2006_12_cherrybbg.jpgCheck out this picture in today's Times. A lone cherry tree at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has decided to jump-start spring. Winter doesn't even start until tomorrow! While many trees put out buds before going dormant for winter, we usually don't see one flowering before winter begins. This particular breed is an everblooming cherry, which occasionally puts out a few flowers during fall and winter warm spells, but rarely does the whole tree bloom like this.

While yesterday and today may have felt cold, that's only our bodies not being acclimatized to cooler weather. Both days have had above average temperatures, making today the twelfth consecutive day above normal. The longest stretch of warmer than average weather in recent years happened in August and September of last year, when we had two warm stretches of 16 and 18 days separated by one day that had exactly normal temperatures. If the ten-day forecast is correct, and that's a big if, we'll have a warm streak of at least 20 days.

For the first day of winter tomorrow we're looking at mostly sunny, warm day, high of 52. Friday won't be as warm, but the big story Friday is rain. It looks like we will be getting a fair amount of moisture starting Friday evening and continuing into Saturday. Check with your airline before heading to the airport as the rain may cause flight delays. Sunday and Monday's weather looks to be much more pleasant.

Photo of this spring's cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden by Tien Mao