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Winter Weather Threat - February 2011

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war_eagle

You'll have to excuse my naivety, I've never owned a goat. Are they cool with that kind of weather? What kind of guard dogs do you have out there? My wife and I have two Huskies, so they think they're in heaven right now. It's a struggle to coax them inside for 5 minutes to eat. At least something is enjoying this weather I guess.

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mjff

You'll have to excuse my naivety, I've never owned a goat. Are they cool with that kind of weather? What kind of guard dogs do you have out there? My wife and I have two Huskies, so they think they're in heaven right now. It's a struggle to coax them inside for 5 minutes to eat. At least something is enjoying this weather I guess.

The goats aren't really crazy about it, but I haven't seen it kill a healthy adult goat yet. Newborn kids would be a disaster. I kidded out during this kind of cold several years ago and it was not fun. We probably lost about a third of them, which is still remarkable when you consider they come out of a mother goat at 103F and hit the frozen ground with air in the low teens. If the mother gets them clean/dry, and some colostrum in them they will all live. Unfortunately, sometimes you get two or three born right after one another, and the doe can't clean them before they get too cold. I saved a lot of those by camping out at the kidding pens every afternoon to help out, but some kidded at night or in the morning and losses of those was high.

The guard dogs are Great Pyrenees and an Anatolian Shepherd. I get the distinct impression they prefer the cold and snow to the 100F heat during the summer. They never come inside.

Not sure what is going on with my thermometers over here. One reads 11F, one says 16F (that is the one that is normally 2 degrees lower than the other), and the airport is 18F??? I'm inclined to believe the 18F since it is 2 degrees more than the one that is normally low by that much, and given the conditions we should be the same as the airport. For a time the one that says 11F now actually briefly read 8F this morning. Maybe I should check it's battery.

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mjff

Now the one that said 11F a few minutes ago reads 18.6F. I'm pretty sure the batteries in it are several years old, so I think I'll put in some new ones. Would hate to get up in the morning, check the minimum (and it's the only one of the two that stores it), and see -4 or something. That would put me in a really bad mood for no good reason.

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Takil-Explorer

Well a crazy climate and weather there! For seasons in one week you can get there.

Alexander

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Erik

Martin,

I have two new kids in the barn now. I have them and their mom in a stall with a 250 w heat lamp. Hope they survive tonight--I've lost kids to milder weather than this.

We set a record low high of 15 oF today, and the forecast low of -8 oF won't et a record but will be about 10 oF colder than I have ever felt. Nonetheless I'll be hauling buckets of warm water to the seven goats, five horses and 70 chickens. All dogs are in the house.

Palms? Hard to say. I wrapped them all up on Sunday and ran electric heat to many of them. Wish them luck. I might be buying palms from you in a couple of months....

--Erik (up in Oklahoma)

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mjff

Martin,

I have two new kids in the barn now. I have them and their mom in a stall with a 250 w heat lamp. Hope they survive tonight--I've lost kids to milder weather than this.

We set a record low high of 15 oF today, and the forecast low of -8 oF won't et a record but will be about 10 oF colder than I have ever felt. Nonetheless I'll be hauling buckets of warm water to the seven goats, five horses and 70 chickens. All dogs are in the house.

Palms? Hard to say. I wrapped them all up on Sunday and ran electric heat to many of them. Wish them luck. I might be buying palms from you in a couple of months....

--Erik (up in Oklahoma)

The temperature here has been nearly steady for the last 8 hours. Only dropped to 17F now from 18F late afternoon. I hope it isn't too much to ask for another 8 hours of steady temperatures. I'd even be ecstatic with a low of 16F.

If the kids are inside with a heat lamp and mother full of fresh milk, even -8 shouldn't bother them. I'd be more worried about the heat lamp causing a fire. Hopefully, it is secured and in a location where the goats or their cousin Murphy can't get to it

Don't know what to say about the palms. I hope you aren't making a huge and bad assumption that I will have any left alive to sell when this is all over. Of course, if we stay in the mid-teens, then warm up the 18 degrees they say we will tomorrow from there, which would put us over freezing, this may not be a huge disaster after all.

