2018/19 Winter Low Temps

35 posts in this topic

About this time every year someone starts a thread about Winter Lows in the Northern Hemisphere. Such a thread is somehow therapeutic for PTers anxious about how cold may affect their palms - at least we know we aren't alone. So, I'll kick off this year's discussion.

This morning was the lowest temp since last March: 48.4F      Predicted: 46F     Current temp: 56.3F at 10:30 a.m.

Tomorrow's predicted low: 43F

Then a warming trend until the next cold front. I am making no attempts to move/protect palms at this time. After sunup, temps rise quickly.

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We had a 2 day stretch of 12F up here in MA during the thanksgiving holiday.  That’s 25 below average for this time of year.  So far I only have a couple Needles outside and they are looking fine with lots of mulch.  Next spring I’m going to add a protected Trachy F. 

Worcester MA z6a

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1 hour ago, kbob11 said:

We had a 2 day stretch of 12F up here in MA during the thanksgiving holiday.  That’s 25 below average for this time of year.  So far I only have a couple Needles outside and they are looking fine with lots of mulch.  Next spring I’m going to add a protected Trachy F. 

Worcester MA z6a

While I complain about arctic blasts when they make it down this far, I don't miss living with real winters at all.  A tip of the cap to you for growing palms that far north.

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The only official temperature measuring station I trust in Highlands County is the Sebring FAWN site, which has a 10 meter weather tower and takes temperature readings every 15 minutes at 2 feet, 6 feet, and 30 feet height intervals.

This morning's low was 42.39 degrees F at 6:45 a.m. I checked the Sebring FAWN's database and ran a temperature report for last November 2017. The lowest low for that month was 53.98 on November 20, 2017. https://fawn.ifas.ufl.edu/

The cold we got this morning -- and even colder tomorrow morning -- is 3-4 weeks early. Today's high is almost 15 degrees less than the January average high.  I just hope this isn't a portent of a horridly cold winter (like 2010) to come.

Not taking any chances on frost tomorrow morning, I loaded my cold/frost tender potted palms on my trailer and pushed the trailer under the canopy of a laurel oak tree. I will pull the trailer back out into the sun tomorrow. If we get any freezing or frosty nights later this winter I will just push the trailer into my garage over night.

20181128_140053.jpg

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Great idea, Walt. I keep my potted tropicals on may back lanai. Large ones are on dollies. When dangerous cold threatens I roll them indoors. I tie fluorescent ribbon on uber tropicals to warn me which ones are uber sensitive.

5bff02b863075_LanaiPalms0111-28-18.thumb5bff02bd55a67_LanaiPalms0211-28-18.thumb5bff02c968ff1_LanaiPalms0311-28-18.thumb

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I went down to 46 F last night and I am about 2 miles directly north of Meg.

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42.3F last night after the forecast on the major sites was calling for high 30s across the board.  Tonight, the overnight low is supposed to be 40F.  We'll see how the canopy holds up against a second night of radiational cooling.

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2 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Great idea, Walt. I keep my potted tropicals on may back lanai. Large ones are on dollies. When dangerous cold threatens I roll them indoors. I tie fluorescent ribbon on uber tropicals to warn me which ones are uber sensitive.

5bff02b863075_LanaiPalms0111-28-18.thumb5bff02bd55a67_LanaiPalms0211-28-18.thumb5bff02c968ff1_LanaiPalms0311-28-18.thumb

Meg, I only need the trailer now as I stopped propagating palms. The palms I have now are from a recent order from Floribunda. My greenhouse is no longer functional and I didn't want to go to the time, labor, and expense to make it functional for so few palms. So, I figured I would just use my trailer to store the palms on, and roll the trailer into the garage on the worst nights.

I know all about moving plants from the lanai to inside the house. Many a winter night I had to move potted palms and tropical plants from my lanai to our Florida room. Having most of your palms on dollies allows you to swing into action if the forecast calls for it.  I also have most all my lanai palms and plants on dollies. I mainly did it for maintenance, so I could more easily move the pots around to pressure wash the lanai.

Half of my lanai has a solid roof, half a screened roof. If the forecast says the low won't go below 30 degrees, I will just put all the potted stuff under the solid roof area, as this helps keep frost off the foliage. But if the forecast calls for temps to drop below 30, in the house they go.

