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gsytch

New Florida Winter Outlook

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Moose

And guys....I understand the falling frond thought....but dont Miami and Ft Myers have cars and people walking under their palms too? They still have thousands and thousands (millions) of them!

Bingo - valid point! :greenthumb:

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sonoranfans

And guys....I understand the falling frond thought....but dont Miami and Ft Myers have cars and people walking under their palms too? They still have thousands and thousands (millions) of them!

Bingo - valid point! :greenthumb:

Is that why everyone down miami ducks when you hear a noise?

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palmsOrl

Also, in South Florida, water requirements are just as much of a concern regarding landscaping with Royals. I say, make downtown Orlando look like Fort Myers (landscape-wise at least).

I was just able to check my palms and other tropicals for the first time since yesterday morning. On brief inspection, I didn't see ANY damage on anything and other than the pots put in the greenhouse I covered nothing.

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sarasota alex

There is no part of West Central FL (outside of the immediate downtown St. Pete area) that looks even remotely like that of areas further south. There are some examples of similar plants, but they are limited in number such that they are "notable", rather than being the norm.

I disagree. The island parts of Sarasota look more tropical than the downtown St. Pete. I'm talking about Lido Key, Siesta Key, Casey Key, Bird Key etc. If you are dining outside in the Siesta Village area you wouldn't know you are not in the Caribbean.

Also I disagree that if you don't see something that it's for a reason. Some things just haven't been planted. The Carpentarias are a great example of that here. They are nearly absent from the warmer parts of Sarasota, but there are many (relatively) in the Palmer Ranch area where I live, which is a few or even several degrees colder at night in the winter. Yet even during the coldest winters of 09/10 and 10/11 none of them had any damage. Winters like the one this year they produce fruit. Yet you almost never see them west of US41, but you see Veitchias which are a lot more sensitive to cold and get damaged in bad winters. So not all of it makes sense.

I personally like the way Livistona decoras look lining up the streets when they slightly overlap each other. They would've done great anywhere in North Central Florida. But I seldom see them there. Yet I've seen them used like that in the Houston area of Texas.

For example Washingtonia robusta is one of the most abundant palms on St. Martin. Second only to Coconuts probably. But I've almost never seen it on any other island.

My last two Caribbean cruises with all the tours I haven't seen a single lipstick, even though, aside from the Bahamas, every other place where we stopped had a suitable climate for it.

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spockvr6

There is no part of West Central FL (outside of the immediate downtown St. Pete area) that looks even remotely like that of areas further south. There are some examples of similar plants, but they are limited in number such that they are "notable", rather than being the norm.

I disagree. The island parts of Sarasota look more tropical than the downtown St. Pete. I'm talking about Lido Key, Siesta Key, Casey Key, Bird Key etc. If you are dining outside in the Siesta Village area you wouldn't know you are not in the Caribbean.

Sarasota is the start of SW FL IMO....this is where the scenery starts to reliably change over central FL.

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spockvr6

There is no part of West Central FL (outside of the immediate downtown St. Pete area) that looks even remotely like that of areas further south. There are some examples of similar plants, but they are limited in number such that they are "notable", rather than being the norm.

Also I disagree that if you don't see something that it's for a reason. Some things just haven't been planted.

My thought is....is there something that causes one to stop planting certain things? Is there some magical line that is crossed as one drives (either inland from the water or north/south) where people just stop hearing of and trying to plant Royal palms, Coconuts, etc? My feeling is that this is not logical. The change in foliage see is typically a gradual one (except in the cases of extreme coastal areas), and that change is dictated by what mother nature has allowed to stay over the ages.

Royal palms are such a ubiquitous and readily available palm that, IMO anyway, they serve as a relaible indicator of Zone 10 climates. If there are more Royals than Queens, more likely than not it is a true Zone 10 area in FL.

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spockvr6

And guys....I understand the falling frond thought....but dont Miami and Ft Myers have cars and people walking under their palms too? They still have thousands and thousands (millions) of them!

Bingo - valid point! :greenthumb:

Is that why everyone down miami ducks when you hear a noise?

Those are just fireworks Tom :-)

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SubTropicRay

I think cost is a biggest driver for why people or communities plant what they do. Long term survivability of the landscape is secondary. Because of expense, people sometimes just don't plant things regardless of whether they'd survive or not.

