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Gandolorin
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on: August 23, 2018 11:13
Well, looks like this summer (in meteorologist's parlance the months June, July and August) will not crack the heat record set back in 2003. Then, the avarage temperature had been 19.6°C, while so far 2018 has averaged just over 19°C, and, yes, temps have cooled down today due to a cold front (from the Iceland region, I believe) reaching us. Problem is, it has still not rained. So we have not broken a record; but apparently this summer takes a silver medal? I am just so delighted - NOT!

And as for the extended period from April to August, it looks certain to have been the hottest and most drought-plagued such period since comprehensive weather measurements began back in 1881, as both April and May were record-busters (in the negative sense). And that's for all of Germany, which includes (a few?) regions that have had "normal" precipitation - though that has all too often taken the form of short, massive deluges accompanied by hailstorms and gale-force winds. Northern Bavaria, and specifically Middle Franconia, whose "normal" yearly precipitation is only half that of Bavaria south of the Danube, has been hit much more massively. And then there's eastern Germany, and parts of northern Germany, which have flat-out disaster areas as far as agriculture (depending on crop) is concerned - and livestock farms are also badly hit, as many grow their own feed. Partly crops, but they are also dependent on their livestock being able to graze in meadows, or at least their being able to mow such grasslands to produce hay as fodder.

One of the worst aspects of this drought caused by immobile high-pressure systems is the almost total lack of breeze, never mind wind. The air is stagnant, stale, and polluted. Dust has become a serious issue (true, it would be even worse without the stagnat calm). And the dominant trees both in "our" meadow and the adjoining forest are pines, nominally "evergreens" (insert cynical laugh here), with very shallow roots. They have been losing yellow needles (and "producing" them) at levels I have never seen in the ten years we have lived here. We do occasionally have one form of "rain" whenever a bit of wind kicks up: masses of dried pine needles.

If you check my above post of 18 January, one of the pines smashed into the side of our building in the winter storm we had then. Just barely missed the windows of our neighbors to the left, and did some damage to balconies. I'll guess that tree never recovered from the 2015 drought (which also set some records nobody needs), which led to emergency felling of dead and dying trees in their hundreds in our city, and thousands in the near region this year. Despite having shallow roots, it was not uprooted (as I saw in the case of birches not far away in another year), it simply snapped at ground level.

The in-between years 2016 and 2017 were also below-avarage in precipitation, but at least last year we had some in late summer and fall, leading the trees to cling to their leaves well into October. They grew leaves late in this year, and have been dumping them massively early. I am very concerned about the next fall / winter / whatever storms that may reach us, as these almost inavriably come from the west. That is exactly where the pine trees which stand in our meadow, looking increasingly unhealthy, are located. And what comes close to a grove is precisely west of our apartment. Neighbors living in the 8th upper floor are out of reach, but that 18 January tree, not the tallest, impacted the building two floors above our second upper floor apartment, and did its damage down to one floor below us.


[Edited on 08/28/2018 by Gandolorin]
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Evil~Shieldmaiden
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on: August 28, 2018 07:22
We finally received a smidgeon of rain on the weekend, but it was insufficient to provide any relief regarding the forest fire situation in the Province. We are now on a drought alert, and all outdoor fires are prohibited, with stiff fines for any idiot who makes one.

The weather is significantly cooler now, but very sunny. A neighbour and I were talking this morning about it feeling like fall already. There is a crispness in the air that wasn't there a week ago. The seasons certainly seem to have shifted by about three weeks. I have plants that have finished their blooming already, and will be cutting stuff back this week. Fall is my favourite season so I'm not entirely displeased by this change in the weather.

Enjoy your week FoF'ers.
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awelyn418
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on: September 19, 2018 05:55
I have wrote two replies it won't send

[Edited on 09/21/2018 by awelyn418]
awelyn418
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on: September 19, 2018 06:02
I love Fall is my favorite season too. I love the colors and cooler temperaturs. We are dry but not like your area Gandolorin. We have fleas so bad this year. I use Frontline but it has not helped much and I use to use powdered Pennyroyal between doses but vet does not think it is a good idea . It could be dangerous to dogs. So I bath them in Dawn dish detergent and it helps.

[Edited on 09/21/2018 by awelyn418]
awelyn418
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on: September 19, 2018 06:07
My grandchildren are doing well in college. I have two this will be second year and two it is their first year. Lily my soon to be 6 year old is doing great in Kindergarten. I am a proud grandmother. We are re?modeling our kitchen and doing it ourselves. A new experience. It is stressfull. I hope you are all having a great week.
awelyn418
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on: September 19, 2018 06:07
My grandchildren are doing well in college. I have two this will be second year and two it is their first year. Lily my soon to be 6 year old is doing great in Kindergarten. I am a proud grandmother. We are re?modeling our kitchen and doing it ourselves. A new experience. It is stressfull. I hope you are all having a great week.

