First Arctic blast

57 posts in this topic

Next week is going to be brutal for the Southeast. It will feel more like January than November here in Eastern North Carolina.

7dayPM.JPG.bad99c3a30c7e4aebe6e86ea0e5f6

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a few days ago, they were figuring we'd drop into the 40's.  Now, mid-50s.  If you don't like the weather forecast down here, just wait 5 minutes and refresh your browser... it will change.

 

201811090015_Weather.png

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Just a few days ago, they were figuring we'd drop into the 40's.  Now, mid-50s.  If you don't like the weather forecast down here, just wait 5 minutes and refresh your browser... it will change.

I know right?! Just a couple days ago, it was showing 45 as a possible low this Tuesday- now it's up to 53. This is my first year living in Orlando, and I've been interested to see what the seasons are like compared to where I came from in Northwest FL. So far it seems like this area runs about 7-10 degrees warmer, and if there is no influence of a front up north, it easily returns to almost full-on summer conditions (i.e. the high 80's experienced the last few days). I also do know that these recent temps have been well above average. We did have more fall-like conditions in late Oct where it got to mid 50's a few nights and very low humidity, but it's amazing how quickly it went back up. Whereas in NW FL, my parents already saw tinges of frost on the rooftops with a low in the low 40's one morning- and instead of mid to high 80's like down here lately, the warmest they've been getting is high 70's (which is still above avg).

Here's a comparison of temps and how much NW FL is going to feel this coming cold snap compared to the Orlando area.

5be5a5b8e5012_Orlando10day.PNG.e8758757a

Also, here's a graphic with a comparison of daytime highs compared to average for Orlando- in the last few days, temps have been running about 8 degrees above average. It looks like the above avg temps will end next Wed with this colder spell.

5be5ab8417ab9_Orlando10day.PNG.d8bd2c6b8

I wonder how cold this winter will be for FL- I do know that it is expected to have an El Nino, and one of the recent El Nino's that affected FL was during the 2009-10 winter which brought much colder temps down here. However, NOAA just issued a 3 month temp. and precip. anomaly prediction, and is calling for an average winter with above avg precip.

5be5a7e1b8d28_ENSOprediction.thumb.PNG.3

Edited by Opal92
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Opal92 said:

This is my first year living in Orlando, and I've been interested to see what the seasons are like compared to where I came from in Northwest FL. So far it seems like this area runs about 7-10 degrees warmer, and if there is no influence of a front up north, it easily returns to almost full-on summer conditions (i.e. the high 80's experienced the last few days). I also do know that these recent temps have been well above average. We did have more fall-like conditions in late Oct where it got to mid 50's a few nights and very low humidity, but it's amazing how quickly it went back up. Whereas in NW FL, my parents already saw tinges of frost on the rooftops with a low in the low 40's one morning- and instead of mid to high 80's like down here lately, the warmest they've been getting is high 70's (which is still above avg).

 

The lowest temp. I’ve recorded this fall so far is 48F. one morning. Currently it’s 80.6F and raining.

Not sure how accurate this is, or how can they even predict day and night temperatures so far ahead, but Accuweather extended forecast for the next 3 months doesn’t show Destin to go below freezing once this winter with the lowest nighttime temp. only being 38F. 

I found their extended forecast to be accurate last winter though. I decided to trust their projections of there not being any more below 32F temperatures and started planting my more tender stuff early, soon after the last freeze in mid January. 

December 2018

BA8F8870-9589-4E55-A274-E98D6ED5AF3F.png

February 2019

00729A87-4E80-4B81-A5C8-7D062CF31326.jpeg

January 2019

C84C6F8D-36DB-44D7-8426-A0F1CCE2E79E.png

Edited by Estlander
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Estlander said:

The lowest temp. I’ve recorded this fall so far is 48F. one morning. Currently it’s 80.6F and raining.

Not sure how accurate this is, or how can they even predict day and night temperatures so far ahead, but Accuweather extended forecast for the next 3 months doesn’t show Destin to go below freezing once this winter with the lowest nighttime temp. only being 38F. 

I found their extended forecast to be accurate last winter though. I decided to trust their projections of there not being any more below 32F temperatures and started planting my more tender stuff early, soon after the last freeze in mid January. 