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palmsOrl

Some palms, like Royals, have never been widely available in Orlando. Occasionally, you see a couple for sale at one of the big box stores, specialty nurseries and of course plant shows. Other than that, it's mostly Washingtonias, Queens, Adonidias (which are not reliable anywhere in Orlando long-term) and some Trachycarpus, Sabal, Livistona and Chamaerops. Archontophoenix, Hyophorbe and Rhaphidophylum have become more widely available at big box stores over the last several years as well.

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sonoranfans

I have found royals to be suprisingly rare at big box stores in bradenton. I have seen more adonidias, coconuts, and certainly many times more foxtails, majesties,and dypsis lutecens. I also agree that the sarasota area looks more tropical than st pete, but is not necessarily warmer... St pete has plenty of sabal palmetto, more than any other palm perhaps, and quite a few washies, but they arent there because it gets cold in st pete... they are very low maintenance though...

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PalmatierMeg

A local meteorologist published the following on his blog. And I thought we might be home free

"The days are getting longer. Our forecast calls for daily highs in the 80s for another 5 or 6 days. The Red Sox and Twins are back in town and even the calendar says it's almost March. Can't we put the sweaters and jackets back in the closet and say that winter is done ?

Not if the computer models are correct.

Both the American and European model solutions are projecting a major re-alignment of the jet stream in about a week.

The cause of this pattern change may have something to do with something called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

We seem to entering a strong negative phase of this NAO where big upper level blocks in the jet stream develop at high latitudes over places like Greenland, the far North Atlantic and Scandinavia.

These big blocks divert a lot of jet stream energy farther South and make it for easier for stronger cold fronts to reach the Gulf States, the Southeast US and Florida.

The negative phase of the NAO has also been associated with a more Southern storm track across the United States.

That's bad news in March because it can mean severe weather across the Southern continental US...and maybe some heavy late season snows for the Great lakes – Ohio Valley and the Northeast.

We'll be watching to see how this evolves. If the computer models are correct, we may see our average temperatures a good 5-10 points cooler than normal for the first 10 days of March."

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gsytch

I saw that Meg (the colder air coming) and it is a matter of how much cold. It will be March, after all, and the longer days and higher sun angle warm things up. However, the models are showing about 7-10 days of cooler weather! Bring on spring.... :indifferent:

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SubTropicRay

That translates into nightime 40's. The freeze dates in March are very scarce. Tampa hasn't had a March freeze ( and it was 32F) since 1980. The teleconnections came together a little too late for it to be a concern for us.

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sonoranfans

As the days get longer and the gulf water rises in temp(did it ever really cool down this year?) I am a skeptic that a major freeze event will happen near my place. Accuweather says lows of 44F for that front...

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TropicalDude

Eric, I will make sure to look for those. There is a nice bottle palm on a front yard across Lake Underhill, but that's 50 feet away from the lake (looked damaged in those bad winters but survived). IMO Orlando has many pockets where it's solid zone 10 most winters, and it seems it's simply more of people getting used to garden centers and commercial nurseries stocking ugly/cheap plants for years aka those oaks which look somewhat cute when young but then turn into a bad looking 'fro-haircut when older, and while evergreen the green is a depressing dull color. It's more about ignorance about tropical plants than anything, my theory is with Orlando having a large % of immigrants from tropical places: Latin America, India, Vietnamese, etc . there's more availability of tropical palms/plants now. Any Orlando garden center these days also has a variety of tropical fruits - back in the 90s the only thing semi-tropicalish regularly available would be Loquats.

In 2007 I was at the Lowe's near Alafaya and happened to see the garden manager around and told him those Koelreuterias and Camphor trees he was selling are invasive plants - he got offended (maybe I should have said it in a more politically correct way LOL). - I might have said they were crap trees too after he gave me a look... which is not really an exaggeration, since those two species are better left growing where they are native or maybe planted in areas of zone 8b winters or so, not here. Where I am there are about 8 large camphor trees within the space of a residential block. Most of them grew out of seedlings people left growing (since they are relatively cute trees when young - then when older in winter the leaves turn an ugly ochre-greenish brown that looks more like the color of sewage). IMO they can turn a decent house ugly and unkept when planted out front if not pruned nicely or not kept at medium size - like the two houses across the street - each has large ones.. which block most of the view of a nice sunset, besides looking like huge afro haircuts. Nurseries keep selling them.