[Edited on 09/19/2018 by awelyn418]
Gandolorin
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on: September 19, 2018 06:46
Fall? What Fall? We've been having daytime highs near to 30°C (86°F) here this week. August was bone dry, precipitation at 4 (in words: four) percent of long-term averages. Total precipitation for the meteorological summer (full months June-July-August) was a tad less than average precipitation just for August alone, which I'm guessing is the driest of the three months. All of the critters (birds, squirrels, hedgehogs, ...) are hitting the "bird baths" at a rate that we have to refill some of them on a daily basis, even the latrge ones every three days at the latest. The trees have been throwing off leaves for weeks on end - not with the yellow and red colors, shriveled and brown crisps. And as for the "evergreens" (a form of pine trees) - seriously non-trivial portions of their needles have turned brown, and on the rare occasions that we have breeze or even wind (it has also been an insufferably stagnat extended summer) it has seriously "rained" needles, carpeting the parched meadow. The spruce trees common in the more high-altitude logging areas - which logging has been accompanied by reforestation since about the 16th century - were imports from Scandinavia in that 16th century, aka the "little ice age". Those trees are now screaming bloody murder - well, it's probably more of a death rattle by now. Being now weakened by heat and drought way beyond what they would ever experience in their natural Scandinavian habitat, they are also being shredded by bark beetles. And several crops (wheat, potatos, others) have serious shortfalls, so bread and potato products are definitely going to become more expensive.

All in all, I consider our weather from April to (so far) September simply and bluntly a disaster.

About the only (slight) relief we have had is that it has not ben hot and humid. Humidity has been around 30% - now those are certified desert conditions, and I'm talking Sahara Desert here.
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awelyn418
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on: September 20, 2018 12:51
Once again would not send my comment.Grr.
awelyn418
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on: September 24, 2018 05:20
We had rain today and we needed it. I hope you are all having a great week.
Gandolorin
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on: September 25, 2018 03:02
Returned from a kind of class reunion weekend, which took place in Frankfurt / Main, on Sunday. I was home at about 5 PM, after having taken a train an hour earlier than originally planned. Good thing, that, as a bit after 6 PM the storm that had been crossing Germany from the north-west hit us with gale-force winds and a deluge. But unlike that (former?) hurricane that recently hit the Carolinas, which was described as moving with the speed of a pedestrian in our news, "our" storm was in a pretty big hurry and thus did not last much more (or even less?) than an hour. We've had some storms crossing Germany again and again since spring, but they passed mostly west and north (and south?) of our region, this was the first one to cross our region, doing some damage.
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awelyn418
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on: October 14, 2018 04:13
We are having Autumn weather with cooler temps. Tomorrow 38F will be the low. I have a dentist appointment Monday morning. It is just a cleaning. My youngest daughter and I are planning to go to a Middle earth gathering in March. We are planning our costumes and this will be her first ALEP. She is excited. I need to lose some weight so diet and exercise time. I am decorating for Halloween slowly because we are still remodeling. Have a great week.
Gandolorin
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on: October 15, 2018 12:34
Still nothing resembling Autumn here, middle of October. Since that storm three weeks ago, we've been back to drought conditions as far as precipitation is concerned. And the afternoon temperatures have consistently been over 20°C (68°F), often reaching 25°C (77°F), and in some regions the high twenties °C (low 80s °F). During my time in Germany, now 43 years, we had more than a handful of summers that were colder than that (and massively wetter, but with preciptation spread more evenly and steadily, with much less flooding). This is absolutely lunatic weather this year, a huge high-pressure system centered over eastern Europe has bee deflecting low-pressure systems which would bring precipitation for months on end. Only storms seem to have the power to punch through that blockade. Only good thing: no need to turn up the central heating, even though nighttime temperatures have been in single digits regularly, and the first night frosts have also occurred. Makes for big swings between minimum and maximum temperatures each day, easily reaching 20°C (38°F) difference. But the air has felt, dry, dusty and polluted as I have never before experienced it.

Just noticed something: during the July / August heat wave (17 straight days of temperatures over 30°C (86°F), a new record, a neighbor placed a bird bath on the other side of the meadow opposite our balcony. I've been refilling it every second day at the least, and the birds have been frequenting it very much. As they tend to splash when taking a bath, a fringe of green of maybe 3 inches can be seen around this bird bath. Everything else around there is totally parched.
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awelyn418
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on: October 15, 2018 05:16
Oh that is awful. I hope you some relief soon. When do you usually get snow? I had some excitement tonight. A sparrow got in my house flew inform the garage and upstairs. I was reading and thought I heard the sound of a bird. I thought I was being silly and went back to reading. I heard it again and went investigate. Sure enough it was a bird and I opened the back door and it flew to the doorway saw me and flew in the curtain. I stepped back and opened the curtain and watched it fly away through the doorway. Happy ending. I was so worried my cat would get it buy she ignored everything that was happening and slept through it.
Gandolorin
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on: October 16, 2018 12:36
The snow bit has been irregular in the ten years since we came back to Middle Franconia (northern Bavaria), both when and how much. That obnoxious high-pressure system over eastern Europe used to be more of a winter thing, so we shall see how precipitation of whatever kind manages to reach us in the next few months.