December 2018

February 2019

January 2019

80 degrees this late in the year is quite warm up there. Interesting that Accuweather has a 3 month forecast like that. However, I don't think there's ever been a winter in the Ft. Walton/Destin area that hasn't gotten to at least freezing. The "warmest" winter I experienced in Niceville was 25 degrees as the max low- although I know Destin/beaches runs a few degrees warmer. Also, this past February warm spell was extremely unusual- most winters we get at least a couple freezes in February.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in the PNW, we are having a mini cold spell for a few nights. Last night was the coldest. Got down to 33.6F at my place. The coldest night in October was 38.5F  Good news Next Week will be warmer. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Opal92 said:

I know right?! Just a couple days ago, it was showing 45 as a possible low this Tuesday- now it's up to 53. This is my first year living in Orlando, and I've been interested to see what the seasons are like compared to where I came from in Northwest FL. So far it seems like this area runs about 7-10 degrees warmer, and if there is no influence of a front up north, it easily returns to almost full-on summer conditions (i.e. the high 80's experienced the last few days). I also do know that these recent temps have been well above average. We did have more fall-like conditions in late Oct where it got to mid 50's a few nights and very low humidity, but it's amazing how quickly it went back up. Whereas in NW FL, my parents already saw tinges of frost on the rooftops with a low in the low 40's one morning- and instead of mid to high 80's like down here lately, the warmest they've been getting is high 70's (which is still above avg).

Here's a comparison of temps and how much NW FL is going to feel this coming cold snap compared to the Orlando area.

Also, here's a graphic with a comparison of daytime highs compared to average for Orlando- in the last few days, temps have been running about 8 degrees above average. It looks like the above avg temps will end next Wed with this colder spell.

I wonder how cold this winter will be for FL- I do know that it is expected to have an El Nino, and one of the recent El Nino's that affected FL was during the 2009-10 winter which brought much colder temps down here. However, NOAA just issued a 3 month temp. and precip. anomaly prediction, and is calling for an average winter with above avg precip.

Welcome to peninsular Florida, @Opal92.  We get ripped with cold fronts once in a while here, but it's usually 1-2 weeks worth the days of chilly temperatures (2010 being an exception).  The 7-10 degree difference is roughly the same as between here and South Florida (Southeast Florida in particular).  The cities on the I-4 corridor have some interesting characteristics.  Out in the sticks, the temperatures can drop into the teens during our worst fronts.  Properties inside of the urban areas, near lakes, properties with canopy, etc. pretty much bottom off in the 20s somewhere.  Leu Gardens is a very strong microclimate with every conceivable advantage other than coastal influence.  Sanford sits right below one lake and above another, so the record low there is the same as Tampa (19F).  Lakeland has grown to have some level of urban heat island effect and has lakes and rolling hills (similar to Leu, but on a smaller scale).  In the right spots, it's 3-5 degrees warmer than our airport temperatures.  Tampa is another mixed bag.  Just an hour north, the climate in Spring Hill and other cities in the area are more like a weak 9a/strong 8b.  There are other areas, mostly near water, that are very stable 9b (10a) most years.  Getting off of I-4 and onto I-275, the climate in St. Petersburg is conducive to pre-1989 coconuts at Kopsick.

Regarding 2010, I recorded 26, 28, 26 for lows on consecutive nights in January, with the high on the first day being 37F.  Even with that, almost all of our royal palms survived.

You'll find palm gardening here opens a few doors that just weren't feasible in Florida's Icebox.

23 minutes ago, Estlander said:

The lowest temp. I’ve recorded this fall so far is 48F. one morning. Currently it’s 80.6F and raining.

Not sure how accurate this is, or how can they even predict day and night temperatures so far ahead, but Accuweather extended forecast for the next 3 months doesn’t show Destin to go below freezing once this winter with the lowest nighttime temp. only being 38F. 

I found their extended forecast to be accurate last winter though. I decided to trust their projections of there not being any more below 32F temperatures and started planting my more tender stuff early, soon after the last freeze in mid January. 

Last year, AccuWeather recorded a low of 25F for us.  Where they recorded it, it was likely accurate.  I did find it weird that Weather.com, AccuWeather.com, and Wunderground.com got 3 different readings for January 18th, 2018.  Unless I am mistaken, they all measure temperature at our airport.  I recorded 28.2F on my weather station, but I am in the actual city.