Here at Home Depot as soon as summer comes they get stocked with Coconuts - and probably the very cold sensitive Malayans. Seen a few other marginal palms that will not thrive here long term also. Back in the 90s there were much less tropicals being sold, even Bouganvilleas weren't that common. Now you see them everywhere around town. IMO, if a very cold sensitive tree such as the Poinciana can make it, Coconuts (not Malayan) could theoretically do just fine (only exceptions that could convince me otherwise would be a 1989 or perhaps maybe another 2010 event, but if so simply they get replaced). As long as they are planted in the south side of buildings, and get good sun exposure in winter, they should make it. Malayans and even Jamaica Talls can get freeze killed/damaged in S. Florida too, and even a damaged Cocos looks more pleasing than one of the ungainly species usually planted here. The frond and falling-coconut problem, you just keep them trimmed as they do down there. While down there you would seen Royals and Coconut palms adorning medians, here you would see endles rows of cheap Crape Myrtles in their completely bare "splendor" in winter...

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Trópico

wunderground has mid 30's for me next weekend, more than a week away. They were the most accurate last time around, predicting my 30°F off by two degrees.

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Trópico

Next weekend looks serious, hear me! :violin:

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gsytch

The latest figures are showing 3-4 days where it will stay cold, perhaps even record-breaking. No quick warmup. It is still too far away, but models are starting to show 30's throughout Tampa Bay. Its 85F today, dewpoint 71F, and I have to spray down the GH hard around 1pm just to cool it off. It is getting way too hot. I usually have the plastic starting to come off but I don't dare now. Ridiculous! :rant:

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Walt

This weather is phenomenal, approaching almost 90 degrees in late February. I'm out on my property today and it looks more like May than February. In my 15 plus years living here I've never seen my garden look this green in February. Normally, many of my palms would be severely cold damaged. Nothing is cold acclimated now. I hope I don't see any more freezing weather nor frost.

Syagrusbotryophora2-23-13_zpsdf172c4a.jp

Above Photo: On a typical winter for me, my Syagrus botryophora and Caryota mitis palms would be 50% or more brown with frost damage. If I hadn't taken this photo today, I could have been fooled into thinking this photo was taken last summer or fall.

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gsytch

Weather Underground has Ocala/Gainesville with an extended period below freezing for next Fri-Mon, lows 28-30F on each night. This must be one massive cold onslaught to stay THAT cold THAT long in early March. There is still some issue with how much cold comes down, but after such a mild winter, I am not looking forward to any extended cold. I should be doing my spring cleaning instead of wait-and-see....What a weird winter. Any thoughts? It is hard to pinpoint. NWS is more conservative with the cold for Tampa Bay, listing upper 30's/lower 40's.. :drool:

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amazondk

I was through Florida last week. I flew into Miami from Manaus arriving on the 13th. I then picked up an associate of mine who was in Orland with his family whereBr they spent the carvnaval weekend. I was amazed at how many Brazilians there were there. His family went back to Manaus on the 14th and we went to Miami via Bradenton where we had a business meeting. I would really like to know where everyone is going on the interstates. We got to Miami and there was no hotels due to the boat show. We ended up staying in Boca. The 14th was rain all the way to Miami and then a cool spell set in. But, that is all relative. I am now in Montana where it is not too cold. But, the wind off the eastern front of the Rockies still sends a chill down a tropical guys spine. Lows, 27 F or so, highs 35 to 40 F. It was nice to be in Florida a few days, in spite of the traffic.

Here in North Central Montana no palm trees around.

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gsytch

This cold outbreak coming for next weekend could be historically significant, and long lasting. It appears as if both Sat and Sun will not even reach 60F and both nights easily below freezing for inland areas north of Tampa Bay, and perhaps inland central. The long range does not show a quick warmup due to the negative AO. I am sitting here at 71F dewpoint 70F fog at 630am with a muggy high expected in the lower 80's today, while next weekend and early next week we will be lucky to hit 60F. This is insane. What a weird winter. In my 25 years here I have never seen it as cold as they expect, as long as they expect, in March. Time to cover the sensitive stuff! :rant:

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displaced_floridian

It is fortunate that this pattern waited till March. If it happened in January it would be like in Jan. 2010. It looks like at least a week of well below normal temps with possible 30s into inland S FL on a few nights. Tender plants will need protection in parts of central and maybe even south Fla. 8 to 10 days of W-NW winds is very unusual. West coasters may fare a little better, with winds off the Gulf a lot of the time.