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war_eagle

I woke up this morning expecting another 22-23 degree night as the forecast said, but instead woke up to 30.5! BUT, we are supposed to get sleet, ice pellets, and snow this evening and overnight into Friday morning with temps today of 34/27 and 37/25 tomorrow. The snow and ice will surely defoliate a lot of things, but maybe if the temps stay reasonable things will survive and regrow. Now, I just have to hope I can make it through today and tomorrow without any more rolling blackouts. There won't be any solar heating to save the greenhouse today.

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Ed in Houston

Yesterday after a low of 23, the temp climbed to 32 at noon. It was freezing or below for 16 hours. A balmy 36 yesterday afternoon. The temp only dropped slowly last night and this morning the temp is about 32. Now comes the snow sleet and ice.

Ed in SE Houston

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mjff

I woke up this morning expecting another 22-23 degree night as the forecast said, but instead woke up to 30.5! BUT, we are supposed to get sleet, ice pellets, and snow this evening and overnight into Friday morning with temps today of 34/27 and 37/25 tomorrow. The snow and ice will surely defoliate a lot of things, but maybe if the temps stay reasonable things will survive and regrow. Now, I just have to hope I can make it through today and tomorrow without any more rolling blackouts. There won't be any solar heating to save the greenhouse today.

Yes, the weathermen covered themselves with glory with yesterday's forecast of 15/7 here. Actual numbers were 22/15 at my house, 20/14 at the airport. Not complaining that we wound up 7-8 degrees warmer yesterday afternoon and this morning, but come on. They issue a forecast at 11:00 a.m. with a high of 15F when the temperature is already higher than that, than follow-up with a forecast of 7F for a low at 11:00 p.m. when it's already apparent that the temperatures aren't dropping. Why not just rub everybody's nose in the lamentable fact that competence is not a prerequisite for the job of meteorologist? I hesitate to even look at today's forecast, since it apparently has no basis in science or reality.

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Erik

While we are all sharing good news, I am still zone 7, barely!

Tulsa got to -6 oF; the official Bixby station got to -1 and a personal weather station nearby me bottomed out at a balmy +1 oF !!!

We had a light cloud cover over my farm. I think that helped.

Palm hut did not get colder than 20 oF which all the zone 8 palms in there should survive.

No idea about all the other palms, and won't for a long time as they are wrapped up. Soil temps are still above freezing under all this snow.

--Erik

Edited by Erik

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mjff

While we are all sharing good news, I am still zone 7, barely!

Tulsa got to -6 oF; the official Bixby station got to -1 and a personal weather station nearby me bottomed out at a balmy +1 oF !!!

We had a light cloud cover over my farm. I think that helped.

Palm hut did not get colder than 20 oF which all the zone 8 palms in there should survive.

No idea about all the other palms, and won't for a long time as they are wrapped up. Soil temps are still above freezing under all this snow.

--Erik

Good to hear! So they were off by 8 or more degrees everywhere. How did the goats fare?

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_Keith

Martin,

I have two new kids in the barn now. I have them and their mom in a stall with a 250 w heat lamp. Hope they survive tonight--I've lost kids to milder weather than this.

We set a record low high of 15 oF today, and the forecast low of -8 oF won't et a record but will be about 10 oF colder than I have ever felt. Nonetheless I'll be hauling buckets of warm water to the seven goats, five horses and 70 chickens. All dogs are in the house.

Palms? Hard to say. I wrapped them all up on Sunday and ran electric heat to many of them. Wish them luck. I might be buying palms from you in a couple of months....

--Erik (up in Oklahoma)

The temperature here has been nearly steady for the last 8 hours. Only dropped to 17F now from 18F late afternoon. I hope it isn't too much to ask for another 8 hours of steady temperatures. I'd even be ecstatic with a low of 16F.

