Jump to content
SubTropicRay

Cold air headed for Florida midweek

Recommended Posts

SunnyFl
Maybe I'm just trying to be optimistic (and in no way trying to start a climate change debate--I really have no idea whether it's happening or not), but who's to say this actually *wasn't* an 80's-style freeze, and maybe due to climate change the temperatures just weren't as low? USDA climate zones are based on average yearly minimums, and in big freeze events that only happen every decade or 2, a place that is legitimately 10a (like St. Pete) could hit 24 or so, and still keep its distinction, because that sort of event is just so rare...

I think you've hit the nail on the head. Go back to this past November, when we were getting January-type temps, and I think it was Ray who pointed out that this was the same pattern as in '89, the year of the December killer-freeze. The last two nights were similar to the type of freeze event that was so bad in the 80's - with hard freezes down the peninsula. But this time, St. Pete fared much better.

The cause could be climate change... OR it simply could be the Urban Heat Island effect. Remember that St. Pete is far more built up now than it was in the '80s, with more air traffic from the St. Pete/Clw airport and far more overnight traffic than in the 80's. These elements are proven to increase temperatures, even without climate change.

So, if you're correct - that this may have been an "80's-style freeze," then our zone really has gone from 9b to 10a, and we're able to plant tropicals that, in the 80's, would have been impossible. Back then, we routinely lost roebs, hibiscuses and bougies.... now we're hoping we don't lose veitchias, adonidias, and bottles.

Okay - I just went outside to check, didn't really seem that cold, in spite of ice on the windshield. The bottle, spindle & lutescenses seem okay (hope so), but we'll know for sure by tomorrow. Glauca & morrissii are fine, but that's to be expected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
popper1

SunnyFl-

Frost forms on some surfaces faster than others because they loose heat faster, the metal and glass of a car being the best example. Frost can begin to form at temps of about 38 F.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spockvr6
SunnyFl-

Frost forms on some surfaces faster than others because they loose heat faster, the metal and glass of a car being the best example. Frost can begin to form at temps of about 38 F.

And, surfaces like car windshields can be 8-10F lower than the surrounding air. I would not have believed this, until I measured it myself with a small thermocouple.

There was one time a few years ago that I recall the air being 41F, and the very very beginnings of slush being on the roof of my wife's car!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spockvr6
The cause could be climate change... OR it simply could be the Urban Heat Island effect.

Or it could be luck!

If the winds were howling with this front, we could have kissed any urban heat island goodbye.

Where I live is little changed from the 1980's (sure, a few more houses have been built, but essentially Tarpon Springs is an old city) and the temps measured here lately with these "bad" fronts are ~10F warmer than the past devastating ones.

Also, all you have to do is look at the coastal stations stuck way out on buoys or on islands like Anna Maria (where there is no real urban heating effects) and you can see that the fronts as of late are not all that powerful historically speaking of cousre!). Heck, Anna Maria froze in 2003, yet didnt drop out of the 40's with this past front.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SubTropicRay

This was not an 80's freeze. Last week's Arctic air mass brought the midwest and northeast their coldest air in many, many years. We lucked out because no low pressure system formed over the southeast to drag the air down into Florida. This week, we had low pressure form but the low temps up north were not nearly as cold. Southeast low pressure last week would have been very, very scary. In the law of averages, the likelihood of last week's cold reappearing again for a few years is unlikely. That's perhaps the one positive in all of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gsn

As I said earlier,this affected the east coast generally much more than the west coast. Larry said he thought it was the actual postion of the HIGH pressure system that caused the differential, I think I agree with him.

One thing I know for sure is that Titusville for this 3 day event was not the right place to be? :rage:

I bottomed out at 30.2F this morning, but it didn't drop below freezing until about 3:00 AM much later than the night before,and hovered right around 32F for most of the night until about 5:00 AM,then the early morning drop started. There was frost all 3 night,progressivly getting worse each night,with last night everything covered in frost this morning!

Combined that makes 3 nights of below freezing temps for me.

Tuesday - 28.6F

Wednesday- 29.4F

Thursday - 30.2F

We will see what marginal palms I have will survive, I think it going to be mostly severe cosmetic damage, but we will see?

Anybody in central Florida have any Trachy's for sale? :blink:

Edited by gsn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Walt
Well last night was not as bad as the night before it will bottom out somewhere around 40 even though Noaa says 36 which is hard to understand when if you blink you will miss Moore Haven all together :) I don't put much faith in the Noaa site when it comes to predicting my area maybe because they are getting faulty data I am not sure but the weather channel gets is closer almost every time.

