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December 2010 thread

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SubTropicRay

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Walt

Frank and Jasons: I'm aware that many digital thermometers have a +/- 2 degree accuracy variance, and thermometer placement and exposure is critical in obtaining accurate temperature measurements (housed in a Stevenson Screen enclosure or equivalent).

Lacking such an enclosure, that's why I shielded my thermometer sensor in a flannel sheet suspended four feet above the ground from a 6 Ft. step ladder.

Be that as it may, I believe my low temperature readings are confirmed by one, the representative cold damage to certain temperature specific plants, such as Philodendron selloum, Shefflera actinophylla, Crinum asiaticum et al and two, low temperature readings from official weather stations in proximity of my place.

I can state empirically that my latitude here in inland Florida doesn't count for much in terms of holding up nighttime temperatures. Topographical features play a much larger factor (and also heat island effect of large metro areas).

Virtually all of our freeze events here (Lake Placid area) are radiational. As such, proximity to large lakes (with great thermal enertia) can hold up winter nighttime temperatures 10-20 degrees F higher than the lowest low-ground areas where there is no lake influence. Also, high ground areas can also run substantially warmer than the afore low-ground areas, due to air stratification and inversion. The Lake Wales Ridge runs right through Highlands County and Lake Placid (town). I'm down off the east side of the ridge and cold air drains right down and collects in my area.

Just down the road eight miles from me is Archbold Biological Station (see link below). ABS is a real cold pit, even colder than my place. Last week when I recorded 25.4 degrees, ABS recorded 18 degrees! The next morning I recorded 23.9 degrees, ABS recorded 19 degrees.

On January 5, 2001 during a radiational freeze, my open yard low was 22 degrees. ABS recorded 13 degrees!

The point here is that the lows at ABS support the lows I've been recording, which leads me to believe my temperature readings are correct.

But keep in mind that my low temperature readings are not homogeneous/consistent throughout my property, which is spread out over 5.60 acres. In many areas my lows were probably five degrees warmer because the same shrubbery species that was severely cold damaged in one area was undamaged in others.

The fact of the matter is that here in deep inland Florida, regardless of how far south it is, can't get some very, very low temperatures on radiational cooling nights -- and I can see how some folks find that hard to believe. I was one of those folks when I first moved here. But I'm a believer now!

Note the last paragraph at this link stating the all-time low temperature:

http://www.archbold-station.org/station/html/research/monitoring/climate/climate.html

Below is a portion of the weather page of my local newspaper. Note the low temperatures (bottom right) at Archbold Biological Station on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, when I recorded low and mid 20s:

2400255090042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

The Philodendron selloums in the below photo were totally frozen down. Beyond is low lying state preserve land that gets very cold and pushes over onto my property. The north side of my property (backs to preserve land) is always colder than the south side.

2106936620042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Below shows Philodendron selloums located on the south side of my property. Location is everything -- just like the old real estate axiom: Location. Location. Location.

2896310380042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

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Walt

Below are some representative photos showing the obvious low temperature differences throughout my property.

Below photo shows defoliated pothos vine on slash pine tree locaten near the northside of my property:

2525075490042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Below photo shows undamaged pothos vine on slash pine located near southside of my property:

2222064930042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Below photo shows a fried Monstera deliciosa vine climbing slash pine and also across the ground. Note that higher up on the tree the Monstera leaves are still green and virtually undamaged (evidence of air stratification, i.e. warmer layer).

2838379880042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

Below photo shows one of my smallest Archontophoenix alexandrae palms growing in a protected area near the southside of my property. This palms wasn't hurt at all this month. Further, it wasn't hurt during all of last January's freezes and cold weather. Location is everything.

2238566560042496162S600x600Q85.jpg

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Alan_Tampa

Walt, Ive always thought your observations are spot on. Most people forget or are not yet aware of the varying radiational cooling of the thermometer itself, hence the Stevenson Screen. However, even without a "good" setup, damage to plants can be really accurate in gauging a freeze, after the fact usually. I have three indicators for a bad night, a chaya (spanish spinach) a species of Piper (the rootbeer smelling one)and papaya. If any of these look okay on any part, I expect that rest of my plants to be fine. All three turn to wet spinach if frosted or if temps are below freezing for more than a few hours in short order - almost immediately. I have no papaya this year, but the chaya and Piper Sp are only damaged in the tippy tops, thus a moderate cold event for me.