If the kids are inside with a heat lamp and mother full of fresh milk, even -8 shouldn't bother them. I'd be more worried about the heat lamp causing a fire. Hopefully, it is secured and in a location where the goats or their cousin Murphy can't get to it

Don't know what to say about the palms. I hope you aren't making a huge and bad assumption that I will have any left alive to sell when this is all over. Of course, if we stay in the mid-teens, then warm up the 18 degrees they say we will tomorrow from there, which would put us over freezing, this may not be a huge disaster after all.

Hey guys, once we get past this weather, I think it's time for a "goat" thread, complete with pictures.

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mjff

Martin,

I have two new kids in the barn now. I have them and their mom in a stall with a 250 w heat lamp. Hope they survive tonight--I've lost kids to milder weather than this.

We set a record low high of 15 oF today, and the forecast low of -8 oF won't et a record but will be about 10 oF colder than I have ever felt. Nonetheless I'll be hauling buckets of warm water to the seven goats, five horses and 70 chickens. All dogs are in the house.

Palms? Hard to say. I wrapped them all up on Sunday and ran electric heat to many of them. Wish them luck. I might be buying palms from you in a couple of months....

--Erik (up in Oklahoma)

The temperature here has been nearly steady for the last 8 hours. Only dropped to 17F now from 18F late afternoon. I hope it isn't too much to ask for another 8 hours of steady temperatures. I'd even be ecstatic with a low of 16F.

If the kids are inside with a heat lamp and mother full of fresh milk, even -8 shouldn't bother them. I'd be more worried about the heat lamp causing a fire. Hopefully, it is secured and in a location where the goats or their cousin Murphy can't get to it

Don't know what to say about the palms. I hope you aren't making a huge and bad assumption that I will have any left alive to sell when this is all over. Of course, if we stay in the mid-teens, then warm up the 18 degrees they say we will tomorrow from there, which would put us over freezing, this may not be a huge disaster after all.

Hey guys, once we get past this weather, I think it's time for a "goat" thread, complete with pictures.

How about some video of goats eating palm trees? I'll leave out the audio since it would not be suitable for a family oriented forum, if you know what I mean. Especially the portion where the goats "meal" is interrupted by the owner of both the goats and the palm trees running them off while shouting a continuous string of profanities at them. :rolleyes:

Oh look at the pretty snow falling gently outside. Not going to complain, it seems to have brought some warmer air with it. Up to 21F already. Forecast high 22F. Saw the other thread where the Arizonans are crying over 24F for a low. For some reason I'm having a tough time feeling sorry for them. I would kill for a low of 24F at this point (or even a high temperature). Just kidding. I hope for nothing but the best for my former neighbors in the Phoenix area and their palms and other plants. :)

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Ed in Houston

At 12:pm in SE Houston it is sleeting and 34 and this is about the warmest place in Texas! Brownsville is currently 27.

Ed in Houston

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_Keith

Here in South Louisiana we'll have a high of 36 and a low of 33. That's the closest difference between high and low that I remember. Tomorrow is a high of 38, but a low of 28. Buh-yuck

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mjff

Gentle snow continues to fall here with temperature up to 25F at my house. Airport still lagging behind by 4 degrees which seems kind of strange. I got to 21F almost 4 hours ago. Beginning to really wonder how often they update their reading over there.

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Collectorpalms

As of 3:15 pm, of the 4 reporting stations in San Angelo two were 21 and two were 22, Id say 21 at the airport is correct. They update at around 58 past the hour officially. Your sensor may be getting to much infrared heat.

Gentle snow continues to fall here with temperature up to 25F at my house. Airport still lagging behind by 4 degrees which seems kind of strange. I got to 21F almost 4 hours ago. Beginning to really wonder how often they update their reading over there.

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mjff

As of 3:15 pm, of the 4 reporting stations in San Angelo two were 21 and two were 22, Id say 21 at the airport is correct. They update at around 58 past the hour officially. Your sensor may be getting to much infrared heat.

Gentle snow continues to fall here with temperature up to 25F at my house. Airport still lagging behind by 4 degrees which seems kind of strange. I got to 21F almost 4 hours ago. Beginning to really wonder how often they update their reading over there.

