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PalmGuyWC

Cold blast in N. Calif.

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PalmGuyWC

Hey Folks,

The nightly lows will be in the 20's the next few nights.  Upper twentys, the forcasters say but I don't believe them.  It's only 43 F now and it's mid day.  It was 31 here this morning and a white frost.  To cover them, or not?  I don't know.  I think my Bismarkia will be cold tested in the next few days.  I'm not covering.

Damn, why didn't I move to Hawaii 30 years ago when I could have?? I HATE winter!!!

Dick

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DoomsDave

That may well be true, alas for us in el sur as well.  

All the "perfect storm" signs are here:  Cool day, clear as the proverbial bell, calm as Saddam in an execution.

Start moving your tender stuff inside now, if you can, or cover it if you can't.  

This could even rival or (gasp!) surpass 1990-91.

dave  shivering

dave

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Palmy

Its 36 over here right now. Its 33 down at Safeway which I as just at. There is salt out everywhere.

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Jim in Los Altos

Thank God for the SF Bay! Its temperature moderating effects are undeniable. National Weather Service forcasts our low here tonight at 34F and 33F for Monday night. That's far from the 20s forcast further inland. At 10:30pm my outside temperature was 39.9F. That's only 1 degree lower than 1 1/2 hours ago.

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Palmy

Your lucky Jim. I check the temps at my 4 stations around the yard at 10:48.

1st station. is on the roof where few large palms tower above. 30.7F

2nd station. is near the pool with some other palms. 10 feet from pool. 31.4F

3rd station. In the garden about 40 feet from the pool. 28.5F

4th station. In the front about 25 feet from the closest wall. 28.4F

The expect low is suppose to be 29F for orinda. Usually its 2-5 degrees lower in downtown orinda some 400 feet below me. This is going to be very cold. I have all my palms. Im worried about the 2 parajubaea's, and a few dypsis in the ground. Im also worried about the caryota's and the kings. I have all the palms that cant take in the low 20's rapped up in a bag. How much warmer will it be in the bag if any? there are 2 large black bags over each head. Im thinking now it may be around 24. The rest of the bay area is between 34-43. We are always one of the coldest.

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Jim in Los Altos

Zack,

Make sure that the bags over your protected palms are left open at the bottom rather than tied shut. You want the relatively warmer soil to be able to radiate into the bags and the bags will trap the warmth, raising the temperature a few degrees in the process. Closed bags and radiated heat goes right around them. Hope everything goes well for you and your palms. Keep us posted.

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Palmy

Thanks a bunch. The temps have droped to 25.7 for the lowest and 28.9 for the highest. Thanks for the last minute tip. I didnt leave any opening. Im glad I know now.

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ghar41

I just recorded 41.6 F under the cover on the south side of my house so I think I am going to survive tonight.

Tomorrow is going to be the real test.

Glenn

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PalmGuyWC

It's 30 F. under my lathe area where all my Rhapis are, and probably about 27 or 28 F in exposed areas...and it's 5 AM...It will probably drop another degree at day light.  Except for a caryota and a Walachia, I don't worry to much until the temps hit 25, then I could have serious frond damage.  Fingers crossed and tonight is supposed to be colder.

My house looks like a jungle now and I will drag in more plants today.  I may throw a sheet over my Bismarkia tonight.....if it's not to late.  I'm curious to see how much Parajubaea tor V tor will take.  It looks great so far and it's been covered with frosts several times in the last few weeks.

Dick

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Jeff Searle

Dick,

   This topic probably should be disscussed in the weather/climate section, no?

Jeff

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PalmGuyWC

YIKES!!!

I just walked outside and there is a thin layer of whore frost on the ground.  Yeah, that means the top 1/4 inch of ground is frozen.  Now the forcast is for light snow!  Snow??  Are they out of their minds....not a cloud in the sky here and the stars are sparkling.

To Dave in "balmey" S. Cal....I don't think this will be as bad as 1990.  The weather is coming in from the Pacific and that moderates it a lot.  1990 was two continental cold fronts, one on top of the other, and that was serious business and it lasted for a long time.

Let us hope this will just be an "episode" and soon we will get the pineapple express from warmer water.  The jet stream has to shift before we get warmer temps.  Right now it's pumping cold air from the Gulf of Alaska into California.

