If you read this blog last fall you know I was forecasting a harder than normal winter for Michigan. Of course, I had no idea that it would be as hard a winter as it turned out to be. This coming winter will rival past easy winters and perhaps be the warmest winter in Michigan in a 100 years (that’s just a guess , of course). Like many easy northern winters, the winters in the south will likely not only be colder than normal but wetter than normal with perhaps more snow than normal. The reason this is almost a sure thing is the way el Nino is shaping up with all that warm water over the equatorial Pacific. Of course, it is possible that the equatorial Pacific will cool off a bit by winter, but that is highly unlikely and I will let you know if that is starting to occur–right now it seems to be warming up even more!
Keep in mind abnormally warm winters often are associated with poor fruit crops. While the last winter was severely cold, we look to have good fruit crops–in fact our peaches came thru the winter with practically no damage whatsoever! Also, while many severely cold winters frequently cause very poor peach crops–this year, of course, it was different for us. My new dear friend Diane says she is sure my beloved Annemarie, who is in heaven now, had something to do with the fact that we have such a good peach crop despite the severe winter! We have heard reports that several peach orchards in Kent County’s famous “Ridge” area were heavily damaged last winter. This area was originally referred to as the “Peach Ridge” area until apple trees outnumbered peach trees so the word “peach” was dropped from the name of the area.