Not sure where it would get infrared heat from. It is on the NE side of the house in the shade (it's completely cloudy and snowing now anyway) and several feet from my unheated garage which has a wall constructed of foam covered with synthetic stucco over steel studs and sheathing.

This time yesterday under identical conditions it was reading about the same as the airport, but by this time yesterday we had stopped getting warmer. The airport is up to 22F now and I'm at 24F. Seems to go in reverse at night with the airport reporting consistently higher temperatures than I'm seeing. The source I check says the data is correct as of xx:51, but it always seems to be lagging what I'm seeing at that time. In other words when the temperatures is rising my thermometers are always higher even if I check them right at 9 minutes before the hour, and when temperatures are falling my thermometers read colder even at exactly 9 minutes before the hour. Last night everything matched up for a long period because temperatures were steady before getting out of whack again this morning when the air started getting warmer. Makes me think when they report at xx:51 it is really data that was updated from another source earlier.

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mjff

This is kind of weird. When I woke up this morning the pond in front was completely frozen except where the 8 waterfalls enter. I've been at 24-25F most of the afternoon, and the pond is only about half iced over now. No sun today, just a solid thick blanket of clouds and snow? Guessing the ground is adding heat faster than the air removes it when we get to around 23F. I noticed the same thing with the snow and ice melting on exposed ground a few days ago. The only snow left is on grassy areas, palm fronds, and areas where I have thick gravel over landscape fabric even though we haven't been above freezing since about midnight Monday night.

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Xenon

The HIGH temperature today in Brownsville was 36F!!! That should be the winter low blink.gifunsure.gifrock.gif:(

:( Jonathan

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_Keith

This is the strangest cold front. It's a big icey cold tongue licked straight down the center of Texas. Houston is colder than us and that is rare enough, but McAllen, Tx which is at the southern tip of Tx on the Mexican border, was colder than Houston. Almost borders on Twilight Zone'ish.

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mjff

Just got done taking a walk around the yard and I will be absolutely shocked if everything is not completely defoliated. I can already see the damage on the fronds on everything. Sabals (even S. minor), Jubaeas, Butias, Med Fans, Braheas, Trachys, you name it and the fronds look damaged already. I'm guessing in another month it will look like somebody took a flame thrower to the entire yard. We've had temperatures this cold for long enough to damage fronds before without any damage to those species, so I'm going to give the credit to the ice and snow which I've never had at the same time as this kind of cold. This really sucks. It will take some of these palms years to regrow all the fronds they are going to lose if they survive at all.

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jasons

This was a pretty amazing front. If not for the clouds, it would have been easily in the mid, maybe low teens around Houston. And can you believe what it did out in Arizona? Pretty amazing surge or arctic air. After the snow tonight/tomorrow, all eyes turn to the next front next week. It could be even bigger, but after that it looks like we can finally recover.

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spockvr6

The HIGH temperature today in Brownsville was 36F!!! That should be the winter low blink.gifunsure.gifrock.gif:(

:( Jonathan

I could hardly believe that, but hot dang you are right.

Whats more shocking is that this high occurred around MIDNIGHT.....the temp dropped from there and appears to have hit the freezing mark in the wee hours of the morning and has been in the upper 20's all day. Ridiculous.

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Takil-Explorer

Brownsvile gets -3C! And that place is even farther south then Guwahati in India. And there you get plenty coconut trees, bettlenutpalms and other tropical paraphernalia!

What a crazy climate Texas gets!

Alexander

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Xenon

It's currently 34F in the Ciudad Victoria/Soto la Marina area of Mexico in the Tamuliapas state which is BELOW the Tropic of Cancer AND at sea level, they're expecting a freeze later tonight.

unsure.gifJonathan

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mjff

This was a pretty amazing front. If not for the clouds, it would have been easily in the mid, maybe low teens around Houston. And can you believe what it did out in Arizona? Pretty amazing surge or arctic air. After the snow tonight/tomorrow, all eyes turn to the next front next week. It could be even bigger, but after that it looks like we can finally recover.