Dick

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PalmGuyWC

Jeff,

You are probably right, but I'm new to this web site and I don't know the proper protocol yet.  But a hard freeze in Calif. is just as serious as one in S. Fla. and it's serious business.

Dick

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PalmGuyWC

Boo Hoo!

I just moved a themometer into an open area, near my Parajubaea T V T.  It's 25.7 degrees F. This is getting nasty and colder forcast for tonight.  Seems this may be the year to cold test a lot of palms.......not that I wanted to.  My Bismarkia is getting the same temp....and uncovered.  We shall see what happens.

I'm feeling nausiaus.

Dick

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Jeff Searle

Dick,

    Take a deep breath, this is part of mother nature. I hope everthing comes through. It sounds like your pushing the limits with some of your species.

     Is it too early for a vodka and cranberry?? ???

Jeff

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Palmy

Wow you folks are real lucky. I had a low of 24.3 for the lowest temp in my yard. One station in my yard had a low of 28.1. I have yet to see any damage. I hear tonight may be even worse. I woke up this morning and everything had iced up. This was one of them down to the root freezes. I dug down below my soil and it was still frozen partially. But I just called my friend in walnut creek this morning and he said it didnt get under 26. I bet most parts of the bay area stayed above 30. Even this morning eveyrhint is still frozen and the temp is in the middle 30's. I cant be very accurate becuase the sun likes to mess with my equipment.

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ghar41

(Jeff Searle @ Dec. 18 2006,08:52)

QUOTE
Dick,

   This topic probably should be disscussed in the weather/climate section, no?

Jeff

Yes, thanks Jeff.

Dick,

Check the "Climate" board, we have been discussing this cold front for a couple of days now.

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PalmGuyWC

Jeff, my buddy,

We ALL push the limits, and you do too.  But coconuts in S. Calif?  That's really pushing it.  My only "experiment" is a Bismarkia and it's gone through 2 winters.....but this third one may be the last, 25 F this morning.  I just want to see how much cold it will take, and I have a nice Parajubaea waiting to go in its place.  I never expected to see it go through the first winter, but it did.  Oh, I have a caryota, to high to cover.  I expect it will bite the dust tonight.

Now.....you rich S. Fla. yuppies contaminate good vodka with cranberry juice?  Believe me, this is "on the rocks weather here."  How do you expect me to stay warm?? (Or numb)?

Dick

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Blast39

For what it's worth.... if it gets below 32 degrees... go out and throw water all over your palms. Let ice form everywhere. That way, the plant can't get colder than 32 degrees. I used to do it when I lived in San Diego and it got to 19 degrees one year. Saved a lot of plants that way.

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J. Ingram

Hi Dick,

I think you're Bismarkia will be fine.... at least I hope it will!  I've had numerous seedlings of Bizzies outdoors for the last 6 years (1st 3 in Vallejo, last 3 in Fairfield).  They took 26 degrees one year in Vallejo out in the open with no protection, and there was no sign of any damage to any of them.  I have a large one planted now and I have no worries at all about it.

Anyway, good luck during the cold snap.... I have many palms in the house sleeping with me during these frigid times!  :D

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PalmGuyWC

Hi Justin,

I was on another cold weather thread.....Looks like my low out by my Bismarkia is 23.5F.....and the ground is frozen.  My potted Rhapis under lathe have a hard icey crust on the top.  We shall see what happens.  A little over 1/8" of ice in water buckets, and that's in protected areas!  Yikes!  This is not fun.  Looks like the guys in S. Cal. are getting "tested" too.  I'm sure there will be a lot of tears all the way around, particularly up here in N. Calif.

Dick

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ghar41

oooooo boy!  Dick, That is quite a coincidence, I had the exact same reading,  23.5 F  out in the middle of my front yard, generally the coldest spot at my place.

I think I lost a Allagoptera areneria last night.  :(

I was hoping to get some good size on it before something like this hit.

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iwan

2000 30.2F

2100 27.4F

2200 27.9F

2230 30.8F

2300 30.6F

0000 29.0F

0600 27.5F

0700 26.8F

SUNRISE 25.7F

LOW 25.6F

0830 32.6F

Shadehouse

LOW 23.6F 24.5F

Heavy frost, but not as bad as yesterday morning. The slight breeze kept the temps from dropping any further until the calm of sunrise.  No freezing fog after sunrise to trap the cold in like yesterday.  