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. Currently its pouring rain and we are about to enter January temps for the next week. The colder and wetter conditions have been the case since late September... 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Opal92, you are now midway down the FL peninsula many miles south of your previous residence. North FL and the Panhandle experience what I call a continental climate like that of other parts of the deep south. By the time you reach Orlando your winters have the benefit of quick warmups once the sun rises after a cold night. That temp rebound helps you to grow species of palms that are impossible in NW FL. You also may benefit from proximity to two oceans instead of one. South of Tampa/St. Pete local forests definitely change from continental SE US to subtropical verging on tropical the farther south you go. In my Cape Coral/Ft. Myers area it is significantly warmer in winter than Orlando. Continue even further south to Naples, Marco or the Keys and cold sensitive palms I can't grow thrive. But all these areas benefit from that sunrise bounce in winter.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well looks like after tomorrow night my Bananas and Elephant Ears will be frosted until next season. 

SmartSelect_20181109-191350_Weather.jpg

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Opal92 said:

I wonder how cold this winter will be for FL- I do know that it is expected to have an El Nino, and one of the recent El Nino's that affected FL was during the 2009-10 winter which brought much colder temps down here. However, NOAA just issued a 3 month temp. and precip. anomaly prediction, and is calling for an average winter with above avg precip.

5be5a7e1b8d28_ENSOprediction.thumb.PNG.3

1

I am predicting it will be a below average winter, like a repeat of last year.

1 hour ago, PalmTreeDude said:

Well looks like after tomorrow night my Bananas and Elephant Ears will be frosted until next season. 

SmartSelect_20181109-191350_Weather.jpg

 

25º already?! I think Pennsylvania will be warmer than that lol

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, NC_Palms said:

I am predicting it will be a below average winter, like a repeat of last year.

25º already?! I think Pennsylvania will be warmer than that lol

Temporarily, yes.  But near the local Pitt campus in my former home, not for long:

201811092100_JtownWeather.png

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kinzyjr said:

Temporarily, yes.  But near the local Pitt campus in my former home, not for long:

201811092100_JtownWeather.png

 

They've already gotten a lot of snow in the Johnstown area. My cousin sent me these pics last month.

 44598577_10212701121627654_7989719028417

44453450_10212701122427674_3498379969308

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, NC_Palms said:

They've already gotten a lot of snow in the Johnstown area. My cousin sent me these pics last month.

You just gave me flashbacks and nightmares for a week. ;)  My father said pretty much the same.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

You just gave me flashbacks and nightmares for a week. ;)  My father said pretty much the same.

:floor: Don't worry, we ain't going to be seeing snow for a long time.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, NC_Palms said:

:floor: Don't worry, we ain't going to be seeing snow for a long time.

We're about due.  We came close in 2010 down here.  Land O Lakes and Dade City got it.  Then there was this in 1977:

 

snow-in-tampa,-Jan-19th.jpg

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, NC_Palms said:

I am predicting it will be a below average winter, like a repeat of last year.

 

When they say 'below average' winter, what does it mean exactly? I don't think it necessarily means 'crazy freezing temps.' or anything like that,.....depending on the area, of course.

If winter lows in the freezing spectrum are the norm in your area, then you may experience even colder temperatures, I understand that. But in the case of deep Southeast where winter lows are quite a bit above 32F, then 'below average' shouldn't necessarily mean anything extreme.

The way I understand it is if Orlando's January average temps. are: High 71 Low 49, for an example, then that means their January averages will likely be lower this winter.  But by how much lower is not known. Even by just a little bit lower is still lower.

     
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Welcome to peninsular Florida, @Opal92.  We get ripped with cold fronts once in a while here, but it's usually 1-2 weeks worth the days of chilly temperatures (2010 being an exception).  The 7-10 degree difference is roughly the same as between here and South Florida (Southeast Florida in particular).  The cities on the I-4 corridor have some interesting characteristics.  Out in the sticks, the temperatures can drop into the teens during our worst fronts.  Properties inside of the urban areas, near lakes, properties with canopy, etc. pretty much bottom off in the 20s somewhere.  Leu Gardens is a very strong microclimate with every conceivable advantage other than coastal influence.  Sanford sits right below one lake and above another, so the record low there is the same as Tampa (19F).  Lakeland has grown to have some level of urban heat island effect and has lakes and rolling hills (similar to Leu, but on a smaller scale).  In the right spots, it's 3-5 degrees warmer than our airport temperatures.  Tampa is another mixed bag.  Just an hour north, the climate in Spring Hill and other cities in the area are more like a weak 9a/strong 8b.  There are other areas, mostly near water, that are very stable 9b (10a) most years.  Getting off of I-4 and onto I-275, the climate in St. Petersburg is conducive to pre-1989 coconuts at Kopsick.

