This weather is so unusual for Minnesota.  If you are someone who just moved to the area, and this is your first Minnesota winter, you might be wondering what all of the hoopla was about.  In short, this is not at all normal.

Last year we had record temps and record snowfall.  And when this is what follows, one might wonder what we could be in for next winter.  Just for karma sake - is it going to be another winter of sub zero temps and a ton of snow?  Although, I do know people who would rejoice if that were the case.

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One thing that happens when the temperature is this warm in Minnesota is that the trees get "confused".  If they start to bud early, then we wind up with some temperatures that dip below freezing again, that could be detrimental to the tree.

From KARE 11:

That's really bad because if it gets cold again at some point, that means the soil is not insulated," said Lee Frelich, the director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology. "The roots of trees are not anywhere near as cold tolerant as the above-ground part of the tree." 

Frelich said that there can also be issues if the temperatures stay warm. Trees could mistake the warmer temperatures for spring and could leaf out too early. 

If a frost comes after that, it could hurt them because they are no longer dormant. 

"If it just gets down to the upper 20s, it can be incredibly damaging," said Frelich. 

On the upside, since it has been so warm, when it does rain, this allows the moisture to soak into the ground instead of running off.  This does help with repair of the dry conditions from last year's drought.

The coming weeks leading up to actual spring will determine how much harm (if any) will come to the plant life.

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