Alan

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Eric in Orlando

Nice, its up to 77F now !

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Walt

Walt, Ive always thought your observations are spot on. Most people forget or are not yet aware of the varying radiational cooling of the thermometer itself, hence the Stevenson Screen. However, even without a "good" setup, damage to plants can be really accurate in gauging a freeze, after the fact usually. I have three indicators for a bad night, a chaya (spanish spinach) a species of Piper (the rootbeer smelling one)and papaya. If any of these look okay on any part, I expect that rest of my plants to be fine. All three turn to wet spinach if frosted or if temps are below freezing for more than a few hours in short order - almost immediately. I have no papaya this year, but the chaya and Piper Sp are only damaged in the tippy tops, thus a moderate cold event for me.

Alan

Alan, I subscribe to the Koppen system (i.e., the natural vegetation is the best expression of the climate of the region). But adding to that, I would add any non native exotics introduced that also thrive in said region climate.

I have many non native tropical and semi-tropical plants that are low temperature/frost barometers, indicators, if you will. I don't need a thermometer to tell me at least what the highest low temperature was these plants can take without damage. Said plant foliage and overall damage will manifest itself in various degrees depending on the low temperature (and possibly duration of low temperature).

The biggest problem I have is determining if damage was mainly frost induced, cold induced (when there is no frost) or combination thereof. I know when all other factors being equal, plants, palms, etc., can take lower temperatures without foilage damage than higher temperatures, but with frost.

I had four nights recently where my nighttime low temperature went well into the 20s. The first two nights there was frost, but mainly on the rooftop and not so much on the ground (grass) and plants (but I'm sure there must have been some). The last two nights into the 20s (and the night I tied my all-time low of 22 degrees) there was no frost that I could tell. So any damage I got those nights was from the cold air itself, but probably a cumulative effect from previous nights.

It's kind of ironic in a sense that the record low temperatures in my area (inland) are not from December 1989 type advective events, but from radiational cooling events. It's mainly those that live in proximity to the Gulf, Atlantic, large lakes, metro heat island areas, etc., that set their all-time lows during advective events, because their areas don't get as cold during radiational cooling events due to the water, heat island effect, etc.

I remember, I think it was in January of 2003, that Florida got hit with a advective event and you guys in Tampa got lots of foliage damage from the cold, dry wind. My garden, on the other hand, had virtually no damage. One, my low was a little higher that night being a little farther south and two, all the trees at my place helped knock down the wind velocity. I think my low was 29.5 that night, the lowest of any advective cold event in my 13 years living here. I will take advective events anytime over the wicked radiational cooling events I get here.

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Takil-Explorer

Maybe if you grow Phillodendrons like P. selloum higher up on trees as epifytes, like in the wild, they are saver from freezing! It seems the worst cold you get just below 1.5 to 2 meters. So if you grow it at 3 or 4 meters high they should be fine!

Well it sucks anyway when you get frostdamge!

Alexander

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gsytch

An odd freeze event for sure. Other than exposed Bananas, Heliconia and Anegls Trumpets there is no evident damage anywhere for me. I have not found a single Bromeliad damaged, including those growing on and up trees. No palm damage anywhere. Of course, the truly sensitive ones went last winter, but all Caryota and alike are fine. Covered begonias fine. My tomatoes, covered with frost cloth but in my most open, exposed and cold site, look ratty for sure but the fruit is holding on and only the tops are damaged. I was warmer last Tues morning than Fort Luaderdale and Palm Beach, and Wed morning my drop below freezing only began after 4aM and recovered by 8am...there was still ice in buckets til noon though. Now that tree cover has grown back from the hurricanes of '04, I will replant sensitive stuff on that side and only cold hardy stuff on the exposed side. I am so glad I came through in such good shape! Now, no more FREEZES....let us hope the LaNina prediction comes back. Greg

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Moose

Wakehurst, south of London must be a mess. They're showing a picture of a snowman.