Regarding 2010, I recorded 26, 28, 26 for lows on consecutive nights in January, with the high on the first day being 37F.  Even with that, almost all of our royal palms survived.

You'll find palm gardening here opens a few doors that just weren't feasible in Florida's Icebox.

5 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

@Opal92, you are now midway down the FL peninsula many miles south of your previous residence. North FL and the Panhandle experience what I call a continental climate like that of other parts of the deep south. By the time you reach Orlando your winters have the benefit of quick warmups once the sun rises after a cold night. That temp rebound helps you to grow species of palms that are impossible in NW FL. You also may benefit from proximity to two oceans instead of one. South of Tampa/St. Pete local forests definitely change from continental SE US to subtropical verging on tropical the farther south you go. In my Cape Coral/Ft. Myers area it is significantly warmer in winter than Orlando. Continue even further south to Naples, Marco or the Keys and cold sensitive palms I can't grow thrive. But all these areas benefit from that sunrise bounce in winter.

 

Yes, definitely quite a difference between here and the north part of the state. I read in an Atlas of FL book one time that from about Titusville southward, the winters are considered "peninsular" and above that "continental." Interestingly, I find myself somewhat missing the cooler temperatures that I got in the Panhandle (although I'm not complaining here)- you really do get 4 seasons in N. FL, I just call them "muted." I remember one time when I was in high school, a kid who had transferred from West Palm Beach was telling me that he was amazed how it actually got cold/cool and found it very refreshing.

It's funny though how many people who move down to Central/South FL for the warmer weather turn around and complain how it's "too hot this late in the year" and say "when's the cool weather coming?" as I've heard from numerous people lately. You have to know what your getting yourself into coming here. I've heard it said that it's the warm (hot) season that is the hardest to get through. I can see why the population in FL before the advent of air conditioning was quite low.

And although I can't do much now being in an apartment, if I stay here long term I can't wait to have a yard one day to choose planting from the amazing selection of plants/trees/palms that are possible here. I feel that there's a big cut-off point at about zone 9a, with anything colder being greatly limiting in terms tropical/exotic options. However, I do have to admit that there is sort of a thrill that comes with pulling off growing a marginal palm or accomplishing a tropical looking garden as far north as where I used to live. In all, I think I'd be happy in either place- although I'm eager to "cut my teeth" and explore the landscape and options down here for awhile.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Opal92 said:

here)- you really do get 4 seasons in N. FL, I just call them "muted."

I've heard that too from somewhere, but I just don't see it. At least not on our 9A barrier islands. And I come from 59N degrees latitude originally, lol. There aren't that many deciduous trees to be seen here so close to the Gulf and everything looks nice and green all year around.

A little north from here closer to the FL-Alabama border deciduous trees become quite apparent. Driving anywhere north from here in the fall and winter the visual part becomes quite evident and even depressing. You get that winter feeling quick - dead grass and no leaves on trees.

Temperature wise I'd say there's two seasons: 'HOT' and 'less hot' season with higher temperature variables. Yes, there are those 1 to 5 winter nights when it can go below freezing for a few hours, but it's winter after all. 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very cold night in much of the country, but absolutely brutal in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas. 

082AA595-7FA9-4AA2-AC96-6C826B2FD6F7.jpeg

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forecast is trending down...looks like Houston might get an (very?) early first freeze mid week next week. Will be interesting to see if the heat island can work its magic. NWS still has us in the mid 30s above freezing. Best case scenario seems like no freeze but heavy first frost.

5be6b6b449a0e_wedcold.thumb.JPG.69bc535f

Look at those low-mid 20s deep into Louisiana! I wonder if the RGV will manage to stay above 40F (NWS has Brownsville with a low of 41F and the coast in mid-high 40s). 

Edited by Xenon
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Estlander said:

When they say 'below average' winter, what does it mean exactly? I don't think it necessarily means 'crazy freezing temps.' or anything like that,.....depending on the area, of course.

