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CULT: USDA Hardiness Zones

  • Subject: CULT: USDA Hardiness Zones
  • From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <jcwalters@bridgernet.com>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 18:46:42 -0600

> From: Laurie Flynn 
>  I know the USDA maps indicate a somewhat warmer area for me, but I'm on
> an open, windy hill where the temps routinely hit -10 to -20 in the
> winter, not including windchill.  I figure the windchill puts me down
> zone 3 at times; most of the time it's zone 4.  I should probably just
> call it zone 4, though.


USDA Hardiness Zones are based on actual thermometer temperature readings,
not on discomfort indices like wind-chill factors. Zone 4b is defined as
having average (not extreme) low winter temperatures in the -20 to -25
degree F range. I found a website that has the most detailed USDA Zone maps
I have seen yet in the web (it even says so itself). You can call up
individual Zone maps for each state. It is actually a page on a hosta
website, http://www.hostas.com/usda/usda.html

Actually, if you live on a windy hilltop, you have two factors working for
you that prevent the lowest possible temperatures from occuring - air
drainage and air circulation. I live on the edge of a mountain valley.
Strong winds are rare, and in winter the cold air settles to the bottom of
the valley, which can be 10 degrees or more colder than where I live, which
in turn can be 10 degrees colder than it is up on the ski slopes if we have
a persistent temperature inversion.

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 2, AHS Zone 7)


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