Looks like you have some nice palms there, no way will you allow them to get cold/frost damaged.

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The forecasters blew it. After predicting a low of 36-38 degrees, the low was 46 degrees at 4:45 a.m. I guess there must of been some cloud cover that held temperatures up. No matter. At least my palms are loaded on my trailer in case I need to shelter them late next week when another cold front is predicted to come through.

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10 minutes ago, Walt said:

The forecasters blew it. After predicting a low of 36-38 degrees, the low was 46 degrees at 4:45 a.m. I guess there must of been some cloud cover that held temperatures up. No matter. At least my palms are loaded on my trailer in case I need to shelter them late next week when another cold front is predicted to come through.

Better for them to miss low than high.  They had similar lows predicted here, and some spots did get 30s, but I had 2 nights in the 40s.  I checked the temperature on my weather station close to midnight on Tuesday.  It was still in the high 40s, so I didn't bother wrapping my coconuts.

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Same here but I'm so pleased.

Actual low: 48.0F

Predicted low: 43F

And the sun is warming things up again. Highs will be 20-25 degrees higher by the weekend before the next cold front.

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Mid 50s yesterday, low 40s, if not actually 40, today for Naples east of I-75 :crying: Most of my most tender specimens and smaller seedlings are in my dining room, however some of my larger Pinanga, 2 large Verschaffeltia splendida, and the larger Phoenicophorium borsigianum spent the nights out on my lanai because Christmas decor is taking up space they would require in the dining room. I am hopeful they'll make it. They still look beautiful this morning but only time shall tell...

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19 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Great idea, Walt. I keep my potted tropicals on may back lanai. Large ones are on dollies. When dangerous cold threatens I roll them indoors. I tie fluorescent ribbon on uber tropicals to warn me which ones are uber sensitive.

5bff02b863075_LanaiPalms0111-28-18.thumb5bff02bd55a67_LanaiPalms0211-28-18.thumb5bff02c968ff1_LanaiPalms0311-28-18.thumb

Oooh what a beautiful area :wub:

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Judging by Wunderground, I'm guessing the low here was about 40f yesterday and 43f at my place in Sarasota. 

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23 hours ago, kbob11 said:

We had a 2 day stretch of 12F up here in MA during the thanksgiving holiday.  That’s 25 below average for this time of year.  So far I only have a couple Needles outside and they are looking fine with lots of mulch.  Next spring I’m going to add a protected Trachy F. 

Worcester MA z6a

Kbob11, I grew up just north of you up 191, Spent some good times in Worcester back in the day.... WAY back in the day. :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, RJ said:

Kbob11, I grew up just north of you up 191, Spent some good times in Worcester back in the day.... WAY back in the day. :rolleyes:

Awesome! I'm hoping to one day have a location change like yours, winter for 6 months is a little much for me. =p 

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1 hour ago, kbob11 said:

Awesome! I'm hoping to one day have a location change like yours, winter for 6 months is a little much for me. =p 

I lived up in Northern VT for many years had enough of the cold and outrageous cost of living (taxes). MA is no better though. I don't think I could afford to live in the town I grew up in. Anything less then 500k is a dump with a 12k+ property tax bill. No thanks! I'm very much enjoying the new location and the weather. Now I have a decent selection of palms I can grow outside. About 1200% better then up north :D

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5 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Same here but I'm so pleased.

Actual low: 48.0F

Predicted low: 43F

And the sun is warming things up again. Highs will be 20-25 degrees higher by the weekend before the next cold front.

Hello Meg, either my 3 temperature sensors are way off which is very possible or your thermometer is off as I had a low of 44 last night and we are only 2 miles from each other. When I lived in the NE Cape I expected a few degrees difference but now we should be very close in temperature.  Maybe it is time I get a new weather station for Christmas :D.

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So far this false winter we saw about 20 or 30min at 19f....on thanksgiving night....the month where the average high is around 60f. 

 

I haven't done any protection yet, no damage except the ever so slight hint of frond stress on a livistona chinensis. I had a baby rhapidophyllum hystrix spear pull but I'm pretty sure that's a cursed spot as I had a sabal minor die right away in that very spot. The needle did great until this morning when it pulled. Seriously considering pulling out of the ground and potting it up but I hear they dont like that. Will be doing lights on the ground and that's it for protection this year unless we have another 2018 event.