If winter lows in the freezing spectrum are the norm in your area, then you may experience even colder temperatures, I understand that. But in the case of deep Southeast where winter lows are quite a bit above 32F, then 'below average' shouldn't necessarily mean anything extreme.

The way I understand it is if Orlando's January average temps. are: High 71 Low 49, for an example, then that means their January averages will likely be lower this winter.  But by how much lower is not known. Even by just a little bit lower is still lower.

     

You can find out for your region (if you're in the Southeast) at this link: http://agroclimate.org/tools/weather-stations/

This was a graphic I posted in the El Nino thread (http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/56931-el-ni%C3%B1o-expected-later-this-year/).  Looks like the average is about 2 degrees cooler here:

201807221305_ElNino_LaNina_Avg.thumb.png

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, PalmTreeDude said:

Well looks like after tomorrow night my Bananas and Elephant Ears will be frosted until next season. 

SmartSelect_20181109-191350_Weather.jpg

 

Some folks around here have already hacked theirs down...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Opal92 said:

 

It's funny though how many people who move down to Central/South FL for the warmer weather turn around and complain how it's "too hot this late in the year" and say "when's the cool weather coming?" as I've heard from numerous people lately. You have to know what your getting yourself into coming here. I've heard it said that it's the warm (hot) season that is the hardest to get through. I can see why the population in FL before the advent of air conditioning was quite low.

 

Around here we have seen an influx of folks who moved from up north down to FL only to then move slightly farther north again (ex. The carolina's) because they wanted the cool winter. I found that rather interesting, especially coming from near tundra conditions a few years ago. 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Estlander said:

I've heard that too from somewhere, but I just don't see it. At least not on our 9A barrier islands. And I come from 59N degrees latitude originally, lol. There aren't that many deciduous trees to be seen here so close to the Gulf and everything looks nice and green all year around.

A little north from here closer to the FL-Alabama border deciduous trees become quite apparent. Driving anywhere north from here in the fall and winter the visual part becomes quite evident and even depressing. You get that winter feeling quick - dead grass and no leaves on trees.

Temperature wise I'd say there's two seasons: 'HOT' and 'less hot' season with higher temperature variables. Yes, there are those 1 to 5 winter nights when it can go below freezing for a few hours, but it's winter after all. 

When I wrote that I was thinking in the back of my mind that people from up north would laugh if one tried to say the Ft. Walton/Destin had "seasons." The truth is, it is simply a matter of perspective- I think many people who come from a place that gets snow in October and get below 0 in winter think that is the true definition of a "4 seasons climate." And then when I went to college in Pensacola, there would be exchange students from tropical countries like Papua New Guinea who were very uncomfortable in the winter and would bundle up in heavy layers anytime the temp got below 60. The fact is, seasons vary in winter extremes, and just because there isn't snow or sub-zero temps doesn't mean there aren't hard freezing temperatures that induce native vegetation to become dormant. 

 As mentioned before, NW FL has a true "continental" climate compared to peninsular FL as there is nothing to keep arctic cold fronts from moving through the area in winter with a continuous land mass up into Canada. The Ft. Walton/Destin area has seen low teens multiple times in the last century, single digits at least once, and winter precipitation every several years. Actually, the Western FL Panhandle is slightly colder than much of the Northern Gulf Coast- much of Southern Louisiana at our same latitude is more solid 9a. Even sans just a few degrees, the climate of the Western FL Panhandle is about the same as even Central Alabama or Georgia.

I really have noticed the difference moving to Orlando- I've seen a few more traditionally northern trees like redbud, babylon weeping willow, and Nuttall oak attempted to be grown, and they don't look good, prematurely die, and struggle with the extremely inconsistent winter temps, whereas all of those can grow fine up in NW FL because of the true temperate climate (regular, consistent, cold dormancy-inducing winter temperatures).

And sure, anywhere you go close to the ocean there is going to be a slight micro-climate, but the native vegetation at the beach in the Panhandle is of the scrub community, which is made to withstand extremely poor soil, salt spray, and dry conditions- they aren't any less cold hardy than vegetation farther north in the county. The reason there are more traditionally northern trees (red oak, sweet gum, sycamore) as you go north in the county is due to a difference in soil quality, lack of oceanic winds/salt spray, and the lack of people purposely planting evergreen trees, not a more harsh winter climate. Hence the reason the Destin area doesn't seem to "turn brown" in the winter is due to all the purposeful evergreen landscaping that is meant to cater to winter visitors (palms, broadleaf evergreens, winter rye grass). Sans a few more tender varieties of palms, most any of these could be grown farther north in the county in zone 8 if one really wanted to.