As for that bird you mentioned, we had something similar when we lived in Frankfurt over ten years ago. I think it was a blackbird, and it didn't get into our apartment. It managed to fly into the stairwell on the ground floor (somebody must have kept the entrance door open for some reason), and, as per the "escape program" of birds, it flew upwards. Now the windows in the stairwell are in between floors, the stairs from one floor to the other being on the switchback scheme. And, probably for safety reasons, the windows between the second-from-top and top floor have bars across them on the inside so that they could only be tilted open, respectively opened so little that no human fits through the gap. As I had to climb the stairs up to the topmost stairwell windows, the panicked bird flew up to the dead-end top floor as per its "escape program", so after opening the windows as far as possible, I had to retreat down to the lower floor to remove myself from its only possible escape route. Well, it did finally get out, and sat on the outside sill for a few seconds. Due to some draft in the stairwell, the window was pushed shut, giving the agitated bird a bump on the tail feathers, which "motivated" it to get the *bleep* away from our building.

Parts of the stairwell needed some intensive cleaning, as the panicked bird left quite a few droppings during its "escape program".
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awelyn418
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on: October 16, 2018 04:06
Well my bird was only in probably 15 minutes so no droppings. My cat is so old she did not even leave her place on the back of the couch to try and get it, I was thankful for that bit of good luck. Well have a good week.
awelyn418
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on: October 24, 2018 02:48
I hope everyone is having a good week. We had to bring our house plants in from outside because of the temperature drop this week. Went to my granddaughter's 6th birthday party on the 20th. I just could not believe she is 6. She had a great party. Her mom baked her a unicorn cake, It was very pretty. There was a unicorn pinata and we all had fun. Our trees are looking so pretty but still not all of them are changing. Goodnight.
Gandolorin
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on: October 25, 2018 04:05
RAIN!!!

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awelyn418
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on: October 25, 2018 03:16
Rain is good right?
Gandolorin
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on: October 27, 2018 07:24
Oh very much so! Our local cumulative precipitation deficit must be near record levels. After that storm 23/24 September (which did some damage, especially since the deciduous trees were still fairly full of leaves, making them much more vulnerable than later, when they have dumped their leaves), it was the first precipitation of any kind we had locally. Autumn in Germany is not usually drought season. Tomorrow is also looking good, from that perspective, as some more rain is forecast. But then on Monday, high and low temperatures are expected to shoot up by a minimum of 10°C (18°F) all over the place. Don't know about you, but trick-or-treating while wearing a t-shirt just sounds totally bonkers to me.

[Edited on 11/05/2018 by Gandolorin]
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awelyn418
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on: November 04, 2018 02:53
We had a rainy Halloween 5 trick or treaters came all relatives. But went to a drive -in movie with daughter and her family and gave them the leftover Halloween candy. Going to the drive-in movie was a stroll down memory lane. We had a good time. We have had so much rain the last four days. Our temps are really Autumnish now. Have a great week.


Gandolorin
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on: November 05, 2018 04:19
Now we're in November, and this week some areas are expected to reach 20°C (68°F), and everywhere except the coasts at least 15°C (59°F). Locally, rain manages to pass us north, west, south and even east. We do have cloud cover occasionally, just nothing dropping out of it. And 2018 Jan to Oct is definitely the warmest year on record so far (records go back about 130 years). February and March were a bit below average for monthly temperatures, while January, April and May set new records for high temperatures. They haven't said much about how bad the drought has been, I think it was in the top 5 worst years so far - and some areas north-north-eastish of us got even less precipitation. Some regions are definite disaster areas for crop yield, forestry and even livestock - and never mind some of the wildlife. I've been refilling the two bird baths close to our entrance to beat the band.
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BelleBayard
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on: December 15, 2018 12:47
I have returned. I'm so bad about posting here. Now that we're up in the Rocky Mountains, we get a lot of wind and some snow. It's been a cold winter so far with single digits more frequent that the past couple of years. Still, it's gorgeous and I'm glad to be here. *waves to all those still here*
Gandolorin
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on: December 15, 2018 09:07
Glad to hear from you again, Belle.
We've finally had some useful precipitation here since 01 December. Night temperatures have been a tad below freezing for the last few days, but no rain or snow has reached us during that time. The Alps and middle mountain regions have had snow, some quite a bit, all depending on how far away they are from coasts, apparently. The Alps get quite a bit from the Mediterranean.
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