For my yard, the 26 degree freeze has been worse than all of last winter. Two Satakentias are toast. They were recovering from last year's loss of leaves and almost certainly will have to be removed, Archontophoenix tuckeri have leaf damage. The Chamaedoreas and (of all things) Dypsis decaryi and D. carlsmithii are looking fine. D. plumosa, too.

Dave - may I suggest Kentiopsis olivformis as a replacement palm for your Satakentias. That palm should work for you and withstand your occasional cold events. Are you sure they are toast? Try manganes sulfate in the crown. A copper fungicide follow-up teatment and perhaps some K-mag. Did the spear pull?

Best regards,

Ron. :)

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Pez

Wakehurst, south of London must be a mess. They're showing a picture of a snowman.

For my yard, the 26 degree freeze has been worse than all of last winter. Two Satakentias are toast. They were recovering from last year's loss of leaves and almost certainly will have to be removed, Archontophoenix tuckeri have leaf damage. The Chamaedoreas and (of all things) Dypsis decaryi and D. carlsmithii are looking fine. D. plumosa, too.

Dave - may I suggest Kentiopsis olivformis as a replacement palm for your Satakentias. That palm should work for you and withstand your occasional cold events. Are you sure they are toast? Try manganes sulfate in the crown. A copper fungicide follow-up teatment and perhaps some K-mag. Did the spear pull?

Best regards,

Ron. :)

I'm surprised that your carlsmithii's show that much cold tolerance, especially when you're getting damage to Arch tuckeri. I start to get some minor bronzing on mine at about 33F. Carlsmithii and Satakentia have shown about the same damage (very minimal) in my yard from the past 2 winters. That being said, my Satakentia has about 2 feet of wood and my carlsmithii's are not much bigger than 15gal size. So i would say the carlsmithii has a little more tolerance than Satakentia at my house. Are yours under canopy?

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BS Man about Palms

Its easier to name the tender Dypsis than the "hardier" ones...Thankfully for us. :blink:

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Exotic Life

Well if you look what damage they had in the UK or Europe! I guess just grow a bit hardier palms and you are fine! Should not be the first time you get some frost there! But during the day you still get 15C to 20C and some places warmer! For me that springweather!

Well maybe the cold climate here makes people sinical! In some parts here in Europe people froze to dead, so only a few burnt palms...

Alexander

Alexander,

The major difference is that in Cold Europe, you EXPECT it.. In Florida, you don't. I live in New York, where I expect that it will get down to 18f at night in the winter - when I see that it gets that cold in Gainesville, It's a bit of a shock to me. People move and live in Florida because they don't want or expect that cold. Heck, I've been planning to move down for the past 5 years, but Our winters have been getting warmer up here while I notice Florida getting colder.. But I still think it's cyclical.

Hi Bobby,

Good to see you back again. I agree with you can expect a colder winter climate in Europe but I have to say the last two winters and also this start of the winter in december are also rare! Every part of the country over here, even the mildest parts got a big hit now somewhere in this or the last two winters. I agree if you look much further in the past you can find much more winters like the last three ones but the easy cold we got the last winters is unbelievble. At the moment we got stuck more by the snow then temperatures at the moment. This morning I got 12 cm of snow already and it's snowing again so we are going to the 15 cm. In some parts close to the coast are even heights from 20-30 cm recorded. If I'm going above the 15 cm of snow, that would be the most snow I even seen sice I started with growing exotics in 2003.

Or what about he UK? It's freezing there since the beginning of December and every night there is a part with -10C or lower! Also last night a big part recorded -10/-15C and if the forecast going to be right (What I don't hope for some people there) they going to -20C! Last winter it was snowing in freezing till the costa's in southern spain till Barcelona, few days ago it was snowing in Rome and Athene. So it's not only cold in northern europe but almost whole europe, well big parts.. and specially so much south is quite strange. So like I said, I agree that colder winters in europe is what you expect but how it's going now and the last two winters is strange and gives loads of problems!