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10 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Better for them to miss low than high.  They had similar lows predicted here, and some spots did get 30s, but I had 2 nights in the 40s.  I checked the temperature on my weather station close to midnight on Tuesday.  It was still in the high 40s, so I didn't bother wrapping my coconuts.

Like I suspected (in my last reply post), the weatherman said there was some cloud cover which held temperatures up some.

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3 hours ago, Palmaceae said:

Hello Meg, either my 3 temperature sensors are way off which is very possible or your thermometer is off as I had a low of 44 last night and we are only 2 miles from each other. When I lived in the NE Cape I expected a few degrees difference but now we should be very close in temperature.  Maybe it is time I get a new weather station for Christmas :D.

It may be time for me to try a new thermometer. I had one on the back lanai in the past and it consistently matched the sensor hanging from the awning outside the front window. My front sensor faces north so never gets sun in winter. 

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So far the lowest low here was 23°F and the tempature outside is currently 34°F at 7:16 PM. November 29th, 2018. 

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1 hour ago, PalmatierMeg said:

It may be time for me to try a new thermometer. I had one on the back lanai in the past and it consistently matched the sensor hanging from the awning outside the front window. My front sensor faces north so never gets sun in winter. 

My main sensor is out in the yard the furthest away from the house and away from any canopy to make sure I get an accurate reading away from any heat sources, it also has a fan built in to it. The one closet to the house of course had the warmest reading at 45 last night.

I also just bought a laser temperature gun and went out before sunrise and found some interesting things. I have some patio block and the temp of the block was 51, the grass and ground was 42 and some of the palm fronds registered 41. The outside of the house was 48. That explains why frost first forms on the grass and plants. But the ambient temp on my weather station was 44.

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2 hours ago, Palmaceae said:

My main sensor is out in the yard the furthest away from the house and away from any canopy to make sure I get an accurate reading away from any heat sources, it also has a fan built in to it. The one closet to the house of course had the warmest reading at 45 last night.

I also just bought a laser temperature gun and went out before sunrise and found some interesting things. I have some patio block and the temp of the block was 51, the grass and ground was 42 and some of the palm fronds registered 41. The outside of the house was 48. That explains why frost first forms on the grass and plants. But the ambient temp on my weather station was 44.

Interesting observations, thanks for sharing! 

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On 11/28/2018, 10:40:04, PalmatierMeg said:

About this time every year someone starts a thread about Winter Lows in the Northern Hemisphere. Such a thread is somehow therapeutic for PTers anxious about how cold may affect their palms - at least we know we aren't alone. So, I'll kick off this year's discussion.

This morning was the lowest temp since last March: 48.4F      Predicted: 46F     Current temp: 56.3F at 10:30 a.m.

Tomorrow's predicted low: 43F

Then a warming trend until the next cold front. I am making no attempts to move/protect palms at this time. After sunup, temps rise quickly.

Based on my experiences with other worldwide weather and garden forums, only people in eastern N America really get anxious and worried every year about how bad it will be. Eastern North America is well known by meteo's etc as the most volatile and unpredictable winter weather on the planet. We see more cold fronts than any other continent. That is fact. We see more extreme winter anomalies much further south than any other continent. North America, particularly its southern subtropical fringe, is attached to a sub polar continent reaching all the way to the Arctic with nothing but some cattle fences to block cold air. It is what it is. We lost the climate lottery. It is why in the last ice age glaciers went further south in N. America than any other continent even Asia. China may be cold in winter but it is a very stable cold due to the Siberian winter anti-cyclone which blocks frontal activity. I don't think anyone in Australia even thinks about losing all their plants to a cold blast, nor southern Italy or Spain or Greece. It just doesn't happen, or if it does its like a once in 50 year event. Here it is every ten years. The eastern US has subtropical climates, but they are highly variable and unpredictable in winter and susceptible every single winter to negative variation of 30F from the avg Jan or Feb low temps. Makes it very difficult to deal with winter here. No consistency whatsoever. Even China at my latitude 40N, has far more broadleaf evergreens that are native than my region.

