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Spring Runoff

4-4-14 spring runoff 004With snow rapidly melting, spring runoff is very apparent everywhere you look. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey studied the timing and volume of river flows for 27 rivers in New England several years ago. Although this year may be the exception, they found that in the last 30 years the peak flow date has advanced by one to two weeks. Snowmelt runoff has the most effect on spring rivers flows, and these peak flow dates correlate with the change in last-frost dates, lilac bloom dates, lake ice-out dates and spring air temperatures, indicating that these New England spring geophysical and biological changes all were caused by a common mechanism — temperature increases.

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8 responses

  1. Lindsay Putnam

    Beautiful photo.

    April 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm

  2. teachdad46

    Hi Mary, I liked the way you substituted the innocuous “temperature increases” for the politically charged “global warming”.

    April 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

  3. The sheer amount of water everywhere this spring is incredible–we had snowmelt streams running around our house, through our chicken coop, eroding the garden. There was one little stream running under the birdfeeder, and chickadees were taking advantage of it to bathe.

    I’ve noticed that, in recent years, early springs correlate with less autumn fruit in my area (a cold spot in North Tunbridge, Vermont), especially fewer apples and pears. I’ve heard it explained as a result of frosts damaging early blossoms, as well as blossoming that happens before the pollinators are out and doing their thing. So I for one am glad for a later spring.

    April 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    • Very interesting and accurate correlation, Kellyann. But I’m ready for the snow to be gone!

      April 10, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      • Oh yes, me too!

        April 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm

  4. Kathie Fiveash

    Do you think the beavers are OK? I’ve been worrying….

    April 10, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    • Yes, Kathie, I do. I’ve seen several now that the pond ice is melting, and they’ve all appeared to be robust and their coats are beautiful !

      April 10, 2014 at 11:39 pm

  5. I am happy for the “later” spring, which is more of what we had prior to the abnormal summer-like temps. we’ve been experiencing the past few Aprils. There are several waterfalls in my neighborhood and they are all flowing luxuriously – I love snow-melt!

    April 11, 2014 at 4:26 pm

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