Dave, you must not put too much stock into what NOAA and other weather forecasting sources say, other than to take their forecast in the general sense. They have no more of a clue as to what the exact low temperature will be at your property than the man in the moon does.

As a rule of thumb, if they are within 5 degrees plus or minus of what your yard temperature ultimately drops to, consider that satisfactory. There's too many environmental factors to cause variability in the low temperature forecast.

For my area, low temperatures yesterday morning ranged from low 20s to mid 30s, due to topographic and envirionmental factors, e.g., proximity to water, low ground, high ground, rural location, urban location, etc. Even on my own property I had about a seven degree low temperature spread between open yard areas near my north property line to lightly wooded areas near my south property line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spockvr6
As I said earlier,this affected the east coast generally much more than the west coast. Larry said he thought it was the actual postion of the HIGH pressure system that caused the differential, I think I agree with him.

One thing I know for sure is that Titusville for this 3 day event was not the right place to be? :rage:

I bottomed out at 30.2F this morning, but it didn't drop below freezing until about 3:00 AM much later than the night before,and hovered right around 32F for most of the night until about 5:00 AM,then the early morning drop started. There was frost all 3 night,progressivly getting worse each night,with last night everything covered in frost this morning!

Combined that makes 3 nights of below freezing temps for me.

Tuesday - 28.6F

Wednesday- 29.4F

Thursday - 30.2F

We will see what marginal palms I have will survive, I think it going to be mostly severe cosmetic damage, but we will see?

Anybody in central Florida have any Trachy's for sale? :blink:

Scott-

All of what you have said above is why my sig says "9b/10a"......where you and I are is really a fringe area IMO and events like this seem to back that up. The west got the good side of this one, but next time it could be reversed.

The bright side is, with the temps youve logged, is that they are not really devastating. An extra degree, or even fraction of a degree, and the temps would have stayed within the Zone 10 designation.

My father said it best yesterday (as he was semi-disgusted about some damage he took to some palms in his yard)....."This is the area of Florida we live in,so we have to expect things like this to happen". Simple and succinct!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spockvr6

Stuggled to stay above freezing this AM...ended at 35.8F 605AM.

So that makes 3 nights in a row of 35.0, 33.5, and 35.8F. I surely hope this was the last of it! Tonight is supposed to at least stay in the 40's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SubTropicRay

How's the Pritchardia Larry?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FRITO

tons of dew at 2am but never got up top check on the frost. but not much of a factor here after mid 20's already.

only bottomed out at 34.4 early this morning.

currently 60 degrees at 12noon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eric in Orlando

We hit 34F last night, lots of frost in open areas.

So for the 3 nights we were at 32, 31, and 34. I was out in the Garden this morning and didn't see much damage yet, some burned leaves on tender plants in the open but thats all.

Now we just need to get thru about 3-4 more weeks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

Not sure if it was really 27F in my yard the other night. The NWS here in ruskin logged 29F and I drove through that area and foxtails and D. lutescens and Royals in peoples' yards in that area are completely chocolate brown today. Mine are damaged for certain (and may eventually completely defoliate) but no where near the immediate damage that I am seeing around town. At any rate, it was below freezing here for a long time. It looks like it was only one night below freezing here though which I guess is a good thing. One thing I do know is that I am going to be feeding my oak trees steroids this summer to get a canopy going!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

OK. Did a lot more driving around Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Sun City Center and Riverview area... I am done complaining because it looks like I got off easy compared to everywhere else I have driven today regardless of what all these thermometers have said. Absolutely chocolate colored palms everywhere. D. lutescens, Adonidia, Hyophorbes and Wodyetia really took a beating in the area. This looks like it will change the landscape back to 9A/9B :( I may have some of the only mostly green foxtails and bottle palms for miles around... And definitely the only green V. arecina for miles around (though a lot of my other V. arecina got nailed...). This really has helped my see what will work where in my yard though. The front of my house has escaped an advective freeze and now a radiational freeze largely unscathed and my back yard took significant damage both times. I would have thought this the other way around since the back yard has a pond in it. Anyone have a theory why it got so damn cold near the pond in my back yard?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cristóbal

friends in florida can we see fotos of the damages of the freeze ? and some explanations why some palms are damaged and others no ?

this is important and how we learn.

Edited by Cristóbal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spockvr6
How's the Pritchardia Larry?

