Rainy Weather Could Spell Doom for This Year's Pumpkin Pie


It’s almost impossible to imagine Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie, but rainy late spring and early summer weather in the nation’s top pumpkin-growing region could mean disaster for holiday menus this year.

As ThinkProgressNatasha Geiling reports, 90 percent of the pumpkins in the U.S. are grown within 90 miles of Peoria, Illinois. Libby's Pumpkin, which supplies more than 85 percent of the world’s canned pumpkin, is headquartered in nearby Morton, Illinois, “the self-proclaimed pumpkin capital of the world.”

Downpours in the region between May and July this year—almost two feet of rain fell during that key growing period, according to Jim Angel, state climatologist—cut yields to half the normal amount. The poor yields also caused the 2015 harvest to end about a month early.

Libby’s anticipates having enough pumpkins until November but not beyond that, a corporate spokesperson told ThinkProgress. After the start of November, there will likely be no reserves to stock supermarket shelves.

That could leave Christmas shoppers in a bind. “If you want to have a Libby’s pumpkin [pie] for Thanksgiving or Christmas, get your pumpkin now,” Paul Bakus, president of corporate affairs at Nestlé (the owner of Libby's), said.

And as Marissa Fessenden for Smithsonian.com notes, while it’s often difficult to tie discrete weather events to climate change, Illinois has definitely been suffering from extreme weather. The state got a record-breaking amount of rain in June—9.42 inches, or more than twice the average for that month. “I firmly believe that the reason for this is because of climate change,” Bakus said.

The predicted shortage could follow the kale panic of 2015 in New York City and the brief but worrying sriracha shortage, while mirroring the more significant threats facing coffee, chocolate, and bananas. But don’t worry—your jack-o-lanterns and decorative gourds are still safe. For now.

[h/t Smithsonian.com, ThinkProgress]

The One-Day Record Snowfalls In Each State

Greenseas/iStock via Getty Images
Greenseas/iStock via Getty Images

Long after you’ve grown out of believing in magic, every thick, whirling snowstorm still seems to have been cast upon your town by a winter warlock (or Frozen’s resident ice queen, Elsa).

It’s also pretty magical when those inches of stacked snowflakes add up to a message from your manager telling you not to come into the office. In southern states like Georgia or Florida, sometimes all it takes is a light dusting.

But even those characteristically balmy places have hosted some serious snowstorms over the years, and David Cusick for House Method crunched the numbers to find out which ones made the record books. Using data from the National Centers for Environmental Information, Cusick created a map showing the one-day record snowfall for each state.

Florida finished in last place with a scant total of 4 inches, which occurred in Santa Rosa County on March 6, 1954. About two years before that, on January 14, 1952, Colorado had a staggering 76 inches—that’s more than 3 inches per hour—a national record that’s remained unchallenged for nearly 70 years.

Made with Flourish

But other states have come close. The snowstorm that hit Colorado in 1952 wreaked almost as much havoc in California, whose record from the same day was 75 inches. And Washington saw 70 inches of snow in November 1955, beating its 52-inch record from 1935 by a full 18 inches.

Though Midwestern states have gained a reputation for harsh, snowy winters, their one-day record snowfalls are surprisingly moderate. The Illinois and Indiana records are 24 and 26 inches, respectively, both slightly lower than Ohio’s 30-inch snow day from 1901. In 1993, North Carolina bested Ohio’s record by 6 inches.

Wondering how your individual county’s record compares to the overall state one? Cusick created a map for that, too, which you can explore below.

Made with Flourish

[h/t House Method]

Gorgeous Timelapse Shows What a Year in Vermont Looks Like in Two Minutes

Kirkikis/iStock via Getty Images
Kirkikis/iStock via Getty Images

If you live in a state with a middling climate where seasonal changes are mostly just the difference between warm and cool breezes, you might not fully understand the impulse to take a photo of your front yard every single week for an entire year.

If you live in New England, on the other hand, you can probably identify with Jennifer Hannux, a Vermont resident who did just that. Then, she edited the 52 photos into one glorious, two-minute-long timelapse and posted it on Twitter.

Hannux, whose Twitter handle is @VermontJen, took the photos from her front porch, which overlooks a sometimes-grassy, sometimes-snowy clearing that leads into an expansive forest with Mount Ascutney visible beyond it.

The video features lush summer greenery, ethereal snowscapes, vibrant fall foliage, and just about every sunrise color you can imagine. Overall, it’s a breathtaking homage to Vermont’s natural beauty, and a pretty compelling reason to consider relocating to New England’s least-populated state. It’s good timing for that, too, since Vermont’s government just launched a program that could pay you up to $7500 for becoming a full-time resident and employee in the Green Mountain State.

This is far from Hannux’s first foray into landscape photography—according to NECN, she posted a similar (albeit snowier) timelapse of images taken from her front porch in 2018. She also runs a photography business called Northeast Kingdom Photography, which you can check out here.

[h/t NECN]