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New USDA Zone Map, now weather data

the job of collecting serious weather data in the US was originally assigned to USDA sometime in the mid-to-late 19th century. USDA established the weather bureau, which set up weather stations all over the place, but [as near as i can tell] affiliated mostly with land-grant colleges and extension service experiment stations.

sometime in the late 1930s, congress decided to take the weather bureau away from USDA and install it in DOC, the commerce department. i have no idea why, but i'm sure it made sense to some interest group or another at the time.

in a statement of defiance [i've been told this is what it was, but who knows; bureaucrats have remarkably thin skin], USDA published "climate and man," its 1941 yearbook of agriculture, which summarizes all the data collected, year by year by weather station by state by county, since the beginning of the weather bureau. this is the data that was used in formulating the first USDA zone map. this is the data that has given blue canyon, california, the epithet of "the snowiest place in the lower 48."

if you do not own this book and are serious about weather watching, i suggest that you begin to haunt used book stores [the real ones, the ones that have no paperbacks and smell musty] and try to find one. if you can buy it for less than $50, carry it carefully and slowly to the checkout stand.

At 12:34 PM 5/28/03 -0500, you wrote:
Tony I have to ask....

Is there a major change in the last five years of your weather keeping?


----- Original Message -----
> I trust my own instincts. I keep daily records of temps, rain. clouds & sun
> conditions. As winter starts to approach, I check the condition of my
> plants, weather to mulch, water more or less. Then when temps really start
> to drop I watch for what time of night or early a.m. it comes in to
> determine the duration length of the the freeze. some things that are in
> pots, I carry to the covered patio & cover them up against the house. I
> learned this when I was a grower down in Chino, CA. That was a place to
> learn about frost / freezing. The weather could change pretty fast. It was a
> "hell" hole as it was half way down the sloping terrain looking back up
> where the Mts. were.
> Tony Veca <><
> Another Gr888 Day in Paradise !!!!!
> Vancouver, WA USA

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