All of Maine will be in the cold today and snow flurries add to the fact that winter isn’t ready to let go just yet.

Most of the snow today will be confined to the southern most counties. We could see anywhere from a coating to 2 inches of snow, with the higher amounts south of Portland. The snow ends later this afternoon (if you see it at all) and then it’s clearing skies and lots of cold for the next couple of days.

mainesdf 1

The loop below shows the predicted progression of the snow (blue) during the day. This goes through 11 p.m this evening. Notice the snow never moves much further north than greater Portland.

Predicted Radar Loop Monday

Predicted Radar Loop Monday (WeatherBell)

With temperatures not too far from record lows Tuesday and Wednesday morning, it might have you thinking about how the plants and animals going to manage in this crazy spring weather. After one of the warmer winters on record and several days well above average already, many plants are currently weeks ahead of schedule. It’s not just the flora, the fauna is also behaving more like late April or early May.

Some Plants May Be Damaged

Any plant that’s been in the ground since at least last fall will survive the cold. What can happen is that flowers and early leaves become blackened from the cold. The trees will then need to push out a new set of leaves, but if things like magnolia flowers are killed you’ll need to wait until next year to hopefully see them again. Spring bulbs and other perennials will live, but again the flowers might be damaged. Pansies should be OK if you put them in the garden already, but here too the flowers might get blasted.

How cold it gets Tuesday and Wednesday morning will determine the type of damage certain plants sustain. The biggest concern would be for fruit trees which are a cash crop. If the flower buds are open enough they can be killed. If this happens the tree won’t produce any fruit this year.

Vegetable Gardens and Newly Seeded Lawns

First off it’s too early to seed a lawn, however if the seed was just put down it will likely still mostly germinate when the weather turns warm again. If you went out and bought some seedlings and put them in the ground these might be damaged or killed. While cool weather crops like lettuce, broccoli and Asian greens can survive a cold night, some of the plants sold at a nursery or big box store were likely grown in a greenhouse and therefore the plants aren’t hardened off enough to make it through a sub-20-degree night.

You could cover your plants with inverted pots or use something like a light sheet to protect them. Remember, the sun is very strong so be sure to vent them during the day or you can actually cook them even in cold weather.

Nature is very resilient, more so than some people give credit. While the cold and snow isn’t welcome by us, the world around us will keep on moving through spring, even if it’s going to feel like winter a bit longer.


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