Its snowing

By 10 AM we had a mix of snow, frozen mix, and rain. Shortly there after, it became snow.

Its now after 2pm, and its been snowing now since almost 10am. At 10am it was a mix of snow, rain, and more like a frozen rain. By 11 or so its been all snow. And it hasn’t stopped snowing. Sometimes its been light, sometimes much heavier. Even trees are getting covered and holding the snow.

Tomorrow should be warmer, even though tonight may get down to 26. And by Wednesday we should be up to the low 60’s.

This is central Texas weather.

UPDATE: We snowed from just after 10am until about 4pm. It may not seem to be a lot of snow compared to other areas, but here it was something of a big deal. This area is not known for snow, so its not something most people are prepared for. Did we get a lot, just less than 1 inch I would say, but that would be just for where I am.

It has left houses, yards, trees covered in snow. The streets in my area seemed to melt most of the snow away. There’s still some slush, but it didn’t look too bad. I still would not want to have been driving in it, but I don’t know how to drive in snow. The issue we have now is tonight is supposed to get colder. So will it freeze and leave us with a layer of ice over streets, overpasses, etc., that remains to be seen.

My funny issue has been my dogs. One was willing to go out into the snow, but the other one was not. I expect tomorrow, if it warms up I will have to make sure they both go for a walk. Today was a strange day as far as they are concerned. But overall they’ve taken the snow okay, even if not great.

Winter In Central Texas

Yes, for anybody that wonders how hard it can be to garden in central Texas, today Jan 4, 2021 it is now 75 degrees outside. Sounds wonderful? Maybe if you are in dark cold snowy weather. BUT guess what it does to your garden. The poor plants don’t know what to do. Is this spring, summer, will it get cold? So yes, your lettuce may bolt, your peppers may even start sprouting, but what will happen?

Well, where the temperature will drop slightly, down into the 60’s later this week, we could still get cold 31-30 degree nights later this weekend. And we don’t really have much in the way of rain coming. So you can plant, or at least try, but what will the weather be like next week?

That’s why gardening here can be sometimes a significant challenge. We don’t have an easy to understand winter, nor do we necessarily have cold rainy weather. Water will always be an issue. And once it doesn’t finally get out of the cold, may be next month February, it may go from 60’s to 80’s. That may feel nice, no real cold, but you also miss that slow growing season.

By the time you hit the 80’s, you are now looking at jumping into the high 80’s to the low 90’s. And it won’t take long.

This is the challenge of gardening here in Texas. The seasons may be “short” and you may not have much time to grow what you want. It also means that direct seed sowing/growing, what I do, can be an iffy proposition. Plants may germinate when the temperature is right, but the calendar says its not time. And that is what can make it a challenge – planting seeds/plants at the right time, before it gets hot, regardless of what the calendar says.

Welcome to gardening in central Texas.

Still cold

We have had an honest to goodness rain and cold front event. Even though we had 2″ of rain the other day, yesterday we got an additional 1/2″ of rain. And cold weather, as in almost freezing nights cold weather.

Today, New Years Day 2021 it is blue skies, clear, and still a bit on the cold side. Where the forecast says we are going for a high of 52, with these clear skies we are also going for a low tonight of freezing, 32 degrees. We have a light breeze and I don’t see us getting anything in the way of clouds to keep us any warmer than that tonight.

I have covered my lemon trees, at least those I can, with green “planket” cloth, and two trees have lights in them to help keep them warm. Those are outdoor incandescent type Christmas lights. The incandescent lights provide a bit of warmth, LED lights don’t. Since my covered patio area stays warmer, since its covered, I have moved some plants back toward the house to keep them warm.

So the yard is doing okay. I do have a few things to do to it, figure out some planters that just didn’t work (not sure why they didn’t), and I need to pick up more soil and more landscape pins, those things are handy, and I’m already getting my 2021 seed catalogues. So it’s already looking like its time to start thinking of what to plant for this year.

Everybody, welcome to 2021.

Another cold front

We started this morning at a balmy 70 degrees. Now, 8 hours later, 6pm, it is now 53. We are going for a low of low 30’s, we’ll see how low it goes.

In addition its been raining. We’ve managed about a 1 inch of rain today. We’re also due for rain all day tomorrow. We’ll see how much we get.

But its nice having some cold weather. Its good for the plants, and it kills of bugs. And of course we could use the rain.

As for the garden, we spent this late morning turning the beds. We pulled out the old dead squash plants, pulled up the drip watering system, then turned the soil down to about 6 inches. I would have gone deeper but I couldn’t find forked cultivator. I ended up using a long handled narrow spade. I worked with what I had but if I can’t find some of my larger tools I may need to do a Home Depot run. We did put two bags of soil that had been sitting around into one of the beds. We probably need to pick up a bit more soil, but we can do that another day.

Now we need to wait to see what the weather does. The next few nights are due to be around freezing, or just above. Then our days are up back to the mid 60’s to 70’s.

Such is central Texas weather.

UPDATE: by next morning, we’ve had 2″ of rain. We had quite a thunderstorm come through this morning. But its now 2 inches of rain, and we are still raining.

Another cold

Well we had another cold front earlier. We even had rain Saturday morning. We actually had 1-1/2 inches of rain. Its been a while since we’ve had rain. Our drought conditions have currently put us in severe to extreme drought conditions. Rain has not be in our radar for a while. But it was good to get what we did.

Between now and the end of the year, about a week and a half away, we expect to hit a couple of days of 70, but most will be in the 60’s. We don’t have another freeze here on the forecast for the next 10 days, but our evenings will be in the right 30’s to mid 40’s. Maybe we’ll get some rain, but there is not even a 50% chance. So I’m not holding my breath on that.

