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Farmers' Almanac

Spring Weather Outlook
&
Planting Guide

2016 Spring Planting Guide
WeatherWet, Wild
And Mild?!

Spring officially starts on March 20, 2016, at 12:30 AM EDT. And after this roller coaster, El Niño affected winter, you may be wondering what’s on tap for the spring season. The maps below reflect an overview of the Farmers’ Almanac general weather outlook for spring (March through May 2016) for the United States and Canada.

(to zoom in on a region, click the zone)

U.S. Zone 1

Includes New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington D.C.

U.S. Zone 2

Includes Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin

U.S. Zone 3

Includes Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida

U.S. Zone 4

Includes Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana

U.S. Zone 5

Includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico

U.S. Zone 6

Includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho

U.S. Zone 7

Includes California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona

Although this El Niño has apparently peaked, its atmospheric effects are likely to persist at least through the spring season. This means a continuation of unseasonably milder than normal conditions in the Northern half of the country, and near normal to cooler than normal temperatures over the South.

The Pacific storms that have slammed California this winter will continue not only into California, but they will also weep across the southern United States and perhaps even up along the U.S. East Coast.  This pattern should continue to produce a significant dent in California's exceptional drought.

An elevated severe weather threat is possible over the Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys, as well as over Florida and parts of the Southeast U.S. for much of the spring season.

Meanwhile, near-normal to drier than normal weather conditions are expected to prevail across the northern tier of the U.S; a relatively dry spring is expected over parts of the Pacific Northwest, and into the far northern Plains, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.

These predictions do not project when and where individual storms may occur. Check your latest copy of the 2016 Farmers’ Almanac or our long-range weather forecast page for details about when it may rain or warm up in your neck of the woods.

Canada Zone 1

Newfoundland, Labrador

Canada Zone 2

Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec Long

Canada Zone 3

Ontario

Canada Zone 4

Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan

Canada Zone 5

British Columbia

Northern Canada

Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut

The spring season across Southern Canada is best described in one word – Mild. Through March, April, and May, temperatures will average above seasonal normal.

Near-normal precipitation will also be the norm for most areas except along the Rockies, that stretch along the border separating British Columbia from Alberta, precipitation will run higher than normal.  Snow will be noted on the higher slopes through March, perhaps right on into April, but lower elevations will see more rain than snow.

 

From the Prairies, east into Ontario, drier than normal conditions appear to be the general rule.

 

Quebec and the Maritimes will enjoy near-normal precipitation, as will also be the case for British Columbia.

 

Check out the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac for greater detail and the map for the seasonal outlook.