Edited by Opal92
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Opal92 said:

 

I really have noticed the difference moving here to Orlando- I've seen a few more traditionally northern trees like redbud, babylon weeping willow, and Nuttall oak attempted to be grown down here, and they don't look good, prematurely die, and struggle with the extremely inconsistent winter temps, whereas all of those can grow fine up in NW FL because of the true temperate climate (regular, consistent, cold dormancy-inducing winter temperatures).

 

I had this discussion with someone else on PT. What you point out above is something that I really like about the zone I'm in. Yes I wish I could grow some of the real tropical palms, but the trade off is I can grow some fantastic trees that simply can't handle FL. My oak selection is just about endless, even some great Asian evergreen oaks and maples, I can even pull off some fur trees and hemlocks. Beech trees do great here and they stretch all the way into Canada.  The Zoo in Columbia has a nice Canadian Hemlock growing and it looks great. Z8 really is the transition zone and offers some pretty amazing opportunities. However, in return I don't get to plant some of the super tropical looking palms. But from someone who spent 20 years living just about on the 45th latitude a Palmetto looks VERY tropical. It's certainly all perspective as you alluded to. 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, RJ said:

I had this discussion with someone else on PT. What you point out above is something that I really like about the zone I'm in. Yes I wish I could grow some of the real tropical palms, but the trade off is I can grow some fantastic trees that simply can't handle FL. My oak selection is just about endless, even some great Asian evergreen oaks and maples, I can even pull off some fur trees and hemlocks. Beech trees do great here and they stretch all the way into Canada.  The Zoo in Columbia has a nice Canadian Hemlock growing and it looks great. Z8 really is the transition zone and offers some pretty amazing opportunities. However, in return I don't get to plant some of the super tropical looking palms. But from someone who spent 20 years living just about on the 45th latitude a Palmetto looks VERY tropical. It's certainly all perspective as you alluded to. 

Yes, I agree- I do really like being able to grow some of those more northern trees in N. FL. It sounds like your climate is even colder than N. FL as Canadian Hemlock and most fir trees can't grow in NW FL. Still, a good mix. And like I said earlier, when it comes to the tropicals, there is sort of a thrill that comes with pulling off growing a marginal palm or accomplishing a tropical looking garden as far north as N. FL or SC.

Many people tout Orlando as so unique because you can grow temperate and tropical stuff together. I agree, but from my observation, it's much more weighted on the tropical side, and the true temperate stuff is somewhat limited and tends to struggle (as mentioned before). 

Edited by Opal92
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Xenon provides interesting information as usual. Hard to believe as we are still sweating our cohones off down here. It is hot and I mean still close to 90F highs with lows still in the 70’s after one dip to the mid-60’s.

Opal and Estlander’s discussion of seasons is interesting. Even down here you feel the changes of the year. They may be nearly imperceptible but something in the less direct sun, the wind direction, lower humidity  and the cooler temperatures (hopefully) tell you. The green remains but most look forward to the prediction of a possible freeze. Natives view these predictions as USDA liability protection for farmers out in the Glades.

When we actually do get a major cold front that makes it through, the greatest sight is in the ocean when you can see “the mountain on top of the Stream”. This was my Grandfather’s description of the large waves that can be seen on the Gulfstream, which is approximately 2 miles offshore. You also get much steam off the water at the same time because of the disparity between the air temperature and the constant water temperature (40F vs. constant 85F plus). Quite a beautiful sight!

 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Xenon provides interesting information as usual. Hard to believe as we are still sweating our cohones off done here. It is hot and I mean still close to 90F highs with lows still in the 70’s after one dip to the mid-60’s.

Opal and Estlander’s discussion of seasons is interesting. Even down here you feel the changes of the year. They may be nearly imperceptible but something in the less direct sun, the wind direction, lower humidity  and the cooler temperatures (hopefully) tell you. The green remains but most look forward to the prediction of a possible freeze. Natives view these predictions as USDA liability protection for farmers out in the Glades. 