But such is Texas weather. It was a hot summer, hopefully at some point we’ll get some good cold. But if we do, its not yet.

FROST!!

We finally have our first real cold snap. Our temperatures have dropped from the 70’s down to low to mid 50’s. And tonight (YEAH!) we should get down somewhere just below freezing. I’ve seen the temperature for tonight rated as anywhere from 27-30, so we’ll just have to see where it gets. But we are due for a cold snap. Since we got rain over the weekend, just shy of 1″ here at the house, we’ve had time to dry out. So I don’t expect a lot of icy roads tomorrow, but it could happen.

In preparation I have covered plants. I have not covered my swiss chard nor my lettuce. I did cover the squash coming up and all the citrus trees. We did get some light wind over the weekend, after I had covered the squash. I ended up putting pieces of wood to help hold down the plankets (you know those plant blankets they sell, more like thin flexible paper than blankets). But I have high hopes for the squash surviving. We’re shooting for a high of 53 here, but by 10pm the temperatures should have already fallen down to mid 30’s.

I’ve also moved plants that were outside on the deck close to the house. Since the area close to the house is covered and sheltered, it does keep a few degrees warmer than out in the open. Its will get chilly, but not quite as cold as those plants out in the yard. Obviously these are plants in pots, including some succulents and my tomatoes.

I will say, I do miss the weather station set up we had at the old house. I may have to figure out how to set up something that will give me that same amount of information. That system showed me the changes in 5 minute increments, so I knew how quickly temperatures dropped. But of course, when we moved, we couldn’t easily move that.

Let’s see what tonight’s weather brings.

UPDATE: its 10:45 pm and it is already 31 degrees outside. It will be a cold night for Austin.

Winter?

Rumor, actually the weather service, has it we might actually get some cold weather. Where we’ve been 80 or close to it (tomorrow Thanksgiving its supposed to be 76), by Sunday evening we should be down to 37. And Monday evening we may even hit a low of 30. We’ll see if that actually happens, but it would be nice to get the cool down.

The other nice possibility is where tomorrow should be 76, Friday should drop to a high of 64 and maybe rain, and Saturday may bring thunderstorms and a high of 53. For the week after that we should be no higher than 65. That would be nice, a bit of a cool down. We will see if we actually cool down that much and if we stay cool for a few days. And we could definitely use the rain.

But at this point the weather service says we are finally going to get out the high warm temperatures and start our fall temperature cool down, with maybe our first frost of the season. Yeah, provided it actually happens. I’d even settle for chilly nights in the mid 30’s. That would be a welcome change.

Summer/fall

As strange as it sounds, we are in fall. Why is that strange? Because it is the middle of November and we are in the low 80’s. If this were a different section of the country, you might think we were in summer. Except we are a week from Thanksgiving, and this should be fall weather. This is warm even for Central Texas. The only thing that says we are not in summer is the fact that we don’t have longs days of summer sun.

But beyond that, this is autumn 2020 in Central Texas. For reference, my peppers are growing!! Even my squash plants are flowering! I will say with all that has been going on, 2020 has been a strange year.

WHAT KIND OF WEATHER IS THIS!!

Our nights are nice, though some areas have had frost. Here in the Austin/Dripping Springs area I have yet to get even close to a frost. I don’t know when we’ll get a frost, but I’m sure one will be on its way sometime soon. At least I sure hope so.

Cold front

The weather in Austin has actually be rather nice the past few days/weeks. I took a long weekend trip earlier this month and came back to 90 degree weather. So Austin has been warm to nice. Nice being mid to high 80’s. But today we have had a cold front come in.

I was out walking the boys (my dogs) a couple of hours ago, just before noon. It was lovely, though a bit overcast. It was warm, a little bit humid, in the mid 70’s, my watch said 76. While walking the boys there was a light breeze. But during this walk I encountered a cool breeze. In a matter of minutes that cool breeze became a cold breeze. Still a breeze, no great strength to it. But the temperature began to drop. I had left wearing jeans, a tee shirt, with a denim shirt (no jacket), and the temperature began enough of a drop for me to begin to get chilled.

Now, just a couple of hours later, the temperature has fallen to 50 degrees per my watch. That’s a 20+ degrees drop in a matter of a couple of hours.

We even had a short shower outside. Not much, it registered as less than 1/2″ of rain. But needless to say, its a cold rain, on now a cold day.

The forecast – rain and mid 40’s for tonight.

As for plants, well I plan to cover the tomatoes or at least bring them in so they are under the patio. Those plants I’m worried about will probably be placed in the same area. Those I’m not worried about, the lettuce, flowers, mint, etc. those can stay outside. Since we don’t expect to get even close to freezing I’m not going to be concerned about them. Yes if it gets cold enough I may lose a few plants. But here in this area first front is due in less than a month, so those plants should be winding down anyways.

Maybe it really is autumn, going into winter here in Austin.

Its Beautiful

Strange as this may sound, central Texas has fit what is officially fall/autumn. And the weather is great. This is some of the nicest weather we get. The highs have been in the mid 80’s, for the most part humidity is down, the sun is shining, it is lovely outside. Even my dogs are enjoying their walks – they are little dogs so when it is too hot I cannot easily walk them.

The weather is so nice plants are growing. This is really the second growing season for this area. My tomato plants have more tomatoes on them than they have had all year. My basil is growing. Seeds I put out that did nothing earlier are now growing. With highs in the mid 80’s and lows hovering in the low to mid 60’s it is wonderful growing time.

If seeds or seedlings had been put out, now is a time you may find them growing like they had not grown in a while. Strange as that may seem in other areas, for central Texas plants are growing.

Welcome to fall in Austin. And the weather is wonderful.