Spring comes with the tilting earth’s implacable warming by the sun.
Ignoring any major deviations in the local weather pattern, spring, following level ground, advances at a rate of approximately 17 miles a day, according to naturalist Hal Borland in 1949.
Applying this same concept to Carolina’s spring flower appearance, when the lawns of the village of Sea Level in Carteret County, about 35 degrees N, begin to sport their fields of early blooming violets, anyone versed in the proper use of this rule should be able to determine the timing of violets’ appearances farther west.
By this theory, Raleigh should be displaying its violets about the same time. However, other factors must be considered. Research suggests that every 100-foot rise in altitude causes spring to slow by about three days.
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Thus for Raleigh, averaging 349 feet, its violets will be three days later in matching the coastal community of Sea Level in their blanketing late winter lawns with those smiling spring flowers.