Saturday, March 26, 2011
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
Well, despite the forecast for only an inch to dusting of snow, the national weather service, in its infinite wisdom, is now saying some parts of Mid-MO could get as much as 5 inches of the white stuff before the night is over. Why didn't they just read the Farmer's Almanac which predicted one more significant snow sometime during the last week of March.
I have gotten a few questions about whether or not this snow will affect the morels, especially in light of the warm weather we had last week. But do not worry. Snow, in my opinion, right now is only a good thing. Actually, snow really isn't the problem. What would hurt morels is the cold that usually accompanies snow, like the hard freeze warning from 4 to 8 am on Sunday. If there were morels up, that would take them out for sure.
However, it is still very early in the season and the morels around here, if any have started forming primordia, are protected by leaf cover and now an insulating layer of snow. So snow is beneficial because it will keep the ground warmer than if it were directly exposed to the cold winds later tonight.
Also snow traps in the moisture. OK not the snow, but the cold holds this moisture and releases it at the same time as the ground is warming up and the mycelium and sclerotia need it most.
Over the past 15 years, since I really started paying attention to the winter weather in relation to morel seasons to come, I have noticed one pattern, some of the best seasons have been when we have had a lot of snow that winter. Normally a lot of snow would be about 25 to 30 inches during the season (Dec.-March). This year, at least in Columbia, we have had the second snowiest winter on record with just over 50 inches. If we get a full five inches of snow today, it would make it the snowiest winter on record since the late 1880's. If the past trend holds, we could be looking at a very good season.