Robbin

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Exotic Life

I'm getting sick of this cold winters and snowy winters. I never seen so much snow and frost the last 2 winters and start of this one compared to the winters 2003-2007. Got 12 cm of snow this afternoon, and it's snowing again at the moment. Never seen more snow then 15 cm over here and I guees it's going to be much more if it's keeps snowing like this! Need to be alert the next few nights because if it's going to clear up during the nights it could be very cold. Till now I've been quite lucky compared other parts of the Netherlands milder temperatures but still freezing. In the winters before it was fun to see some little snow falling, then you run outside to take some pictures from your palms in the snow before it was melted again. The last 2 winters and also now again, it's getting normal and even annoying. Not fun anymore, and because our country is not build on winterweather like this (Same with a long hot summer) it's getting dangerous too. Too drive on the roads the last few days takes much more time then normal. Last night I needed 2 hours to drive from Rotterdam to home, normally it takes only 30 minutes!

Every time they forecast milder weather but before we are there the milder weather is gone and replaced for colder weather... The next few nights even Trachycarpus killer nights forecasted in the UK, crazy weather!

post-171-089722800 1292770203_thumb.jpg

post-171-033459100 1292770357_thumb.jpg

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Exotic Life

The dutch weather forum weerwoord got loads of pictures around the country, the pictures from places with 20-30 cm of snow are amazing.

111220101945201.jpg

141220101912580.jpg

151220101914270.jpg

151220101938170.jpg

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gsytch

Uh Oh..........the long range is showing another FREEZE event for Florida! Right after Christmas, too. Not too sure about how cold, but COLD! If that low deepens, we are in trouble again. This is getting ridiculous. I just put away all the frost cloths and blankets, and put the plants back in order (although not totally in anticipation of this). Forget farming. Farmers in Fla cannot take much more of this. Last week did this years crop in but good, even to the Everglades. :angry:

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Xenon

My lowest temperature has been 29.1F, Galveston which is only 50 miles away has only been down to 38F.

Looks like the warmest parts of the Lower Rio Grande Valley might beat Miami in terms of absolute winter lows this year, with lows so far right at 40F :P!

:) Jonathan

Edited by Xenon

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Takil-Explorer

Well last night -13,2 C here! All that damne snow turns this part of the world into a deepfreezer! We need a bit of that Florida weather here!

Dreaming of a hot green xmass!

Alexander

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philinsydney

We got down to 13c last night- the coldest December temp since 2004. There were snowfalls in the alpine parts.

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amazondk

Yesterday the skies opened up and dumped over 200 mm of rain on Manaus. The high temperature for the day did not even reach 30 C due to the clouds and rain. When I was driving around in the morning I notiiced how dark and heavy with moisture the clouds hanging over the city were. Then about noon it just started pouring down and lasted with intense rain for about 3 hours. Unfortunately I had no umbrella and my car was parked a block away from the office. So, I had a late lunch.

dk

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SubTropicRay
Uh Oh..........the long range is showing another FREEZE event for Florida! Right after Christmas, too. Not too sure about how cold, but COLD! If that low deepens, we are in trouble again. This is getting ridiculous. I just put away all the frost cloths and blankets, and put the plants back in order (although not totally in anticipation of this). Forget farming. Farmers in Fla cannot take much more of this. Last week did this years crop in but good, even to the Everglades.

The morning forecast models show the low coming down out of the midwest, coming through Georgia and up the coast..Nor'easter. Yes, it's a deepening trough.

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Walter John

Strange December, no summer heat, deluge of rain upon deluge of rain, unable to mow the yard, today is the longest day here. There's more heavy falls on the horizon, especially up NQ, palms don't mind though, haven't watered any pots for an age. Can't see a decent break in the weather for over a month, oh boy, there'll be leeches on leeches.

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Walter John

One of my pumpkins drowned.

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Xenon

It's supposed to drop into the low 30s on Christmas Day :angry: In the high 60s for now though.

Currently 82F in McAllen, Texas and 21F in Dalhart, Texas.

:) Jonathan

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Takil-Explorer

Leeches on leeches, well at least something about to complain of downunder!

Well I rather have leeches then this cold! In Asian jungles I alway carry a small pair od scissors to cut them of the skin.

