First Arctic blast

48 posts in this topic

I grew up in Winston Salem next door to Greensboro NC.

I never thought I’d live in sight of palm trees and orchids outside.

I am spoiled by the weather in the mountains of PR, but yes there are some nice temperate trees I dare not try. 

Sorry about the cold front-bundle up!

 

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14 hours ago, NC_Palms said:

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

Lowest I recorded was 36.5 this morning. 

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17 hours ago, Estlander said:

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.

Well yes- they do plant some things like red maples and bald cypress here and there but overall it is a much more prevalent "tropical" landscaping than if you go over the bridge to the mainland. One big difference that strikes me when I drive out to the coast in the winter is the winter rye and St. Augustine grass I notice that is used more to keep everything green in the winter. Our house and many other people in Niceville have centipede grass that turns as brown as ever after a couple frosts.

But besides the landscaping, the native vegetation that gets the more deciduous look in winter doesn't really occur until you get to about Crestview and north- that's where the sweet gum, tulip poplar, red oak, start showing up more. I believe it's more clay in the soil that is associated with those northern hardwoods and loblolly pine. So besides those farther northern reaches of the county, still much of the area is evergreen in winter- even if it isn't from "tropical looking" landscaping.

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1 hour ago, Opal92 said:

One big difference that strikes me when I drive out to the coast in the winter is the winter rye and St. Augustine grass I notice that is used more to keep everything green in the winter. Our house and many other people in Niceville have centipede grass that turns as brown as ever after a couple frosts.

But besides the landscaping, the native vegetation that gets the more deciduous look in winter doesn't really occur until you get to about Crestview and north

True. Don't know what grass it is, but also along highways the grass stays green, not just the grass in peoples yards.

And yes, drive along I-10 in the winter and it looks like almost anything that isn't a Pine of some kind has no leaves.

Took these pics today. This is how it looks around my neighborhood. A very typical Florida Pine woodland with nothing deciduous growing in it. Looks just like it all year around. Areas closer to the Bay have Oaks with Spanish moss and Sabal minor.

Photo Nov 11, 1 51 31 PM.jpg

Photo Nov 11, 1 51 44 PM.jpg

Photo Nov 11, 1 52 08 PM.jpg

Edited by Estlander
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2 hours ago, Estlander said:

True. Don't know what grass it is, but also along highways the grass stays green, not just the grass in peoples yards.

And yes, drive along I-10 in the winter and it looks like almost anything that isn't a Pine of some kind has no leaves.

Took these pics today. This is how it looks around my neighborhood. A very typical Florida Pine woodland with nothing deciduous growing in it. Looks just like it all year around. Areas closer to the Bay have Oaks with Spanish moss and Sabal minor.

Photo Nov 11, 1 51 31 PM.jpg

Photo Nov 11, 1 51 44 PM.jpg

Photo Nov 11, 1 52 08 PM.jpg

Nice photos! Pine flatwoods have always interested me. I just got back exploring longleaf pine flatwoods in the Craven County area.

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The native vegetation may look deciduous in North Florida and other Southeastern states, but remember that the entire coastal plain up to Virginia used to be fire dependent flatwoods. Fires would occur around every five years so this limited the growth of deciduous trees in flatwoods. Deciduous trees never were the main forest cover and even where deciduous trees flourished, it was still predominately mixed with loblolly pine, white cedar, and bald cypress (a deciduous conifer). Due to fire suppression and deforestation, these ecosystems are rare with I think only less than 6% of flatwoods existing. IMO the deciduous forest that is seen in the coastal plain of the southeast is just the coniferous forest in a disturbance.

With the discussion of climate, I have no idea if the southeastern coniferous forest is an extension of the temperate North American forest or a separate subtropical system that makes way to a tropical system in South Florida. 

https://timberridge.typepad.com/files/longleaf-initiative-overview_8x11_v2-1.pdf

PIne.JPG.96437ba1b73adc05f7dbcdd8531f54b

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Forecast changed and lows now down to high 40's for the Orlando metro area and mid 40's in the outskirts for Thur-Fri.

For you folks who have lived in this area awhile, is it typical to see the first temps in the 40's at this time in mid November? and has this fall so far been warmer or cooler than usual (compared to the last 10-15 years)?

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The following weather data I have combined here from usclimatedata.com shows the temperature difference between the FL panhandle 9A and 8B. I chose 2015 for comparison because that's the only year they have data for Destin, and the month of January as that's usually the coldest month here.

In Jan. 2015 Destin went below 32F only once.

Niceville, which is a town right across the bay to the north from Destin went below 32F 11 times.

Crestview, which is right by I-10 went below 32F 12 times.

Last January, which we all know was a bad one, Crestview went below 32F a whopping 19 times.

So, in summary, maybe that explains the more deciduous look of the northern end of Florida panhandle and I-10 areas.

 

destin.jpg

niceville.jpg

crestview.jpg

Edited by Estlander
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