Plunging Temperature - November 11, 1955

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Margot, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Margot

    Margot Active Member

    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    Anyone living and gardening in the BC Lower Mainland on November 11, 1955 may remember Remembrance Day for another reason that year - an enormous drop in the temperature that damaged or killed many, many plants in forests, fields and gardens. Until I found a few sentences recently in a 2007 article by Clive Justice in the Journal American Rhododendron Society, I had been frustrated in my efforts to find any corroboration.

    I'd love to hear any memories others may have of this event.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,226
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    I didn't live here that long ago, but it was easy to check the temperatures for that year. Environment Canada's Daily Data Report for Vancouver Airport, November, 1955, shows that on Nov 11 the temperature dropped below zero Celsius for the first time that month, to -4.4 C. Then, on the next 4 days the daily lows were near -12 C, all record lows for those dates. That was an extreme case of something that seems to be fairly common here: an early blast of arctic air that damages overwintering crops before they have had enough exposure to cold temperatures to be sufficiently hardened off. I've seen that happen quite a few times during the 45 years that I've been gardening in the Vancouver area.
     
  3. Margot

    Margot Active Member

    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    Until I found Clive Justice's article, I wasn't even sure if I had the right year or month in mind. At Vitog's suggestion, I looked at Environment Canada's Daily Data Report for New Westminster rather than Vancouver Airport because temperatures there are more similar to those in Burnaby than Richmond. I was surprised that the daily lows remained about -12C for 5 days straight! For years after that, I used to puzzle why so many tall, evergreen trees I saw in our area had several feet of brown tops but it wasn't until much later that I considered the possibility that they had been killed by that severe, early cold snap.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
    Daniel Mosquin likes this.

Share This Page