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Re: New USDA zone map

  • To: gardenchat@hort.net
  • Subject: Re: [CHAT] New USDA zone map
  • From: "Chapel Ridge Wal Mart National Hearing Center" 4042N15@nationalhearing.com
  • Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 16:12:19 -0600
  • References: <20883220.1130533482065.JavaMail.root@sniper31>

JIm, This is great news. When they dumped the AHS draft, I wondered when
efforts would once again be made.  When will this new map be available?  It
sounds much better.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James R. Fisher" <garrideb@well.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 3:03 PM
Subject: [CHAT] New USDA zone map

> Tony Avent of Plant Delights had a part in the construction of the
> new USDA zone map. Here he describes some of its details to John Bryan
> (author of the bulb book):
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Subject: Re: [pbs] Climate zones
> Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 15:33:08 -0400
> From: Tony Avent <tony@plantdelights.com>
> To: Pacific Bulb Society <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
> John:
> Work on the new USDA map began on August 18, 2004. In 2003, a draft
> version was released by the American Horticulture Society which caused
> quite an uproar in the horticultural community. This revision would have
> done away with the "a" and "b" zone designations and would have been based
> on a fifteen year sample (1986-2001) of climatic data. By using a 15-year
> warm period sample, the draft map would have moved Chicago into zone 6 and
> made other such disastrous errors.
> Thanks to the support of Dr. Judy St. John of USDA-ARS, the map revision
> was put on hold until input from the stakeholders (government term for
> folks most affected by government decisions) could be gathered. The August
> 18 meeting included representatives from USDA- ARS, the American
> Horticulture Society, the American Association of Botanic Gardens and
> Arboreta, University Researchers, and representatives of the nursery
> industry.
> The project will consist of two phases. In Phase I, the map will be
> reconstructed using the most recent 30 years of average annual extreme
> minimum temperatures. The map will also retain the "a and b" designations.
> For the first time, the map will include a better breakdown of
> effects, urban heat islands, wind patterns, and elevation differences.
> to advances in interpolation algorithms, the map will pick up on small
> differences that were previously missed.  The map will be made available
> on-line where it can be searched both by city and zip code. The on-line
> will be clickable for more detailed climatic data to satisfy what the
> research scientists called, "those pointy-head weather nerd types."
> Phase II of the project will involve overlay maps for other factors such
> duration of cold, summer heat factors, and possibly air flow patterns.
> not often that I get excited about a government project, but this will be
> huge improvement for our industry. Thanks both to the USDA-ARS for making
> their resources available and for all of the committee members for their
> time and input into the process.
> Tony Avent
> -jrf
> -- 
> Jim Fisher
> Vienna, Virginia USA
> 38.9 N 77.2 W
> USDA Zone 7
> Max. 95 F [36 C], Min. 10 F [-12 C]
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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