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gsytch

Accuweather is coming up a little on the lows, but highs are settled in around 55-60F for a good 5 days, well below average and probably one of the longest stretches of cold weather we have ever seen in March. YES lucky this was not January or we would be tallying the losses. A saving grace for us may in fact be a NW flow, but it still will be COLD. To think, March was suppose to be well above avg as a warming trend was to begin. I wish I was paid to be so wrong! Funny though, because now I get to whine about the cold again - which I hate! :rant:

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Eric in Orlando

The last couple weeks have been a real swing. First mid to upper 80s then last week a day in the upper 50s and a low of 38 and then hot again Friday and Saturday. Orlando set a record high on Sat. of 89, previous high was 88. And the low Sat. was a record high low, 69. Previous was 68. And it is 87 today. At least there was a decent rain yesterday and hopefully more in the next couple of days.

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gsytch

The depth of this cold snap is going to be felt way down to Havana and Cancun. Both areas will see weekend highs in the 60's and lows in the 50's - frigid for January not to mention March. It will be a slow warmup as the week progresses. I am thinking cold but not severe here in Tampa Bay...just real chilly. It's time to warm up and stay warm. On the plus side - rains should come thru in the AM and we need every drop. :bemused:

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SubTropicRay

The lowest low on the GFS Ensemble models is 40F for Tampa with the operational GFS showing 39F. The European model is warmer than that with 43F. I don't think this front will have the "bite" the last one did.

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gsytch

It will be long lived, as it will be CHILLY for quite some time. After all the warmth of winter, this is so odd and out of place. Thankfully this was NOT January as it would have been a big deal. I am seeing upper 30's for Tampa Bay but freezing N and E of the bay area. Brrrr... :rant:

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Moose

It is predicted to only be a low of 49 F here on Sunday. The Tampa Bay area may be a bit warmer than originally forecasted.

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displaced_floridian

The coldest night of this cool spell looks like the morning of the 3rd. 37 predicted for Tampa, 42 for Ft Myers and 46 for Miami. Mighty cool for this time of year.

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SubTropicRay

The NWS still has no 30's forecasted for the Tampa bay metro area. The operational GFS model has low 40's for lows as does the Climate Prediction Center. The Ensemble GFS models are in the 39-42F range for Tampa. If this were going to be a major problem, we'd know by now. If this same front had been forecast in January or early February, we'd be looking at a widespread freeze.

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displaced_floridian

I was just giving accuweather's predictions. I don't know what models they go by. I hope they're wrong,

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palmsOrl

For Orlando, they are forecasting 40F one night and 38F the next, with an extended period of cool weather. Nothing to worry about here in terms of cold damage. Frost certainly can occur in the upper 30s and even lower 40s, but it usually causes minimal damage at most in my experience. The next week or so will just stave off the onset of the relentless Florida heat for a little longer. I'm all for it.

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Moose

The NWS still has no 30's forecasted for the Tampa bay metro area. The operational GFS model has low 40's for lows as does the Climate Prediction Center. The Ensemble GFS models are in the 39-42F range for Tampa. If this were going to be a major problem, we'd know by now. If this same front had been forecast in January or early February, we'd be looking at a widespread freeze.

Plants are hardened off now. Soil temperatures are warm plus the extended daylight hours are all important factors that the plants should be fine.

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Shirleypalmpaws

For my area ---a little bit northeast of the zoo in east central Brevard county FL--- weather underground is predicting the lows for nights:

(starting with tonight)...

Fri. 50

Sat. 45

Sun. 43

Mon. 46

Tue. 55

Hoping for even better, :mrlooney:

Whoa, holey schnikies, it just now got updated:

Fri. 48

Sat. 45

Sun. 41

Mon. 50

Tue. 55

Dang

Edited by ThreepointtwoWhites

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Moose

Hmmm - getting conflicting forecasted lows, as much as an 8 degree F difference. <_<

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Shirleypalmpaws

Me too, Moose. I just came in to update the predicted lows....changing too much for me to keep up...but for right now it's 39 for Sunday night. :(

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_Keith

Forecast here now holding steady at 32 degrees for tomorrow morning's low. That means the same cold will arrive in North and Central Florida 12-24 hours after. Who would have thunk my coldest temperature this year would arrive 3rd day of March.

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