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Potential first freeze tonight, forecasts in the 30-33 degree range. Moving zone 10 things indoors later.

Forecast for next week looks very December-like with highs generally in the 40’s and lows in the 30’s, it looks colder to the west of here, being in the Atlantic certainly helps in the fall, but it hurts us in the spring.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bubba said:

Xenon provides interesting information as usual. Hard to believe as we are still sweating our cohones off down here. It is hot and I mean still close to 90F highs with lows still in the 70’s after one dip to the mid-60’s.

Opal and Estlander’s discussion of seasons is interesting. Even down here you feel the changes of the year. They may be nearly imperceptible but something in the less direct sun, the wind direction, lower humidity  and the cooler temperatures (hopefully) tell you. The green remains but most look forward to the prediction of a possible freeze. Natives view these predictions as USDA liability protection for farmers out in the Glades.

When we actually do get a major cold front that makes it through, the greatest sight is in the ocean when you can see “the mountain on top of the Stream”. This was my Grandfather’s description of the large waves that can be seen on the Gulfstream, which is approximately 2 miles offshore. You also get much steam off the water at the same time because of the disparity between the air temperature and the constant water temperature (40F vs. constant 85F plus). Quite a beautiful sight!

I agree that you can tell the difference with the shorter days and the less direct sunlight.  Even though it has been close to 90F here the last couple of days, the drier air and the less direct sunlight + shorter days definitely make it a little easier to be outside.  Over the summer, I can hardly wait to mow under the live oaks as mowing out in the open is just so intense.  Now that I've lived down here for 15 years, I'm reaching deep into the closet for a sweatsuit or a hoodie if it goes below 70F.

I would echo with @Estlander, @Opal92, and @RJ that gardening in transition zones gets interesting.  I heard that in the colder parts of the panhandle (Crestview comes to mind) that you can grow tulips!  I'd love to have them in a few of my planters here, but they would rot.  Anywhere past zone 8 and they're finished.  In Jason Dewees' new book Designing With Palms, he has some pictures of warm temperate gardens from SC and GA.  The mix of pines and oaks in contrast to the palms creates a really interesting garden.  It's honestly my favorite portion of the book, even with the uber-tropical pictures from south Florida, the Keys, and Hawaii  Guess we shouldn't complain about those arctic fronts so much, but I still will. :)

Those of us in Central Florida are also in a transition zone.  We're the transition between the extra-warm temperate continental climate of north Florida and the almost purely tropical climate of South Florida.  Basically, we're tropical all but 2 weeks to one month per year.  There is also that thrill of growing things you shouldn't here, and plenty of us drag stuff back from South Florida plant sales with delusions of zone grandeur.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of transition zones, I think there's a pretty big leap near the upper end of 9b/cusp of 10a. Much of southern Texas (south of San Antonio and Houston) is pretty much the same palm/tropical plant-wise (with the exception of the immediate coast), with maybe the only difference being queen palms being more marginal in the northern part of the region. And then suddenly you hit the RGV (9b/10a) and it's royals, foxtails, royal poinciana, ficus, etc. The difference between 8b and 9a or 9a and 9b doesn't seem as dramatic i.e whatever grows in 9a is just marginal in 8b. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, NC_Palms said:

I am predicting it will be a below average winter, like a repeat of last year.

25º already?! I think Pennsylvania will be warmer than that lol

PA will get hit harder in the winter, especially in the mountains and the Western half of the state. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Estlander said:

When they say 'below average' winter, what does it mean exactly? I don't think it necessarily means 'crazy freezing temps.' or anything like that,.....depending on the area, of course.

If winter lows in the freezing spectrum are the norm in your area, then you may experience even colder temperatures, I understand that. But in the case of deep Southeast where winter lows are quite a bit above 32F, then 'below average' shouldn't necessarily mean anything extreme.

The way I understand it is if Orlando's January average temps. are: High 71 Low 49, for an example, then that means their January averages will likely be lower this winter.  But by how much lower is not known. Even by just a little bit lower is still lower.

     

I didn't necessarily mean extreme cold, I meant like a few degrees. 

20 hours ago, Estlander said:

I've heard that too from somewhere, but I just don't see it. At least not on our 9A barrier islands. And I come from 59N degrees latitude originally, lol. There aren't that many deciduous trees to be seen here so close to the Gulf and everything looks nice and green all year around.