Alexander

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amazondk

Leeches on leeches, well at least something about to complain of downunder!

Well I rather have leeches then this cold! In Asian jungles I alway carry a small pair od scissors to cut them of the skin.

Alexander

That leeches on leeches statement of Wal´s is very graphic. I never see leeches around here. But, there was a discovery of king sized leech in Peru that has the habit of crawling up animals, including humans, noses to feed. They also will crawl into the eye balls. I could live without that one.

It continues to overcast with sometimes heavy rain around these parts.

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greekpalm

Hi Bobby,

Good to see you back again. I agree with you can expect a colder winter climate in Europe but I have to say the last two winters and also this start of the winter in december are also rare! Every part of the country over here, even the mildest parts got a big hit now somewhere in this or the last two winters. I agree if you look much further in the past you can find much more winters like the last three ones but the easy cold we got the last winters is unbelievble. At the moment we got stuck more by the snow then temperatures at the moment. This morning I got 12 cm of snow already and it's snowing again so we are going to the 15 cm. In some parts close to the coast are even heights from 20-30 cm recorded. If I'm going above the 15 cm of snow, that would be the most snow I even seen sice I started with growing exotics in 2003.

Or what about he UK? It's freezing there since the beginning of December and every night there is a part with -10C or lower! Also last night a big part recorded -10/-15C and if the forecast going to be right (What I don't hope for some people there) they going to -20C! Last winter it was snowing in freezing till the costa's in southern spain till Barcelona, few days ago it was snowing in Rome and Athene. So it's not only cold in northern europe but almost whole europe, well big parts.. and specially so much south is quite strange. So like I said, I agree that colder winters in europe is what you expect but how it's going now and the last two winters is strange and gives loads of problems!

Robbin

Robbin it only snowed for a 3 hours in Athens and we recorded a minimum temperature of 1 to 2 C one night ... December was a warm month for us ,,, up to 22 to 23 C and night temperatures usually dont go below 12 C

merry Xmas to all of you guys !!!

BTW we should make a thread with palm decorated for the holidays !! there are some in Athens

Edited by greekpalm

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amazondk

The sky has turned black at 3 degrees south latitude at 1 50 PM and it is going to dump some water. I hope it stops by this evening.

After looking at the post I noticed a parrot on one of the Euterpe leaves on the left side of the tree. It is such a tropical sight.

Afternoonsky23dez.jpg

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Walter John

Merry xmas all especially those in the Cairns district currently getting smashed by a Cyclone. Good luck up there.

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Exotic Life

Hi Bobby,

Robbin

Robbin it only snowed for a 3 hours in Athens and we recorded a minimum temperature of 1 to 2 C one night ... December was a warm month for us ,,, up to 22 to 23 C and night temperatures usually dont go below 12 C

merry Xmas to all of you guys !!!

BTW we should make a thread with palm decorated for the holidays !! there are some in Athens

That doesn't matter, it's a fact specially last winter was very cold in Southern europe too. My father is a truck driver and comes many times in southern europe where he talked to some french people that never saw so many snow and cold temperatures as then. I doesn't look so much to Greece that time, but in big parts of France and Spain it was very cold.

The last few days here has been cold but not freezing cold, only a light freeze for a couple hours but cold enough to keep some snow. When you think Northwest europa is cold all the time, that is wrong. Specially snow is not so commen over here then the most people think it is, and when it falls the heights are not very big normally. A white Christmas is rare too.

For example since the year 1901 there has been only 7 times there was snow with Christmas. The last one was 2009 and now again. There is 2-4 cm of snow around here but in the southeast they have 30-40 cm of snow, or even more! I'm getting sick of this snow and cold what destroyed my garden the last two years. There is not much left anymore to destroy this winter... that's the only positive thing from the last two winters..

But hey, Happy Christmas to all.. I just don't look outside anymore! :drool:

Robbin

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Palm crazy

Mark me down for two freezes here this month in z8a, Dec. 6th - 32F and Dec. 17th - 28F rest of the month no more frost. Who knows what January will bring hopefully the same or better.

Merry Christmas!

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