Gardeners Sweating Unseasonable Heat After Record May and Above Average June

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- The plant experts at Wickman's Garden are getting lots of phone calls. Don McElhaney says most of them are about prematurely perishing plants, most dying of dehydration.

"Once a day will do it this time of year,” he says. “…but now we have temperatures like July and August."

Before the heat, the lingering chill was responsible for the local lack of lush greenery. 

And according to national weather service meteorologist, Doug Cramer, there wasn't really a season in between.

"When we go from the second coldest April on record to the warmest May on record,” Cramer says. “We literally went from Wintertime pattern to Summertime pattern in a matter of days."

Last month's quick and heavy heat, Cramer says, was thanks to a lingering winter that took up most of the spring. 

"We usually have five or six weeks of Spring. That was certainly not the case this year," Cramer says. 

It’s a pain, not just for plants, but for people too. 

City Utilities in Springfield has already stated bills for usage in the month of May could be a little higher than expected due to the heat. 

"We're already above average for the month of June. We're also below average for precipitation."

Who's to say what could happen if the summer temps keep trending up. 

"Most of them this time of year got to be watered,” McElhaney says. “It's going to be hard if the city rations water."

Traditionally in drought situations, City Utilities will encourage staggered watering. Houses with even numbered addresses water their laws on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Odd number houses water theirs on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Everyone Takes Monday off. 

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