Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Phenology: February 7, 2011

Posted by Kirk Mona
Sunrise today was at 7:25 AM and the sun will set at 5:29 PM. Sunday was the first day with over 10 hours of sunlight since last fall. Today, Monday, February 7th we have 10 hours 03 minutes and 37 seconds of sunlight. We gain two minutes, forty five seconds of daylight today which is about how much we've been gaining every day this month. We've gained 13 minutes more of sunlight since last Tuesday which was groundhogs day. By the end of February we'll just barely cross the line into 11 hours of daylight and wow will that make a difference.

The moon is currently waxing crescent and should be a lovely sight in the sky if it is clear out. Speaking of astronomy, we were almost hit by an asteroid this week. On February 4th, Asteroid 2011 CQ1 passed just 0.03 Lunar distances from Earth. In other words, it missed hitting the Earth by about 7,000 miles.

On Thursday, the temperature reached 34 degrees which broke our below freezing streak. It had been below freezing in the twin cities since December 31st! If January seemed cold you were right, we never made it above freezing. We haven't had a streak that long since 1984. The longest on record was a 66 day below freezing streak back in the winter of 1978.

There are signs of spring everywhere outside. Great Horned Owls are on their nest already. The first yellow feathers are showing up on male goldfinches and the buds are becoming very noticeable on the maple trees. In addition to these, I've also heard more and more territorial woodpecker drumming in the woods this past week. I've also seen Bald Eagles tending to their nest on Judd Street in Marine on St. Croix.

Let me know what you're seeing near your home!

~Kirk

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