Ray-

Honestly, it looks no different than it did a week ago. It seems to not have been damaged any further than it already was after that long cool stretch we had. All those nights in a row in the low 40's hurt this palm somewhat significantly (Id say maybe 40-50% leaf damage on lower leaves, but top leaves look OK), but this last blast seems to have done nothing more.

Of course, the growth bud could have been zapped and I wont know it for a little while. But, I think it will pull through fine.

No doubt, this palm is more cold sensitive than Cocos.

In other news.....my P. hillebrandii not a few feet away from the P. pacifica doesnt have a spot on it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

OK, You guys want to see the carnage. Heh heh heh...

Pics from about 36 hours after the freeze starting in the backyard where there was more damage...

Foxtails, adonida, spindle (looking kinda dead), D. luts

abc76736.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

my RIP (probably) coconut, royal, A. cunninghammiana, more adonidia and D. luts

169331d6.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

A pot luck of things, anyone up for a fish(tail) fry?

ef58393c.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

A. cunninghamiana vs. A. alexandrae:

b68d879c.jpg

6eb1c9d3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

Moving to the sides and front of the house....

Wodyetia vs. V. arecina:

5d2f7a13.jpg

Untouched triangle palm...

85c78b41.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

Decently preserved zone 10B palms in the front of the house:

0bb69d60.jpg

Spindle:

83686d7c.jpg

V. Arecina:

08bf0e99.jpg

Pritchardia thurstonii seedling taking this crap ?!? (hey, if you look closely you can see them planted in various other places in the pics from the back and side, these might be a promising Pritchardia species for this area, obviously better than pacifica...)

217eeb95.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

The last green (somewhat) Adonidia in Ruskin.....

cd9c7733.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

A foxtail duo on the north east corner of the house...

8cb2802b.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

Canopy was significant for palms survinging this one. Grow my little oaks, grow!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
surgeon83
Anyone have a theory why it got so damn cold near the pond in my back yard?

Maybe it just wasn't enough for the event, or maybe there is some other way that water sometimes hurts, like it apparenly does in deep south tampa, south of Ray's house at least.

Your stuff doesn't really look that bad. Mine is probably at least as bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BS Man about Palms

Bill- Don't count that one spindle out yet. I've noted in So Cal they usually yellow out in the winter, then as soon as it heats up again they're quite green.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
surgeon83
Bill- Don't count that one spindle out yet. I've noted in So Cal they usually yellow out in the winter, then as soon as it heats up again they're quite green.

Yeah Bill, all kidding aside, all of mine looked worse than that by the middle of November. Maybe you can see something we can't, but it doesn't look dead to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Walt

Attn: popper1 (David): I drove up the hill in town (Lake Placid, Fla.) to inspect for possible freeze damage: I couldn't find any! Why? Because the town is at 70 feet higher elevation than at my place less than 2 miles to the N.E. All that cold air from yesterday's radiational freeze sank right down to my place and the warmer air stayed aloft up in town.

I drove around my subdivision and all zone 10 palms and shrubs are pretty well fried until I got to within one block of lake Clay, then the damage stopped, no doubt due to the lake's thermal influence. However, two years ago when we had a radiational freeze that was about four degrees warmer than yesterday's freeze, the lake effect carried out about two blocks.

Anyway, you asked me to check out the Spathodea campanulata in town. Below are two photos of it as it looked around 1:30 P.M. today. From what I could tell it didn't appear too cold damaged, at least not much.

2400853200042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Zoom shot of flowers from my truck window:

2645353860042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms
Bill- Don't count that one spindle out yet. I've noted in So Cal they usually yellow out in the winter, then as soon as it heats up again they're quite green.

Yeah Bill, all kidding aside, all of mine looked worse than that by the middle of November. Maybe you can see something we can't, but it doesn't look dead to me.

I don't know guys...The thing is that yours yellowed out like that over a long period whereas mine went from healthy to crappy in 36 hours. But, I am sure it will try to push a spear or two. The question is whether or not it will ever be able to resume normal growth. It actually took a little bit of a beating last winter and had just started pushing normal spears when the long, cold November started so it wasn't in the best condition to face this freeze. Same for the coconut, I think the long, cold november weakend it sufficiently to get it so nailed with this freeze, even though it had not been slowed at all by last winter's freeze and grew beautifully this last summer. Believe it or not, coconuts around town that had at least a little bit of clear trunk were pretty much unhurt - even with chocolate adonidias and D. luts right next to them. Coconuts definitely get tougher with a little trunk. If we have an extended warm period and no more prolonged cool or freezes this season, then I think my coconut actually might have a chance to make it, if we head into a long, cool period then it will die for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
happ

I know it takes a few days to assess the damage, but the photos don't look all that bad to me. Maybe the coco will come back, Bill. Overall it doesn't look any worse than the typical winter wear & tear we experience in SoCal.

