DENVER – Allergies bugging you a little earlier than usual? That’s because spring plant growth is several weeks ahead of schedule this year.
The National Phenology Network tracks seasonal changes in plants and animals around the country and its latest ‘Spring Leaf Index’ data show plants along the Front Range and in the eastern plains of Colorado are leafing out about 20 days earlier than what is normal for the area.
Those areas of the state are also experiencing drought conditions due to the recent string of unusually warm, dry weather.
As seen in the map below, much of the southern portion of the country is running ahead of schedule (dark red is 20 days early and dark blue is 20 days late).
The Colorado Rockies and the western slope are mostly seeing typical plant activity, as snowfall in the mountains has been above average so far this year.
Parts of the West Coast that have had a very cold, wet winter are lagging several weeks behind schedule.
Get more information at usanpn.org.