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4 hours ago, mthteh1916 said:

Based on my experiences with other worldwide weather and garden forums, only people in eastern N America really get anxious and worried every year about how bad it will be. Eastern North America is well known by meteo's etc as the most volatile and unpredictable winter weather on the planet. We see more cold fronts than any other continent. That is fact. We see more extreme winter anomalies much further south than any other continent. North America, particularly its southern subtropical fringe, is attached to a sub polar continent reaching all the way to the Arctic with nothing but some cattle fences to block cold air. It is what it is. We lost the climate lottery. It is why in the last ice age glaciers went further south in N. America than any other continent even Asia. China may be cold in winter but it is a very stable cold due to the Siberian winter anti-cyclone which blocks frontal activity. I don't think anyone in Australia even thinks about losing all their plants to a cold blast, nor southern Italy or Spain or Greece. It just doesn't happen, or if it does its like a once in 50 year event. Here it is every ten years. The eastern US has subtropical climates, but they are highly variable and unpredictable in winter and susceptible every single winter to negative variation of 30F from the avg Jan or Feb low temps. Makes it very difficult to deal with winter here. No consistency whatsoever. Even China at my latitude 40N, has far more broadleaf evergreens that are native than my region.

Exactly- what you said about the unpredictable winters in the Eastern US made me think of a quote from a published study on trialing Eucalyptus in the Southeast US. 

"The southern United States is an inhospitable environment for the growing of exotic forest trees. The area has been compared with that of Siberia, without its severity, for its great fluctuations in winter temperature. This phenomenon prohibits the successful establishment of forest trees from most other parts of the world where the mean winter temperature can be even lower than that in the southern United States. The temperatures in those areas, however, decline steadily from summer highs to winter lows in the absence of fluctuating warm and cold temperatures." 

Although I will point out that Australia does have significant cold snaps- even recently they had a big cold event. Check out this video-

 

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47.3F low this morning. Predicted: 45F

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Predicted low was 39F or 40F, depending on the site used.  Low on Weather.com: 41.  Low on my weather station: 43.5F.  I put one of my thermometers on the ground in the coldest part of the yard and it recorded 34F.  Just goes to show you how stratified the air gets as you move from ground level to 2, 4, or 6 feet.

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25.5F at my station this morning, forecast was 27F.

Forecast is colder than normal but there’s a warm up on the way.

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37.8F  in my front yard on the north side of the house and 38.8F in the back yard. Both thermometers are about 3 feet off the ground. 

This is how my area looked like at 5am. CST.  As usual, the beaches stayed warmer than the areas across the bay to the north.

ECFBDE91-6FFB-4C15-8A9D-3E62CA392250.png

19552562-B053-41F5-8BF0-4745AEEFD9CD.png

Edited by Estlander
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3 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Predicted low was 39F or 40F, depending on the site used.  Low on Weather.com: 41.  Low on my weather station: 43.5F.  I put one of my thermometers on the ground in the coldest part of the yard and it recorded 34F.  Just goes to show you how stratified the air gets as you move from ground level to 2, 4, or 6 feet.

Took some screenshots early in the morning. Lakeland area at 5am CST/6am EST508C5699-D01C-44DB-AE70-1ADEE95F9ADE.thu2573C8EB-F292-43E0-819B-6B8D7C1FE384.thu

Edited by Estlander
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South central FL3B970D81-C54D-4454-92A3-AC7F47A7F653.thu

Orlando area

3AA07173-A248-4BE5-A8E9-49CCC0174BDB.thu

Ocala area

7A38131B-765C-4E63-9DB5-E50E9B880A05.thu

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Looking at long range forecasts/models, don't see any big freeze events on the horizon for FL through much of the rest of December. May be until January before that threat comes. 

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When was the last "big one" in Florida? 2009-2010 or 2010-2011? And before that, when? I'm trying to identify if there's a time pattern, if any. 

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9 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Predicted low was 39F or 40F, depending on the site used.  Low on Weather.com: 41.  Low on my weather station: 43.5F.  I put one of my thermometers on the ground in the coldest part of the yard and it recorded 34F.  Just goes to show you how stratified the air gets as you move from ground level to 2, 4, or 6 feet.

 

Saw 30f for the local weather today which is right down the street. Saw 34f in the coldest area of my garden and 39f in the warmer areas. I need to get a weather station that has more than 3 external sensors as I'm sure the prime area was 40f+.

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