I noticed some slight damage to a couple of leaf segments on my Bismarkia this morning.  The story with the Bismarkia is that it is in a 1g tall pot and rooted in my shade house while we were in Indonesia during the summer.  I had meant to cut the pot away and build up the soil, but haven't gotten around to that.  When temps are forcast below freezing I have covered the Bizmarkia with a 15g pot covered with two layers of blanket (the second shadehouse number is of the thermometer sitting on top of the blanket).  Because the 15g pot is not tall enough, it sits on three 1g pots, so there is some air spaced at the bottom of the palm.

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J. Ingram

Wow 23.5!!  That's a little lower than I expected for W.C.  I hope the Bizzie does ok.  At the very least, it will provide some very valuable info for everyone regarding Bizzie cold hardiness.  So if, god forbid, it dies, it would do so with honor...  The coldest temp. reading I got was 30 degrees.  My yard is a nice, warm microclimate (reletively speaking), but I wonder if my thermometers are inaccurate.  The nearest NWS station is at Travis Airforce Basewhich is a good 10 miles away, and it read 27 as a low.  I'll keep my fingers crossed Dick for your brave Bizzie!

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Kathy

Wow Dick and Glen!  Dick, I don't understand.....weather.com says Walnut Creek hit 29F, the same reading for my area at the border of Antioch/Brentwood, yet you are recording much much colder temps!  My readings in my yard all didn't go below 30F, so maybe I'm surrounded by more concrete or maybe I'm up a few feet from the lower sinks in this area, I don't know.  Puzzling to me how you guys are soooo much colder.

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Kathy

Justin, just saw your post.  Guess we're in the same lucky boat with location!

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J. Ingram

Hey Kathy,

Yes it seems we have very similar microclimates.  I work in Brentwood and the weather seems to be very similar to Fairfield's - being pretty much right across the delta from eachother.  I also have a pool in my backyard with plenty of cover, sitting a little higher than nearby lots, and with concrete fences.  So it does seem very similar to your yard.  And it's good to know, because I'm thinking of moving to Brentwood in a few years to be closer to work!

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ghar41

(Kathy @ Dec. 19 2006,15:24)

QUOTE
Wow Dick and Glen!  Dick, I don't understand.....weather.com says Walnut Creek hit 29F, the same reading for my area at the border of Antioch/Brentwood, yet you are recording much much colder temps!  My readings in my yard all didn't go below 30F, so maybe I'm surrounded by more concrete or maybe I'm up a few feet from the lower sinks in this area, I don't know.  Puzzling to me how you guys are soooo much colder.

Hi Kathy,

Weather stations take readings in somewhat protected places.  

The readings I gave (low 20's) were from the absolute coldest areas I could find (no cover,  wide expanse, North exposure.)  A "weather station" type reading from my place would be the 29.5 F I read at the thermometer near my greenhouse (South facing, near pool, concrete and house.)

I like to search for these low temperature areas of my yard so I can plant accordingly.  Sabals, Chamerops and Rhapidophylums were very nearby the areas I read this am in the low 20's.

We'll all survive this.  It doesn't compare to 1990, the days here are 50 F plus, allowing for a valuable thawing.

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iwan

31.7F at 20:00.  Another 12+ hour night at/below freezing.  I thought this was supposed to be a mild winter.  Where is the fog???

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PalmGuyWC

It seems we are all suffering from the Calif. chill, no matter where we live.  It's somewhat warmer here this morning than yesterdays hard freeze.  One electronic themometer reads 30.5 F. and the other 31.5....but no matter how you hack it.....it's below freezing.

When I moved to Walnut Creek in 1973 there had been a hard freeze in the previous December and all of the Phoenix canariensis growing here were brown and it took them a couple of years to grow new foliage.  The Washingtonias were brown too.  I can remember that through most of the 70's and in the 80's too, we had hard winters in the low twentys and maybe a 19F here and there, and this was at a time when I was planting my new palm garden.  Believe it or not...most of my palms as youngsters survived, and there was lots of open space here with no protection.

It occurs to me, now that I have a mature palm garden, and my two large Oak trees, and my neighbors next door, that they provide an overhead canapy and some protection.

The 23.5 F temp. recorded here yesterday was in my most exposed area and the ground was crusty with ice and the top layer frozen. When I walked to the back where the larger palms are, and the Oaks, I noticed the ground was still soft.  I know it was below freezing back there because all the cannas growing below the palms turned brown, but probably a few degrees warmer than in the exposed areas.  I have a head high Caryota growing in the back....and it looked fine yesterday late.  We will see if those ugly black splotches show up on the fronds. There is also a Wallichia densifloria in the same area....We will see how it fairs.

