Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Warm Spring - Understatement of the Century

I mentioned in a previous post that this spring has been really warm.  We saw that the vines were already starting to push with scale crack stage in mid-March.  In early April we have seen the vines at the stage just before bud break and for Arrow Lakes Vineyard this is what we usually experience at the end of April.
So I wanted to see just how this April compares to other "Warm" April temperatures and looked through the data that Environment Canada has for the Kelowna station.  I went back to 1899 and found that there is data for each year but that the station location has moved a bit, but not to far from present day Kelowna Airport location.  This has some importance because when comparing year over year you want the same location to mimic the same conditions etc.  (A low spot can attract cold air, closer to the lake has a moderating effect etc etc.)  The differences that noticed from location to location dont appear to be that magnificent.

 So here is what I found.  The normal average for Kelowna Airport is approximately 8.4 celcius for the month of April.  The warmest April on record that I could find since 1899 is in 1934 with an average of 11.4 celcius.  I've put the five warmest Aprils since 1899 in the table.

So has April 2016 been warm?....are you ready for this.....we are on target for an average of 13.0 for April "WOW".  Forget "warm"  this is smokin' hot and consider that the normal May average for Kelowna is approximately 12.9 explains why we are 2-3 weeks ahead. See the table below.

I googled "earliest bud break ever 2016" and it would appear that from California to Kelowna bud break is way ahead and the earliest ever recorded in many locations.