The forecast for my area is for highs in the mid to upper 40's next week and lows in the mid to high 20's which is pretty much normal winter weather here for a month ago. Is this going to be another nasty surprise where at the last minute they say "Oops! we meant highs in the 20's and low's in the single digits?" If they pull that again I may have a suggestion for where the federal government can save some money in the budget... :hmm:

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Kailua_Krish

Brownsvile gets -3C! And that place is even farther south then Guwahati in India. And there you get plenty coconut trees, bettlenutpalms and other tropical paraphernalia!

What a crazy climate Texas gets!

Alexander

The effect the Himalaya's have on moderating India's climate is amazing. Ive always kind of wished our mountains ran east to west rather than north south in the US...

-Krishna

Edited by krishnaraoji88

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Collectorpalms

Safe to say close to 24 hours below 32 and some mid 20s are going to take a toll on true zone 10 plants in the Rio Grand Valley. Frozen coconuts and bottles =pina colodas. :(

Edited by Collectorpalms

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Xenon

Coconuts in Brownsville probably won't make it, but the coast is still promising. I saw some very nice specimens on the island last year.

The state high was tied between Brownsville and Houston of all places at 36F. Port Isabel and Galveston were nearly identical despite being 350+ miles apart...

:) Jonathan

Edited by Xenon

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Collectorpalms

I am becoming more worried about the front coming next Tuesday over the central us and gulf and the high centered over east texas like it was over new mexico this past one, clear and less wind may mean much lower night temps.

Ugh. Gonna start game plan tomorrow for what lived through this one and kiss weak ones possibly goodby. Models say zero for atlanta next friday ( although a week away these cant be predicted) but climatology suggests very possible with this pattern.

Ryan

Edited by Collectorpalms

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war_eagle

Well, it's 3am and the sleet and freezing rain is falling. The temp is 29.4. The ice is accumulating to the point of weighing down many palm fronds, bending them back toward the ground. The high Friday will be 36. I haven't been above 36 since about 3-4pm on Tuesday. The low tomorrow night will be 23 under clear skies. There are already more freezes showing up in the ten day forecast. It's still way out, but the models are showing yet another, possibly worse, arctic blast coming next week. I'm starting to lose hope. Even my cold hardy stuff is getting damaged on a yearly basis now.

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Erik

I have a better appreciation now for how Chameadorea radicalis from Tamauilpas evolved its cold tolerance. Events like this current one must have happened enough times in the past.

--Erik

P.S. "only" 17 oF this morning--got to love that cloud cover!

Edited by Erik

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Ed in Houston

In SE Houston this morning it is 30 with light freezing rain. Tonight the low is expected to be 25. These last two winters have been tough on palms. But this is the good news according to AccuWeather's Bastardi!

Bastardi thinks that not only will the next few winters be colder than normal for much of the U.S but he is also predicting the long-term climate to turn colder over the next 20 to 30 years with global temperatures, as measured by satellite, returning to levels they were at in the late 1970s.

http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/45220/bastardi-three-of-next-five-wi-1.asp

I think I will begin planting more C. Radiacalis and a Tex Mex Sabal.

Ed in SE Houston

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mjff

I am becoming more worried about the front coming next Tuesday over the central us and gulf and the high centered over east texas like it was over new mexico this past one, clear and less wind may mean much lower night temps.

Ugh. Gonna start game plan tomorrow for what lived through this one and kiss weak ones possibly goodby. Models say zero for atlanta next friday ( although a week away these cant be predicted) but climatology suggests very possible with this pattern.

Ryan

So if the high is going to be further east the real cold misses me this time? They are still showing highs in the 40's and 50's for here with lows in the 20's, but after this week they have a little bit of a credibility problem with me.

Got up at 6:30 and temperature was still 20F here (forecast low 14F), checked again at 7:30 clouds all gone and sun just rising down to 18F, airport says 15F. Guessing the clouds moved out around the time I checked the first time and since they usually move NE and the airport is SW of me by about 10 miles it got in the clear a little earlier and cooled off more. They are still saying 35F for a high. I hope they are low again. Wouldn't upset me if we got into the low 40's.

