S229 Climatology of False Springs in Western Michigan's Fruit Growing Region

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Woodrow Ferris Unruh, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI

During the spring of 2012, Michigan fruit growers experienced an estimated $500 million loss due to a “false spring”. This study aims to examine the synoptic patterns that are associated with the onset of false springs. By analyzing data from 1981 to 2014, the statistics of false springs is determined. The magnitude of time between the warm-up and subsequent freeze will be analyzed statistically in comparison with the most extreme events. The purpose is to understand how common false springs are in western Michigan, and to see if there is any common meteorological pattern that sets up before the occurrence of a false spring. The intention of this study will be to see if there is any sort of threshold that needs to be broken in order to create a false spring. From the large scale analysis and statistical characteristics of false springs, there will be an attempt to develop an index determining the likelihood of false springs. By using that index, false springs can be better predicted to help mitigate agricultural losses in western Michigan.
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