Climate zones

Lee Poulsen
Fri, 28 Oct 2005 14:48:45 PDT
Wow, Tony. This is fantastic to hear about. I had my own little private 
"uproar" when I saw that initial AHS draft version.

Thanks for representing all of us "silent majority" stakeholders that 
never get invited to any of these government meetings that affect us. 
(I'm thinking of the "importing small lots of seeds" rule-making 

I can't wait till it comes out or online. Any idea of when the Phase I 
map will appear?

It would be really nice if the EU, Australia, New Zealand, South 
Africa, Chile, Argentina, and China, for starters would submit their 
temperature data to this project as well. I've seen a zone map of China 
and of Australia that some people put together and a low resolution map 
of Europe that someone made. But it would be nice to have full-blown 
versions of these areas as well as of North America. And it would be 
very informative to see true Zone maps of southern South America, South 
Africa, and New Zealand as well.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena area, California, USDA Zone 10a

On Oct 28, 2005, at 12:33 PM, Tony Avent wrote:

> John:
> 	 Work on the new USDA map began on August 18, 2004. In 2003, a draft
> version was released by the American Horticulture Society which caused
> quite an uproar in the horticultural community. This revision would 
> have
> done away with the "a" and "b" zone designations and would have been 
> based
> on a fifteen year sample (1986-2001) of climatic data. By using a 
> 15-year
> warm period sample, the draft map would have moved Chicago into zone 6 
> and
> made other such disastrous errors.
> Thanks to the support of Dr. Judy St. John of USDA-ARS, the map 
> revision
> was put on hold until input from the stakeholders (government term for
> folks most affected by government decisions) could be gathered. The 
> August
> 18 meeting included representatives from USDA- ARS, the American
> Horticulture Society, the American Association of Botanic Gardens and
> Arboreta, University Researchers, and representatives of the nursery
> industry.
> The project will consist of two phases. In Phase I, the map will be
> reconstructed using the most recent 30 years of average annual extreme
> minimum temperatures. The map will also retain the "a and b" 
> designations.
> For the first time, the map will include a better breakdown of 
> coastal/lake
> effects, urban heat islands, wind patterns, and elevation differences. 
>  Due
> to advances in interpolation algorithms, the map will pick up on small
> differences that were previously missed.  The map will be made 
> available
> on-line where it can be searched both by city and zip code. The 
> on-line map
> will be clickable for more detailed climatic data to satisfy what the
> research scientists called, "those pointy-head weather nerd types."
> Phase II of the project will involve overlay maps for other factors 
> such as
> duration of cold, summer heat factors, and possibly air flow patterns. 
> It's
> not often that I get excited about a government project, but this will 
> be a
> huge improvement for our industry. Thanks both to the USDA-ARS for 
> making
> their resources available and for all of the committee members for 
> their
> time and input into the process.
> Tony Avent

More information about the pbs mailing list