A little north from here closer to the FL-Alabama border deciduous trees become quite apparent. Driving anywhere north from here in the fall and winter the visual part becomes quite evident and even depressing. You get that winter feeling quick - dead grass and no leaves on trees.

Temperature wise I'd say there's two seasons: 'HOT' and 'less hot' season with higher temperature variables. Yes, there are those 1 to 5 winter nights when it can go below freezing for a few hours, but it's winter after all. 

Remember that a deciduous majority forest cover wasn't always the case. The entire coastal plain up to Virginia used to be pine flatwoods with deciduous forest being reserved to areas that didn't see strong fires. 

11 hours ago, RJ said:

Around here we have seen an influx of folks who moved from up north down to FL only to then move slightly farther north again (ex. The carolina's) because they wanted the cool winter. I found that rather interesting, especially coming from near tundra conditions a few years ago. 

The North Carolina mountains and the triad is full of Floridians. North Carolina is a good place if you like warm weather and all four seasons.

1 hour ago, PalmTreeDude said:

PA will get hit harder in the winter, especially in the mountains and the Western half of the state. 

Definitely! The climate up there is absolutely brutal. That's why I left lol

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Opal92 said:
11 hours ago, Opal92 said:

 

And sure, anywhere you go close to the ocean there is going to be a slight micro-climate, but the native vegetation at the beach in the Panhandle is of the scrub community, which is made to withstand extremely poor soil, salt spray, and dry conditions- they aren't any less cold hardy than vegetation farther north in the county. The reason there are more traditionally northern trees (red oak, sweet gum, sycamore) as you go north in the county is due to a difference in soil quality, lack of oceanic winds/salt spray, and the lack of people purposely planting evergreen trees, not a more harsh winter climate. Hence the reason the Destin area doesn't seem to "turn brown" in the winter is due to all the purposeful evergreen landscaping that is meant to cater to winter visitors (palms, broadleaf evergreens, winter rye grass). Sans a few more tender varieties of palms, most any of these could be grown farther north in the county in zone 8 if one really wanted to.

When I said it stays green here throughout the winter I actually meant the native vegetation and not all the evergreen stuff people have been planting. In fact, apart from palm trees, the stuff people are planting seems to be deciduous. :(

But yes, close to the beach, within the bleach white sand zone and salt spray, the vegetation is of the scrub community. Across Hwy. 98 from the beach, it’s long leaf pine forest with all kinds of evergreen brush and Magnolias mixed in. And at the northern end of the barrier islands, closer to the Bayou, it's mostly ancient tall Oak trees with a lot of Sabal minor and also some kind of evergreen brush mixed in.  I’m very bad at tree names, so I can’t give you any of those, I'm afraid. It's as if there are three very different types of forests here. It's kinda cool.

I don't think the soil on the northern half of of the barrier islands is any worse than the soil in, say, Niceville. The soil in the pine forest, where I am, is light to dark grey with a rich organic peaty top layer. Closer to the Bayou where all the ancient Oaks trees and Sabal minor are, the soil is rich dark muck.

Here are pics I recently took in Santa Rosa Beach that shows what it looks like near the Bayou.

Photo Oct 28, 3 22 16 PM.jpg

Photo Oct 28, 3 38 02 PM.jpg

Photo Oct 28, 3 38 25 PM.jpg

hhgg.jpg

Edited by Estlander
5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, NC_Palms said:

I didn't necessarily mean extreme cold, I meant like a few degrees. 

 

Ok, gotcha! :)

We've been hearing words like  'El Nino' and 'below average' a lot about the coming winter, as if it's something scary. Freaked me out at first,lol.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Estlander Those pictures are absolutely gorgeous.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

@Estlander Those pictures are absolutely gorgeous.

Thanks. I absolutely love that wild jungle like look of Florida forests. Pics always make everything look smaller, but man those Sabal Minors were massive and some nearly as tall as mature Sabals themselves. Quite a sight when you're there yourself. It's also an alligator territory with warning signs everywhere. That made it extra cool. :)

Edited by Estlander
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NC (Greesnboro) is getting a wallop. 31F currently. Expected to hit 24F. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, GottmitAlex said:

NC (Greesnboro) is getting a wallop. 31F currently. Expected to hit 24F. 

We're at 36º now in the eastern part of the state but we'll reach 30º in the early morning hours.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now