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Bill H2DB

AP story on Fla Panhandle Freeze 4-17-14

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displaced_floridian

Would you say this past winter was a 10-year or a 20-year event, or even more rare than that?

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palmsOrl

Here, a couple hundred miles away, it was a pretty ordinary winter. I bet you this winter was no more than a 1 in 10-15 year event. The lowest lows were FAR, FAR from all time record lows. The plants that have damage or were killed are probably almost all zone 9 stuff that does fine most winters in Panhandle areas near the coast. Zone 9 Phoenix species, queen palms, citrus and damage to Washingtonia robusta, etc.

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_Keith

20 year event.

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Alicehunter2000

post-97-0-76966000-1397852846_thumb.jpg

Thought this shot of neighboring Alys Beach went with this story nicely.

Phoenix Dacts.

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stevethegator

attachicon.gif20140407_164311.jpg

Thought this shot of neighboring Alys Beach went with this story nicely.

Phoenix Dacts.

Wow I've never seen that kind of damage on dates anywhere in FL

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palmsOrl

attachicon.gif20140407_164311.jpg

Thought this shot of neighboring Alys Beach went with this story nicely.

Phoenix Dacts.

Wow I've never seen that kind of damage on dates anywhere in FL

Woah, I haven't either! Those are solid zone 8b palms and Alys Beach is well east of Pensacola between Panama City and Fort Walton Beach (presumably a bit warmer than further west). Just how cold did it get there? Could it be from the duration of cold rather than just the absolute lows? How do the massive Phoenix dactylifera that are everywhere in New Orleans look?

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_Keith

attachicon.gif20140407_164311.jpg

Thought this shot of neighboring Alys Beach went with this story nicely.

Phoenix Dacts.

Wow I've never seen that kind of damage on dates anywhere in FL

Woah, I haven't either! Those are solid zone 8b palms and Alys Beach is well east of Pensacola between Panama City and Fort Walton Beach (presumably a bit warmer than further west). Just how cold did it get there? Could it be from the duration of cold rather than just the absolute lows? How do the massive Phoenix dactylifera that are everywhere in New Orleans look?

It wasn't the ultimate cold but a triple whammy of hits over 6-8 weeks. The northern gulf coast took a beating this year. It looks like that from Houston to Panama City.

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Alicehunter2000

Mature canary and sylvestris also got popped pretty good. It was strange because there were individual palms of these same species that showed little damage around the area. The Alys Beach dacts also were subjected to stupidity on the part of their landscape crew. During the coldest parts of the freeze these geniuses decided to dig down around every single tree about 2 feet down severing all the feeder roots to install new lighting. It is a wonder that they are still alive. I mean they cut complete circles around about3 foot away from every single tree......they should have sprayed them with a herbicide too....just kidding. It was pretty ridiculous and could have resulted in the demise of the very things they were trying to enhance with lighting.

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Xerarch

attachicon.gif20140407_164311.jpg

Thought this shot of neighboring Alys Beach went with this story nicely.

Phoenix Dacts.

Wow I've never seen that kind of damage on dates anywhere in FL

Woah, I haven't either! Those are solid zone 8b palms and Alys Beach is well east of Pensacola between Panama City and Fort Walton Beach (presumably a bit warmer than further west). Just how cold did it get there? Could it be from the duration of cold rather than just the absolute lows? How do the massive Phoenix dactylifera that are everywhere in New Orleans look?

It wasn't the ultimate cold but a triple whammy of hits over 6-8 weeks. The northern gulf coast took a beating this year. It looks like that from Houston to Panama City.

Still, I'm surprised to see this much damage, I'd be interested to know what the absolute low was, I know AliceHunter's place got down to 19-20 for the absolute. I've seen these things take 16 degrees in the west without a scratch and these completely defoliate at 20? Even with repeated hits I'm surprised, or maybe the absolute was a lot less than 20 in some areas, or maybe this is just the difference of a humid climate. Anyway, sorry to see all this damage, looks like they will pull through though.

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Silas_Sancona

Fairly normal winter/ early spring here as well.. erring on a slightly cooler/ wetter angle this year. Also shocked to see and hear of the damage to such cold tolerant species up north.

-Nathan-

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stevethegator

Something "unusual" must have happened as I am also surprised by all the damage Alicehunter and Keith have reported. Heavy Frost? The Palm Gods' infinite wrath?

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_Keith

The "unusual" was a cold snap for 3 days with a low of 21, then a few weeks later an ice storm low in upper 20s, then a couple weeks after that boom, another 3 day snap with low of 23.

Any of those alone, as happened in 2010 with a low of 19 would have been fine, but the 3 events in combination just sapped the life out of the palms and many other things as well.

