Alaska Marine Weather

February 16, 2008 11:10 AM | Alaskan Photo Tours

alaska marine weather

Know your area

For gardeners who want to optimize their results, the zone system is essential.

The Zone System was created by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and divides the country into eleven zones. The divisions are based on winter average minimum temperature in Zone 1 the cooler zone 11 the warmest. Zone system maps are available online and are very useful to locate area you are in.

The USDA zone system is unique in all, however. Sunset, the famous landscaping company publication, developed his own system, and even more extensive. Sunset Climate Zone Western system has 24 divisions of the American West North, with additional zones (A1-A3) for Alaska and Hawaii (H1-H3).

[The zones are:

Cold and snow: 1-3

Northwest Rain Zones :4-6

Alley North and Interior Areas-California: 7-9, 14-17

Southern California: 1918-1924

Southwestern desert areas: 10-13]

Sunset uses more than the minimum temperature in winter. Their algorithm also includes summer temperatures, annual rainfall, the altitude, humidity and other climatic factors such as marine and mountain geography. But that's not all. The system factors Sunset in the length of the growing season – reviewing the average number of days between the beginning of spring and the first frosts of autumn.

Even with all this extensive information, areas can be divided into micro-climates, for those who want to reduce their area as possible. Some areas like northern Idaho Panhandle are protected against the harshest winter weather for their unique configuration of the mountains. Just on the other side, Montana has a lot more severe weather.

hillsides can channel hot or cold air in an area the same way other influences are kept out. In the wine region of Southern California, for example, the narrow passage where the majority of the vineyards of sitting, catches the summer air. At the same time the valleys get a breeze cool at night from the nearby Pacific Ocean. The combination of these (and other) factors creates an area that is perfect for wine grapes.

Using micro information, it is possible to grow some plants that would otherwise not flourish may suspect that (if you consider only the number of area). There are limits, however. still lemon trees will do better in Southern California they do in Eastern Washington.

Some experiments always be needed to determine what plants grow best in your particular environment. But using the zone system as a starting guide will help to avoid costly mistakes. You can grow a plant that you voted, for instance, as resistant to Zone 5. But if you live in Zone 2 which is almost certain to lose time and money in that instance.

Since the resistance of a plant is largely genetic, there is little you can do to adjust the plant, apart from the hybridization. But the selection of plants grow best in which areas is a simple exercise. There is extensive information online to guide you.

-The Fixie Chix

About the Author

Tune into www.Home&YardRadio;.com with the Fixie Chick Saturdays at 10:00am on 950 ESPN for more must have information for your Home & Yard!
Women owned businesses. DIY Home Improvements. Look at my other businesses: & Healthy Homes of Rochester
Well save you money on your home’s energy costs.

Brenna Hartmann also writes for the Democrat and Chronicle’s Living Section in Rochester, NY. In addition she writes monthly for The Property Source Magazine and the Home and yard Handbook which she was the founder and since has sold the handbook entity in order to spend more time with her family and children.

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