Since this is the coldest its been in N. Calif in 8 years...I hope we all keep good records and report on some of the newer introductions and how or if they made it through the cold.

Dick

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spockvr6

(ghar41 @ Dec. 19 2006,22:12)

QUOTE
Weather stations take readings in somewhat protected places.  

And....lots of folks who report their temps (even to the online sites like weatherunderground.com which my station reports to) have their sensors in very poorly sited locations (i.e. unindicative of the true conditions).

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Kathy

(spockvr6 @ Dec. 20 2006,10:18)

QUOTE

(ghar41 @ Dec. 19 2006,22:12)

QUOTE
Weather stations take readings in somewhat protected places.  

And....lots of folks who report their temps (even to the online sites like weatherunderground.com which my station reports to) have their sensors in very poorly sited locations (i.e. unindicative of the true conditions).

Very interesting that temps can vary by so far.  I guess my long narrow lot doesn't have much variability, because the widest range I get is 1 or 2 degrees F, without yet measuring at many different heights since my plantings are not mature yet.  And I have different types of thermometers so I know it's not just an errant reading.

Dick, I'm still stunned at the difference in your readings.  You must have a nice wide / large lot.  I cannot find that variability here!  The coldest part of my yard is the front yard facing North, and that's the temps I report.  But then, my front yard is only about 20 feet by 30 feet.  But I'm still amazed at your 6 degree difference!

And last night was warmer here too, with my yard not going below 32F but with plenty of frost.

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spockvr6

(Kathy @ Dec. 20 2006,12:01)

QUOTE
 I cannot find that variability here!    But then, my front yard is only about 20 feet by 30 feet.  But I'm still amazed at your 6 degree difference!

Same here....small yards (pretty much flat in my case) yield little variation in temperature.

Plus, surrounding houses no doubt have some (positive) influence as well.

The height at which the measurement is taken can also yield very significant differences in the measured values (especially if the air is still).  If one person measures at 2 ft and another at 8 ft, the readings should not compared.

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Kathy

(spockvr6 @ Dec. 20 2006,12:07)

QUOTE
The height at which the measurement is taken can also yield very significant differences in the measured values (especially if the air is still).  If one person measures at 2 ft and another at 8 ft, the readings should not compared.

Will it usually be warmer or colder at 8 feet?  I've been measuring only between 2-5 feet so far because aside from my Queens, everything else is that height.  And I'm not worried about the Queens.  But I guess I need to start planning for the future!

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spockvr6

(Kathy @ Dec. 20 2006,12:18)

QUOTE
Will it usually be warmer or colder at 8 feet?  I've been measuring only between 2-5 feet so far because aside from my Queens, everything else is that height.  And I'm not worried about the Queens.  But I guess I need to start planning for the future!

If the air is not mixing heavily (with lots of wind or other location specific forces), then at 8 ft, the air can alot be warmer than at 2 ft....sometimes by very large amounts!

As I have mentioned in various threads in the past, Ive made some measurements around my yard (using the same calibrated instrument) on cold nights and have seen as much as 6F differential between ground level and about 4-5 ft!  This doesnt happen every single time, but if the air is still, that gradient seems to set itself up.

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Kathy

Interesting Larry.  I'll have to set up some measure points at my Queen's crowns just to see the difference.    Good to hear it may be warmer up there!

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spockvr6

(Kathy @ Dec. 20 2006,12:29)

QUOTE
Interesting Larry.  I'll have to set up some measure points at my Queen's crowns just to see the difference.    Good to hear it may be warmer up there!

Short of walking around your yard with a fast acting thermocouple like I do......

The best thing might be to have a vertical stick/pole in the ground in open yard with sensors on it at various desired heights.

Of course, youll need to be sure that each sensor is accurate around the freezing mark (within a tenth or two) to ensure that the readings are valid to compare.

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Kathy

How much is a good thermocouple, and is it difficult to learn to use?  Seems like a fast way to check things.

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J. Ingram

I left a Bottle Palm outside with no protection last night by accident.  While not as bad as last night, I did get a reading of 31 degrees close to where I left the poor palm.  But so far so good!  I know it can take a while for damage to appear, but I'll keep my fingers crossed...

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