Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 10, 2014

Gardeners still concerned about spring cold snaps

Somerset — Warm sunshine and spring flowers are welcome after a long, cold winter, but green-thumb gardeners still worry about frequent cold snaps that kill tender plants.

Frost, even a freeze, is possible during sure-to-come Redbud Winter, Dogwood Winter, Snowball Winter, Blackberry Winter and Linen Britches Winter. The National Weather Service Office at Jackson has compiled statistics showing early, late and median dates of springtime frosts and freezing temperatures in the Somerset-Pulaski County area.

Using a statistical period from 1981 to 2010 and a record period from 1950 to 2011, the Weather Service gives the following frost and freeze observations for the spring season in this area:

• Last 36-degree reading can range from April 9 to June 1. Median date for the last 36-degree reading is May 1.

The temperature can get colder than 36 degrees in June. A 34-degree official temperature on June 1, 1966, created a white frost and killed beans, tomatoes and other garden plants all over Pulaski County, according to the late Hugh Hurst, who was county agricultural Extension agent at the time. The June frost was the lead story in the Commonwealth Journal on June 2, 1966.

• Last 32-degree reading may vary from March 23 to May 27. Median date for the last 32-degree reading is April 20. The latest 32-degree reading on May 27 was in 1961, according to National Weather Service records.

• The latest 28-degree reading in springtime may occur between February 27 and May 10. The 28-degree reading on May 10 occurred in 1966, three weeks before the 34-degree reading on June 1. It was in 2011 that it got no colder than 28 degrees after February 27. Gardens were planted during that early spring, but some stuff got bit by a couple or three heavy frosts that occurred later.

Spring can bring some weird weather. For example, on May 19, 1886, a snowstorm left an accumulation of 6 inches across southern and central Kentucky, including Pulaski County. Trees were fully leafed and corn was ankle high.

The big May snow is recorded in “A History of Pulaski County, Kentucky” by Alma Owens Tibbals. The late Sam Cox, state forester in Pulaski County, said the wet snow, clinging to full foliage, left bended limbs still visible on old trees in woodlands.

This reporter’s father, the late Owen Mardis, told the story about the big May snow in Taylor County many times. The elder Mr. Mardis recalled that as he went to the barn to milk just before dark that night a cold rain was mixed with big, wet globs of snow. There was no electricity or electric lights in that time so it was impossible to see the snow in the dark of night. The next morning, May 20, 1886, 6 inches of snow covered grassy areas, Mardis said.

This reporter at one time had actual weather records of the big May snow recorded by a National Weather Service observer in Bowling Green. A weather station at Eubank recorded a high of 39 degrees on May 19, 1886.

Can beautiful spring weather turn ugly? The answer obviously is “yes.” Glen Conner, former state climatologist, told this reporter that snow flurries have been reported in Pulaski County in June.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Rift over firefighter pay finally history

    Somerset officials are closing the books on a years-long disagreement between the city and the state labor cabinet over overtime pay and other benefits for firefighters and EMS workers. 

    July 31, 2014

  • eubank school1.jt.jpg New cafeteria coming soon to Eubank Elementary

    Students at one elementary school in northern Pulaski County will be taking their lunches in the classroom for a bit while construction to its cafeteria continues. 

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • BURNSIDE LODGE-TURNER FOTO.jpg Turner to meet with commissioner on Burnside Island

    A state representative unhappy over secrecy surrounding possible privatization of General Burnside Island State Park said he will respond positively to an invitation to meet with Elaine Walker, commissioner of Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Ca

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Derek Kissee.jpg Science Hill man charged in Rockcastle County beating

    A Science Hill man has been accused of beating and leaving another Pulaski County man for dead in an abandoned Rockcastle County rock qu

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kingsford Fire 07-29-2014 KS 09.jpg No injuries, minimal damage at Kingsford Plant

    A normal production day at the Kingsford Charcoal Plant in southern Pulaski County was halted for a few hours while firefighters worked to put out a small blaze at the plant. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 020313 SCC Rogers BLdg-0286.jpg SCC tabbed as one of top places to work

    A national publication dedicated to all things secondary education has named Somerset Community College one of the best in the nation to work for. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Warning: Robo phone scam targeting local residents

    Authorities are warning local residents of a possible phone scam.

    July 28, 2014

  • Baskin Robbins Reopens 07-29-2014 JT 17.jpg Baskin Robbins is back in Somerset

    Even with two Dairy Queens, a new Orange Leaf and an ice cream truck, Somerset residents have still been screaming for more ice cream.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DOWNTOWN SIDEWALK FOTO.JPG Heated sidewalks provide sparks for workers
    A heated sidewalk to melt snow and ice was “quite the thing” a half century ago in a small town like Somerset. This town’s first and only electrically warmed sidewalk was installed facing Fountain Square alongside First and Farmers National Bank when the bank’s downtown headquarters building was constructed in 1963-64.
    As snow fell, the warm sidewalk melted a walkway about 2 feet wide alongside the bank. It was the talk of the town; quite a gimmick.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 021614 Citizens 11 Boyd randolph.jpg Somerset Schools will fight ruling

    The recent hearing regarding the conflict with county schools over non-resident students might not have gone Somerset’s way, but that doesn’t mean they’re done fighting.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

News Live
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks