Saturday, April 18, 2009

How Fast Does Spring Move Northward?

Even though Saratoga is really not that far away (under two hours by car, less by crow), when it comes to all things Spring, it might as well be on another planet when compared to Newcomb! I find myself drooling over the colorful blossoms posted almost daily by Woodswalker over at the Saratoga Woods and Waters blog. "When will it be our turn?" she whined, knowing that snow was in the forecast and watching the thermometer plummet.'s the scoop.

Spring moves northward at about 16 miles per day, or about 100 miles per week. This only applies on ground level (say, the Great Plains). Spring moves uphill at about 100 feet per day. [Mountains - that's why we are so far behind!]

So, for example: Take two locales, City A and City B.
* A is 100 miles north of B;
* Plant X blooms in B on 1 April;
* Expect X to bloom in A about 8 April;
* However, if A is 800 feet higher than B, add antoher eight days: X will bloom in A about 16 April.'s a virtue.

In the meantime, we will enjoy our coltsfoot, daffodils and crocii.


  1. Very interesting. I've never seen those figures and I'm happy to know what they are. It's funny, there seems to be no other season whose advent we await with such concentration. When does spring pass into summer? I dunno. But how we wait and wait and wait for spring, charting every sign that it is arriving. It may be the only time of year we treasure our brave little weeds like coltsfoot and dandelion.

  2. I think I found this in Edwin Way Teale's book entiteld "Spring," but I wouldn't swear to it.

    But yes, waiting for Spring is like waiting for your birthday when you are a kid! Every little flower, frog, bird is like getting to open a present! And even though we know that the seasons turn and all the regulars will appear in due time, we still act like it's the first! I think it's an ancestral memory thing.

  3. I researched this, and found, on average Spring travels about 22 miles per day. And, it doesnt travel the same each day!