almost every year, with 2012 as a recent notable exception. The wet snow that falls in May sticks to everything, and the opening buds on many of the trees also help provide platforms that catch the flakes so even just a couple of inches can look pretty impressive. And it’s always a good time to get out and enjoy the fluff because by this time of year, each snowfall could easily be the last for the next 5 months or so. Visit our online Summit Voice gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County nature and landscape images. Continue reading

Morning photo: Signs of spring?

It’s about time!

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Check out how the willow catkin first opens on the sun-exposed top side. I used my old Fuji Finepix compact digital for this because it has a good macro function.

FRISCO — Slowly, almost grudgingly at first, spring advances with hints of green fuzz at the edge of some meadows and willows budding in the wetlands. Sometimes I have to remind myself that May in the high country is the equivalent of March at lower elevations, and that’s OK. It’s kind of exciting to see all that seasonal action compressed into a single month. Visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature images. Continue reading

Morning photo: Best of April

Month of contrasts …

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A straight out of the iPhone HDR shot, Meadow Creek wetlands, Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — What a month! Seemingly endless snowfall, at least for a while, with a major meltdown under way at valley elevations at the same time. As always, April was a month of contrasts, reflected by the images in our monthly compilation. From fiery sunrise to icy mornings and full moons, you can find more Summit County landscape and nature photography at our Fine Art America online gallery. Continue reading

Morning photo: Saturday set

Skeleton ice

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Ice at Pine Cove.

FRISCO — After months of stasis, things are changing fast in Summit County. with patches of green grass emerging from the side of snowbanks, as well as melting ice on local streams and, of course, Dillon Reservoir. It’s a great time to get out and see things visibly changing from day to day, and even hour to hour. In some of the coves facing the prevailing winds, ice from the winter piled up in great clumps and mounds, and as the surrounding snow melts away, you can see the structures that formed in the ice sheet to begin with — that’s why I call it skeleton ice. Continue reading

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