FrostAverage Last
Spring Frost Dates
(click on a state for frost dates)
Alabama
CityLast Spring Frost
Birmingham4/2/16
Huntsville3/30/16
Mobile2/28/16
Montgomery3/11/16
Alaska
CityLast Spring Frost
Anchorage5/8/16
Fairbanks5/15/16
Juneau5/8/16
Nome6/11/16
Arizona
CityLast Spring Frost
Flagstaff6/9/16
Phoenix1/30/16
Tucson2/16/16
Yuma1/24/16
Arkansas
CityLast Spring Frost
Fort Smith3/31/16
Jonesboro3/29/16
Little Rock3/22/16
Texarkana3/13/16
California
CityLast Spring Frost
Fresno2/4/16
Red Bluff2/22/16
Sacramento2/10/16
San Bernardino2/21/16
Tahoe City6/18/16
Colorado
CityLast Spring Frost
Denver4/30/16
Grand Junction5/1/16
Julesburg5/7/16
Pueblo4/30/16
Connecticut
CityLast Spring Frost
Danbury5/1/16
Hartford4/26/16
Stamford4/29/16
District of Columbia
CityLast Spring Frost
Washington D.C.3/29/16
Delaware
CityLast Spring Frost
Dover4/8/16
Lewes4/6/16
Wilmington4/10/16
Florida
CityLast Spring Frost
Jacksonville2/26/16
Orlando1/30/16
Tallahassee3/22/16
Tampa1/19/16
Georgia
CityLast Spring Frost
Atlanta3/24/16
Augusta3/30/16
Columbus3/11/16
Savannah3/1/16
Hawaii
CityLast Spring Frost
Idaho
CityLast Spring Frost
Boise5/5/16
Idaho Falls5/27/16
Moscow5/25/16
Salmon5/25/16
Illinois
CityLast Spring Frost
Chicago4/20/16
Mount Vernon4/14/16
Quincy4/10/16
Springfield4/13/16
Indiana
CityLast Spring Frost
Evansville4/3/16
Indianapolis4/18/16
South Bend4/26/16
Terre Haut4/20/16
Iowa
CityLast Spring Frost
Cedar Rapids4/25/16
Des Moines4/20/16
Fort Dodge4/29/16
Sioux City4/26/16
Kansas
CityLast Spring Frost
Garden City4/27/16
Great Bend4/13/16
Independence4/8/16
Topeka4/19/16
Kentucky
CityLast Spring Frost
Ashland5/4/16
Lexington4/15/16
Mayfield4/17/16
Murray4/5/16
Louisiana
CityLast Spring Frost
Alexandria3/6/16
Baton Rouge2/26/16
Monroe3/3/16
Shreveport3/10/16
Maine
CityLast Spring Frost
Augusta4/27/16
Bangor5/7/16
Portland5/2/16
Presque Isle4/21/16
Maryland
CityLast Spring Frost
Baltimore4/11/16
Frederick4/9/16
Salisbury4/5/16
Massachusetts
CityLast Spring Frost
Boston4/7/16
New Bedford4/13/16
Worcester4/26/16
Michigan
CityLast Spring Frost
Cheboygan5/18/16
Detroit4/26/16
Grand Rapids5/5/16
Marquette5/11/16
Minnesota
CityLast Spring Frost
Baudette5/16/16
Duluth5/15/16
Minneapolis4/30/16
Willmar4/30/16
Mississippi
CityLast Spring Frost
Greenville3/9/16
Hattiesburg3/12/16
Jackson3/23/16
Tupelo4/5/16
Missouri
CityLast Spring Frost
Jefferson City4/13/16
Kansas City4/7/16
Poplar Bluff4/4/16
St. Louis4/7/16
Montana
CityLast Spring Frost
Billings5/8/16
Bozeman5/26/16
Glendive5/2/16
Great Falls5/17/16
Helena5/19/16
Nebraska
CityLast Spring Frost
Grand Island4/26/16
North Platte5/5/16
Omaha4/21/16
Scottsbluff5/3/16
Nevada
CityLast Spring Frost
Elko6/9/16
Ely6/18/16
Las Vegas2/16/16
Reno5/21/16
New Hampshire
CityLast Spring Frost
Berlin5/20/16
Concord5/20/16
Keene5/13/16
Nashua5/7/16
New Jersey
CityLast Spring Frost
Atlantic City3/31/16
Cape May4/6/16
New Brunswick4/20/16
Newark4/3/16
New Mexico
CityLast Spring Frost
Albuquerque4/16/16
Carlsbad4/3/16
Santa Rosa4/19/16
Truth or Consquences4/6/16
New York
CityLast Spring Frost
Albany5/2/16
Buffalo4/24/16
Elmira5/9/16
Lake Placid6/7/16
New York City4/1/16
Syracuse4/28/16
North Carolina
CityLast Spring Frost
Asheville4/12/16
Charlotte4/11/16
Fayetteville3/28/16
Raleigh-Durham4/10/16
North Dakota
CityLast Spring Frost
Bismarck5/14/16
Fargo5/10/16
Grand Forks5/10/16
Minot5/9/16
Ohio
CityLast Spring Frost
Cincinnati4/13/16
Cleveland4/30/16
Columbus4/26/16
Toledo5/1/16
Oklahoma
CityLast Spring Frost
Beaver4/18/16
Enid4/4/16
Lawton3/29/16
Tulsa3/27/16
Oregon
CityLast Spring Frost
Baker6/3/16
Eugene4/22/16
Klamath Falls6/7/16
Portland3/23/16
Pennsylvania
CityLast Spring Frost
Erie4/29/16
Lebanon4/27/16
Philadelphia4/6/16
Pittsburgh4/29/16
Wilkes Barre4/26/16
Rhode Island
CityLast Spring Frost
Kingston5/8/16
Providence4/16/16
South Carolina
CityLast Spring Frost
Charleston3/9/16
Columbia4/1/16
Florence3/26/16
Greenville4/4/16
South Dakota
CityLast Spring Frost
Hot Springs5/16/16
Pierre5/2/16
Sioux Falls5/3/16
Watertown5/10/16
Tennessee
CityLast Spring Frost
Chattanooga4/1/16
Knoxville4/16/16
Memphis3/22/16
Nashville4/6/16
Texas
CityLast Spring Frost
Amarillo4/18/16
Dallas3/3/16
Houston2/8/16
San Antonio2/28/16
Utah
CityLast Spring Frost
Cedar City5/21/16
Logan5/14/16
Moab4/14/16
Salt Lake City4/19/16
Vermont
CityLast Spring Frost
Burlington5/8/16
Montpelier5/11/16
Rutland5/13/16
Virginia
CityLast Spring Frost
Charlottesville4/7/16
Norfolk3/20/16
Richmond4/6/16
Roanoke4/13/16
Washington
CityLast Spring Frost
Olympia5/5/16
Seattle3/10/16
Spokane5/2/16
Vancouver4/20/16
West Virginia
CityLast Spring Frost
Charleston4/22/16
Martinsburg4/19/16
Morgantown4/30/16
Moundsville4/30/16
Wisconsin
CityLast Spring Frost
Appleton5/4/16
Eau Claire5/7/16
Madison5/10/16
Milwaukee4/27/16
Wyoming
CityLast Spring Frost
Casper5/22/16
Cheyenne5/12/16
Gillette5/18/16
Higher elevations in Hawaii do occasionally see at-or-near freezing temperatures but definitive frost dates are not available.
For frost dates in Canada, please see page 30 of the 2016 Canadian Farmers' Almanac
Top10Vegetables
To Grow
by Amber Kanuckel
(click each vegetable for details)

