December 5.3 degrees above normalAndrew Sullivan reminds us why the warm weather isn't a good thing: other than the lack of snow, the plants become confused and start growing early, making them extremely vulnerable to cold snaps of even a half hour:
January 5.2 degrees above normal
February 4.8 degrees above normal
As Dr. Carroll explains, "A spring freeze event is very bad because plants have begun to grow, or their buds have started to swell and are less cold hardy." The line between "rough" and "disaster" on those days is razor thin. In apples, the difference between a frost that causes a 10 percent bud loss and one that loses 90 percent can be under 10 degrees’ difference, held for just a half-hour.