Glad the freeze is essentially over for you folks. It's painful just reading about the temperatures like an icy shutter going down the spine :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SunnyFl
SunnyFl-

Frost forms on some surfaces faster than others because they loose heat faster, the metal and glass of a car being the best example. Frost can begin to form at temps of about 38 F.

And Larry wrote:

And, surfaces like car windshields can be 8-10F lower than the surrounding air. I would not have believed this, until I measured it myself with a small thermocouple.

There was one time a few years ago that I recall the air being 41F, and the very very beginnings of slush being on the roof of my wife's car!

Thank you for the explanation, David and Larry. I was very puzzled when I got home as I couldn't find any evidence of a freeze, except that ice on the windshield in the early morning. I doubt it got much below 37 either night. When I got home this evening it was light enough to look over the plants. No damage that I could see (except the pesky nutritional deficiency on a couple of palms that's been recurring since summer). In fact, there was a bottle in a plastic pot we'd forgotten about, totally exposed, and it was fine, too. And there were new blooms on the hibiscus.

Yeah, Larry, you're probably right - just luck.

But most of the state got hit - hard. Sad to think of so many beautiful palms lost, many of which unfortunately won't be replaced.

Bill - don't give up on that spindle! Mine looked much worse after the nasty cold back in the early 2000s - it lost 3 fronds out of 5, and the other two didn't look so hot either, really sure it was a goner. We left it there anyway, ugly as it was. By summer it looked fine - and it's still in my yard (but much taller).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
epicure3
Bill- Don't count that one spindle out yet. I've noted in So Cal they usually yellow out in the winter, then as soon as it heats up again they're quite green.

Thank you. My Spindle palm yellows almost every winter (though, not this one....yet) and has 2 feet of trunk now. It was planted out as 15 gallon size 5 years ago. Don't worry about that guy. Cool weather won't do him in as much as a freeze.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
epicure3

After looking at all your pictures, I see mostly cosmetic damage where there is damageat all. Now, of course, there could be bud damage that we don't see, but I wouldn't think so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spockvr6

Yeah Bill....yur damage isnt really all that bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jasons

Hi Bill, I'm new here but have been a palm nut for many years. Your damage looks mostly cosmetic to me as well. I think you'll be OK. If you have some other pics from around town that would be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Walt

In my subdivision its colder on the north and east sides and warmer on the south and west sides. The south side it's slightly higher in elevation, making it slightly warmer on radiational cooling nights. On the west side it's closer to the lake, and the extreme west side borders the lake.

Up in town is much higher in elevation than my subdivision and it's always warmer there during radiational freezes.

These small coconut palms are in my subdivsion, and about three blocks from the lake. As you can see they are damaged (probably even worse today). The two photos below this one are of coconut palm in town. As you can see, there's a marked difference.

2690211990042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

2719013420042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

2005768690042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
popper1

Walt-

Thanks for the pics and info, that plus the coco pics are very interesting. Shows very well how much a large body of water can help.

What are the average temps, high & low, in that area in January?

Thanks again-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Walt
Walt-

Thanks for the pics and info, that plus the coco pics are very interesting. Shows very well how much a large body of water can help.

What are the average temps, high & low, in that area in January?

Thanks again-

David: In the case of those photos, it was elevation, not lake effect that made the difference in that the latter palms weren't cold damaged.

Lake Placid proper is at elevation (relative to the outskirts, where I live) on the Lake Wales Ridge, and it's warmer at night when there is little or no wind, as was the case during the radiational cooling event this past Thursday morning. Almost without exception it's 5-8 degrees warmer in town than at my place just two miles away, to the N.E., due to air inversion (hot air higher up than colder air).

Here's another case in point. The foxtail palm below is in my subdivision, just one block from me. Notice that it got fried:

2424929230042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Now look at these three foxtails up in town. No damage at all. In fact, it is warmer in the open up in town than at my place under tree canopy!

2785130290042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

I think the January average high for my area is 73 high and 49 low. But the lows are all over the map here. They vary so much do to the topography and lakes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...