Spring on the way to Sweden: expert
Published: 26 Feb 2012 11:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Feb 2012 11:52 GMT+01:00
Spring has arrived at last to Sweden's southern-most region Skåne, and other areas of the country are awakening as well, with such signs of spring as startled butterflies and the yearnful cooing of hormonal pigeons, according to the Swedish Museum of Natural History (Naturhistoriska riksmuseet).
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"The pigeons have even begun cooing and devoting themselves to flight displays. They're full to the brim with hormones," said Lars-Åke Janzon, biologist at the Museum of Natural History in Stockholm to news agency TT.
The technical definition of spring requires the date passing February 15, and an above-zero average temperature for at least a week.
The long wait for spring may now be nearing its end.
Signs of spring are being reported from around the country to Janzon, and he confirmed to TT that he has seen several signs himself.
Among budding plants, flowering hazel, winter aconite and snow drops are all jostling to be first in line to sprout out of the soil.
"It's always good to be first, because then they can bloom longer. They're bulbs, and therefore aren't dependent on pollination," Janzon told TT.
Another hopeful sign that winter may be on its way out is the arrival of the first migratory birds, back from their southernly sojourn. Wood pigeons, Whooper swans and pigeons have all started returning to Sweden.
Janzon also noted that our own moods are affected by the sun. Much fewer signs of spring are reported on overcast days.
In the category temporary spring guests, there is also tortoiseshell, peacock and brimstone butterflies, who often awaken at this time of year, even though it's a little early. When the sun shines, they warm up and can't get back to sleep.
And although Swedish meteorological institute SMHI doesn't offer any long-term forecasts, a glimpse at predictions from American weather institute WSI and Norwegian meteorological institute hints that we may be in for a warmer spring than usual.
Long-term forecasts from these institutes indicate that between March and May, the temperature in Scandinavia will be between 0.5 and 1 degree Celsius warmer than normal.