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Rochester

Where's Spring?

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Rochester: Where's Spring?
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It's the question many across the area are asking. The below average temperatures we've experienced this month are quite a contrast to just a year ago.

This time last year, Highland Park was blooming under sunny skies and unseasonably warm weather. Meteorologists say March 2012 was our warmest on record.

This year, Highland Park is not quite as colorful. There are signs of spring, but for the most part it more resembles winter.

"Everybody likes the spring season because spring makes everybody happy," said Kharga Rai, Rochester.

Temperatures in the 20s are a far cry from the near-80 degree weather of a year ago. It's forced people to bundle up in an attempt to fight brisk windchills.

Coming off a long winter, does this kind of weather get old?

"Yeah, it does. The groundhog was very wrong this year," said Lily Sever, Honeoye Falls.

Fruit farmers are about the only people happy with our cold springtime weather. After losing nearly half their crop last year because of a warm spring, they say everything this year is right on schedule.

Last year, fruit crops began to flower in March. It was then hit with a deep freeze and snow in April and that's what wiped out much of the harvest. Now, fruit trees are just beginning to bud and farmers say that's normal for this time of year.

"If everything stays normal, and this looks like we're going into a normal season, we'll have a crop with the potential of, I'm going to say close to 100 percent probably. Nothing's ever 100 percent but it's a lot better potential than it was last year," said Gary Orbaker, a fruit farmer in Wayne County.

With the ground still frozen, it may be a while before backyard gardeners can begin to plan, but there are things you can do while waiting for the spring thaw.

"You could maybe start some early seedlings inside. Things like onions or leeks certainly should get going right now," said Walt Nelson, Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Forecasters say we're looking at colder than average temperatures through the end of this month and into the early part of April.

"There are some signs as we get into the month of April, I think we're going to see an overall pattern shift where we may actually flip things around a bit and actually get into some much warmer weather and likely above average temperatures," said Dan Russell, YNN meteorologist.

And that will be a welcome relief.

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