March Mega!

March 9, 2011

I’m on the road this week and my travels have taken me to our neighbor up north. I’m in the Twin Cities area to speak at the March Mega Seminar hosted by the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association. There was some great content on the first day with Dr. Nick Christians (Iowa State Univ.) covering soil testing and interpretation and Dr. Mike Richardson (Univ. of Arkansas) tackling foliar fertilization and nutrient uptake. I’m going to be discussing blog use in the turfgrass industry and how this technology can be used to promote yourself and your facility. I want to thank Eric Counselman and Jeff Ische, Conference and Education Co-chairs for the invitation to speak.

Of course, it wouldn’t be fitting to make a trip to Minnesota in the winter without receiving a little snow, right? Snow is something Minnesota knows well, especially this year. I did a little digging and found some interesting Minnesota weather data.

The current winter is the ninth snowiest so far in the Twin Cities area. Through March 6, the Twin Cities area has received 78.3 inches of snow for the season. This ranks as the 9th snowiest winter on record. Minnesota also recorded the 5th largest snowfall in a single day this winter season when the Twin Cities received 17.1 inches back on December 10-11.

The snowiest season on record is the winter of 1983-84 with 98.6 inches. Iowa’s snowiest winter of 1911-1912 recorded 72 inches. This doesn’t even rank in the top ten snowiest winters for the Twin Cities, yikes.

Top Ten Snowiest Winters in the Twin Cities 1884-2011 (numbers are measured in inches).

1. 1983-84 ....... 98.6
2. 1981-82 ....... 95.0
3. 1950-51 ....... 88.9
4. 1916-17 ....... 84.9
5. 1991-92 ....... 84.1
6. 1961-62 ....... 81.3
7. 1951-52 ....... 79.0
8. 1966-67 ....... 78.4
9. 2010-11 ....... 78.3 (through March 6)
10. 2000-01 ..... 75.8

The weather does seem to be turning despite this last snow event. The extended forecast looks promising with daytime highs reaching into the 50’s and nighttime lows staying slightly above the freezing mark. The four inch soil temperatures across Iowa are still hovering around the freezing mark. These warmer temperatures would certainly change that and would help remove the frost and allow water to drain into the soil. Greens covers will certainly be coming off soon back in central Iowa.

Don’t forget to move your clocks one hour ahead this weekend. Another sign Spring will soon be here!