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war_eagle

In SE Houston this morning it is 30 with light freezing rain. Tonight the low is expected to be 25. These last two winters have been tough on palms. But this is the good news according to AccuWeather's Bastardi!

Bastardi thinks that not only will the next few winters be colder than normal for much of the U.S but he is also predicting the long-term climate to turn colder over the next 20 to 30 years with global temperatures, as measured by satellite, returning to levels they were at in the late 1970s.

http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/45220/bastardi-three-of-next-five-wi-1.asp

I think I will begin planting more C. Radiacalis and a Tex Mex Sabal.

Ed in SE Houston

I ran across that article at 3am last night while I was up checking on my greenhouse. I certainly appears the normal weather cycle will be switching back to cooler weather again. Don't worry, I'm sure we'll be sold a solution to this perfectly normal weather change as well.

Ed, if you need any small Sabals let me know. It will take a few years for them to get some size, but the last couple of winters I have sprouted many (>250) Sabal seeds from several of the older Sabals around town. I figure their parents have survived the worst of our weather.

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mjff

In SE Houston this morning it is 30 with light freezing rain. Tonight the low is expected to be 25. These last two winters have been tough on palms. But this is the good news according to AccuWeather's Bastardi!

Bastardi thinks that not only will the next few winters be colder than normal for much of the U.S but he is also predicting the long-term climate to turn colder over the next 20 to 30 years with global temperatures, as measured by satellite, returning to levels they were at in the late 1970s.

http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/45220/bastardi-three-of-next-five-wi-1.asp

I think I will begin planting more C. Radiacalis and a Tex Mex Sabal.

Ed in SE Houston

That's interesting, but La Ninas usually mean warmer than normal winters for Texas. In fact, until this week we have been very warm in San Angelo (I had Pentas and Lantanas still blooming). This arctic outbreak is mostly the result of (I'm not a meteorologist, so excuse me if I don't state this correctly) the NAO blocking systems from moving normally and throwing a kink in the jetstream down over TX allowing all this arctic air to spill down here and get trapped. It was the same with the freeze last winter during an El Nino which normally means cool damp weather for us, not frigidly cold, which is exactly what we were having prior to the NAO sending some nice arctic air our way.

I'd say Bastardi is probably on to something as far as the part of the country outside the SW, but for the SW US we should be warmer and drier than normal. The article seems to say the same thing since it references "much of the US" several times. I believe the portion not included is probably the SW. Scanning the record lows for San Angelo, TX this winter I saw very few from the 60's and 70's. Most seem to be from the 40's and 80's, and I'm guessing La Nina/El Nino had little to do with any of them. You can pin the blame most of the time on the NAO which seems to trump everything else when it becomes strongly negative(?) as far as TX weather goes, and I'm not sure anybody has a great understanding of exactly how it works or how to predict what it will do next very far out.

Wednesday's record low here was -1 from 1985, I don't recall a bad freeze event that year, does anybody else? San Angelo has been below 0 twice and both times were in the 80's (1985 and 1989). They have temperature records for here going back around 130 years, and the two coldest temperatures recorded were in the 80's which was a very warm decade. Weird.

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mjff

At the rate we are warming I should be back above freezing by 12:30. Currently going up about 4 degrees per hour, and at 28F. Forecast still says 35F for a high, but I'm thinking mid-40's is more likely. Hopefully that will clear the rest of the snow and ice out of here. Good riddance.

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mjff

Freeze over. I hit 13F for a low which isn't that bad, but was far below freezing for 84 consecutive hours. That totaled up to 1,059.5 freezing degree hours. For reference the much briefer, but colder 1989 freeze totaled 1,125.2 freezing degree hours. Frond damage would have been worse in 1989, but the cold should have penetrated about the same distance into the trunks this week as 1989. From that standpoint this freeze was twice as bad as last winter's even though last winter we got a little colder. Unfortunately, the 1951 and 1983 freezes were about twice as bad as this. I don't think any palm could survive those without protection, and maybe not even with protection. In 1983 the lakes here had 7" of ice on them.

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