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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 11/27/2008

Weather and Thanksgiving Dinner

By Ann Posegate

Wx and the City

* Were the Pilgrims Weather Wimps? | SkinsCast | Full Forecast *

Maybe I'm obsessed with weather. But I am constantly noticing weather's connection to nearly everything. Take food, for example. Traditional Thanksgiving dinner. While you are giving thanks today for your family, friends, job, health, etc., why not thank the weather as well? Here are some little-known connections between weather and food to be thankful for...

Wild Turkeys: Even though most of us will not be indulging in a wild turkey today, it's still worth thanking the ancestor of our farm-raised main course. Wild turkeys are tough. They can only fly short distances (one-eighth of a mile) and thus do not migrate south for the winter. They live year-round in some of the coldest parts of the U.S., including the Midwest and Northeast, and are able to survive sub-zero temperatures.

Keep reading for more connections between weather and the food on your Thanksgiving dinner plate...

Wild turkeys can settle in roosting areas for up to two weeks during spells of severe weather, losing up to 40 percent of their body without succumbing to starvation! Their real stress is snow -- since they eat ground forage, they cannot find much food if more than six inches of the white stuff is on the ground.

Apples and Cranberries: Both of these fruits' life cycles are intricately tied to seasons and weather. Their blossoms bloom at the onset of warm, sunny weather each spring. After pollination, the fruits grow over the summer, ripen, and are harvested in fall. New buds grow in late fall and the plants lie dormant over the winter.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potato production generally requires a minimum frost-free period of 110 to 150 days. Frost can damage vines and roots, and cold soils can reduce the potatoe's ability to keep well in storage after harvest. Another danger is heavy rain, which can prevent roots from forming properly, or cause the potatoes to split.

Wine: There are many, many ties between wine grapes and weather. But sun, wind and rain are the biggest factors. White and red grapes that receive a lot of sun exposure generally result in fuller-bodied wines. In order to ripen correctly, wine grapes need about 1,400 hours of sunlight during their growing season! As far as wind, too much of it can damage grape vines, reducing crop yield or keeping the grapes from maturing. And finally, rain...Grape vines need about 22 inches of annual rainfall to survive. However, too much rain during the summer can cause mildew growth, damaging crops. Too much rain shortly before grape harvest can affect a finished wine by reducing the amount of sugar in the grapes.

Thanks to Earth Gauge for these fun facts.

By Ann Posegate  | November 27, 2008; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Posegate, Wx and the City  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: A Slightly Milder Turkey Day
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just curious - I am very confused on why we are talking about a 20-30% of snow when the likelihood of rain is greater! I think we need a rain haters cyrstal ball. Seriously, if the chance of snow is 20% and the chance of rain is 40% don't you think we should focus the discussion on rain instead of snow?? Trust me snow is fun and I love it, but let's be honest the real chance of rain on Sunday is about 50% and the chance of ACCUMULATING snow is about 5%!

Posted by: snowlover | November 27, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Yeah but we focus-grouped a rain haters crystal ball and it did not test well.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 27, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

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