Maine, like other New England states, says a sort of long goodbye to winter, with wet and cold weather lingering long past the official date of Spring. Hi, I'm Dave Thurlow and this is the Weather Notebook. As correspondent Jessica Lockhart reports, part of that long goodbye includes avoiding damp, very damp earth!
Maine outdoors in April...muck, mess and misery.
"I'm Bob Dyer, I'm a stone mason I lay stones in Maine, in the springtime I spend the day kneeling in mud, my stones are covered in mud and I'm covered in mud."
It's not called Mud season for nothing! Just like Maine produces prize winning blueberries and potatoes, it also provides an abundance of that gooey Springtime mess. There's a reason for it, in just one word:
Wanna hear it again?
That's not a dinosaur but a scientific term applied to a soil (a clay type) that is widespread in the state. Samantha Langley-Turnbaugh is a professor of Environmental Science and policy at the University of Southern Maine. She says certain properties of the clay favor production of the sticky stuff, unlike other soil types.
"You get mud when the water can't infiltrate into the soil fast enough, if you have very sandy soil water can run off so you never have mud. You need water staying on the surface of the soil, if run-off is greater than infiltration, that's when you get mud."
This past winter, with its abundant snowfall, is sure to make this spring a banner season for mud, once the thaw hits.
"What you get is the snow pack melting which increases the amount of water in the system where as normally we have precipitation falling in the Spring sky and the melting of the huge snowpack increases the volume of water."
That's Jessica Lockhart of Maine. The Weather Notebook is generously supported by Subaru and the National Science Foundation.