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stevethegator

Yeah I can't believe how cold it's been this winter overall. It froze here in Atlanta a few days ago, the highs over the past couple days haven't climbed out of the 50s, and it looks like we may have 60/40 days going into May. Not to mention all the frozen precip, the single digits during the polar vortex, etc. Wacky!

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palmsOrl

I reviewed the data for the nearest official weather station in Panama City and there were several freezes with lows in the 20s this past winter-not surprising for the FL Panhandle. One freeze during the first half of January featured consecutive lows of 25F, 20F and 21F. 20F was the lowest recorded temperature of the winter there and that day only made it to 35F under fully clear skies for the entire day. There were other freezes that featured precipitation during the event, only officially recorded as rain though. Since Phoenix dactylifera is rated as hardy to 8b, I can't help but wonder if other factors, such as the root disturbance, etc are largely responsible for the damage.

What it comes down to for me is, the FL Panhandle had 10-20 year cold this winter, while in Orlando my unprotected royals are completely undamaged.

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_Keith

I reviewed the data for the nearest official weather station in Panama City and there were several freezes with lows in the 20s this past winter-not surprising for the FL Panhandle. One freeze during the first half of January featured consecutive lows of 25F, 20F and 21F. 20F was the lowest recorded temperature of the winter there and that day only made it to 35F under fully clear skies for the entire day. There were other freezes that featured precipitation during the event, only officially recorded as rain though. Since Phoenix dactylifera is rated as hardy to 8b, I can't help but wonder if other factors, such as the root disturbance, etc are largely responsible for the damage.

What it comes down to for me is, the FL Panhandle had 10-20 year cold this winter, while in Orlando my unprotected royals are completely undamaged.

Yes, you were lucky as these freezes did not penetrate deeply into Florida as did the one in the early 60s, and early and late 80s.

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spockvr6

What it comes down to for me is, the FL Panhandle had 10-20 year cold this winter, while in Orlando my unprotected royals are completely undamaged.

Yes, you were lucky as these freezes did not penetrate deeply into Florida as did the one in the early 60s, and early and late 80s.

http://www.reactiongifs.us/ill-be-back-terminator/

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palmsOrl

What it comes down to for me is, the FL Panhandle had 10-20 year cold this winter, while in Orlando my unprotected royals are completely undamaged.

Yes, you were lucky as these freezes did not penetrate deeply into Florida as did the one in the early 60s, and early and late 80s.

http://www.reactiongifs.us/ill-be-back-terminator/

LOL! True, but next time an 80s style freeze hits, it will have to overcome many miles of buildings, concrete/asphalt, automobiles, etc. (much of which was rural then) It has, in my experience been good for several degrees and the area continues to grow.

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Xenon

Houston doesn't look that bad...much better than 2010 freeze. Definitely no date palms like that...no damage at all. Queens look fine.

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Jimbean

LOL! True, but next time an 80s style freeze hits, it will have to overcome many miles of buildings, concrete/asphalt, automobiles, etc. (much of which was rural then) It has, in my experience been good for several degrees and the area continues to grow.

I would only add about 1.5F to 2F in urban areas.

So if Orlando's all time record low is 18F, then that same cold spell would mean about 20F.

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palmsOrl

I guess it depends on the urban area in question, Jim. Based on my experience and actual weather data, the urban core of Orlando is easily 4-5F warmer on low temperatures on the coldest nights than rural areas in all directions from the city. The exceptions are rare advective freeze events, where temperatures tend to be more even area-wide, with a gradual temp increase from north to south. The last true advective freeze here was January 24, 2003, when the temp at the official reporting stations reached 27F, city, burbs and rural. In 2010, temps in the suburbs of Orlando reached 24F officially(25F at my house in Maitland), while the near-downtown station only reached 29F. I've actually read that the urban heat islands of the NE megalopolis can keep temperatures on cold nights in excess of 10F above those in adjacent rural areas and I believe it.

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Dave-Vero

The cold really didn't penetrate much into the peninsula. Our local low for the winter seems to have bee 30 F on Jan. 19, which didn't bother anything.

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NorthFlpalmguy

It was more of the duration of the low 20s than the absolute lows. That January continous freeze was the big killer IMO. I think it is more of a 10 yr event if that. It seems to have reminded palm buyers along the gulf coast to stick to what we grow locally- butias, trachys, sabals, washys, med/euro fan, etc. I had no more small 3G palms die than normal (like 6 in 3,000). I know of a few established dactyliferas that were burnt badly but look like they will survive and those are much more inland than the coast.

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Alicehunter2000

They ended up replacing 4 of those P. dacts in the picture. Full crowns have not yet established on the remaining ones....and here comes another winter..........Sucks!

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Matthew92

It was weird- similarly, I saw P. dactyliferas on the barrier island that were very damaged and died while at the same time 20 miles to the north on the mainland there was a planting of full sized ones that had 75% leaf burn but resumed growth very quickly.

Edited by Opal92

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