🌸 It's spring … sort of
Forget what the groundhog did — spring arrived early this year.
What's happening: Ohio's native wildflowers are blooming one to two weeks ahead of schedule, as warmer-than-normal winter temperatures are heating up soil, Rick Gardner, chief botanist for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), tells Axios.
Driving the news: Last month was Columbus' first February on record without measurable snowfall, WCMH-TV reports.
- The average temperature of 32.5° was 9° warmer than normal, with three daily high temperature records set on Feb. 9, 15 and 23.
- January 2023 was also our hottest January in 17 years.
Zoom in: Early bloomers — skunk cabbage and the aptly named harbinger-of-spring — are already popping up locally.
- Showy flowers like spring beauty and cut-leaved toothwort shouldn't be far away.
Yes, but: The dry February could unfortunately mean a shorter blooming period, unless heavy rain this spring makes up for it, Gardner says.
What we're watching: ODNR's annual spring wildflower report launches tomorrow, with weekly updates posted on Fridays.
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