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Start: Start seeds 6-8 weeks before the last frost

Transplant: Plant outdoors when night time lows reach 60°F or higher

Water: Regularly—soil must be evenly moist, but not soggy

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Start: Seeds best started directly in the garden after soil temperatures reach 60° to 65°F

Water: Regularly, particularly after flowers appear

Sweet Bell Peppers

Sweet Bell Peppers

Start: Start seeds 8-10 weeks before the last frost

Transplant: When soil temperatures reach at least 60° to 70°F

Water: Regularly–keep soil moist but not flooded

Beans

Beans

Start: Never start indoors, sow outdoors when average temperatures reach 60° to 70°F

Water: Once per week, or each time the soil starts to dry out

Carrots

Carrots

Start: Start seeds outdoors, after frost, when soil temperatures reach 55°F

Water: Daily, very lightly until seeds sprout, then cut back to once weekly, or as the soil dries

Summer Squash

Summer Squash

Start: Start seeds 3-4 weeks before the last frost

Transplant: When soil temperatures reach 60°F

Water: Weekly, or whenever soil starts to dry out

Onions

Onions

Start: 3 ways to start: (1) Start seeds in midsummer, harvest sets in the fall (2) Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost (3) Start last year’s sets outdoors 2-4 weeks before the last frost date

Transplant: (Seeds or sets) 2-4 weeks before the last frost

Water: Once to twice per week to keep soil moist–stop one week before harvesting

Lettuce

Lettuce

Start: Start seeds outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked, or indoors 3-4 weeks before you transplant them

Transplant: Transplant any time once plants have been hardened off

Water: Once per week during spring–switch to more frequent, light watering over the summer

Peas

Peas

Start: Sow seed outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked

Water: Only when the soil is dry–about once per week in the spring, more often in the summer

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Start: Start outdoors after last frost

Water: Frequently–at least twice per week, more during hot, dry weather

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