Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Xerarch

Zone 9b in Utah

Recommended Posts

Xerarch

So way down in the SW corner of Utah near the borders of AZ and NV there is actually one little blip of zone 9b, I have long known that this area was the warmest in Utah due to the southern position and more importantly it is the lowest elevation in the state, but I was surprised to see any 9b at all. In fact, it has more 9a than I would have guessed.  The 9b spot is uninhabited and on the slope of a mountain range.  Anyway, I thought it was an interesting find.image.thumb.png.1dc1145faf8fbe004127a96f

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hammer

Somebody start stealth planting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NorCalKing

I thought this was the best quote "The 9b spot is uninhabited and on the slope of a mountain range." lol. Good place for a zone pusher to start a test garden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silas_Sancona
3 hours ago, Hammer said:

Somebody start stealth planting!

:greenthumb: Nice  ..Lets not even mention Queen Palms:rage::mrlooney:..  Perhaps a day trip ..with a few Copernicia Alba and Hypaene seedlings in tow might be in order?:hmm:.. Wonder if some of the Agave junkies on another forum know this area.. hrmm:indifferent: Wonder if there are any/ how many 10A spots exist on some of the South-facing hillsides surrounding the valley here..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bill H2DB

  Is there some actual data from this area ?         Else wise , how is the rating determined ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Austinpalm
3 hours ago, Bill H2DB said:

  Is there some actual data from this area ?         Else wise , how is the rating determined ?

My question exactly.  Who is monitoring the temps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeB

I lived near this area in St. George (Ivins), Utah for almost ten years and I think that a freak 9b zone might be possible.  This is why I believe the zone map: 

The closest major airport at the time was in Las Vegas and sometimes I would have to make the winter drive at 4 or 5am.  Starting at my zone 8 location I would watch the outside temperature from my car thermometer.  As I drove through the Virgin River Gorge (just to the south of the 9b area) on interstate 95 the temperature would rise as much as 22 degrees!  Then coming out of the gorge in Mesquite, Nevada the temperature would drop back down to about 5 degrees above my house temp. That makes sense because my house was 8a and Mesquite is 8b.  There is something about the canyon walls and the river that create an incredible micro climate. The only problem with the stealth planting idea is that the area only receives 8 inches of rain per year.  I had the same idea.  Somebody could try planting near the Virgin River but it floods big time and would wash away anything planted in its path.

I have driven Old US-91 shown on the map. It is beautiful Mojave desert. There are large Joshua Tree forests, many varieties of cactus, and Agave Utahensis.  If you are lucky you might spot big horned sheep, coyotes, and desert tortoise. I bet the big horned sheep are loving that 9b ridge in winter while humanity is shivering in the valley.  I never had an appreciation for the desert flora until those years living in this northern most area of the Mojave.  The scenery is even better if you get back on the dirt roads. 

If you find yourself driving through the area get off the freeway in St. George and drive back to Snow Canyon State Park (named for the Snow brothers not the cold stuff).  The red rock mountains and lava flows are spectacular.  You can stay at the Red Mountain Spa.

You will see palms and I managed to grow quite a few but that is another story.

  • Upvote 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xerarch
3 hours ago, MikeB said:

I lived near this area in St. George (Ivins), Utah for almost ten years and I think that a freak 9b zone might be possible.  This is why I believe the zone map: 

The closest major airport at the time was in Las Vegas and sometimes I would have to make the winter drive at 4 or 5am.  Starting at my zone 8 location I would watch the outside temperature from my car thermometer.  As I drove through the Virgin River Gorge (just to the south of the 9b area) on interstate 95 the temperature would rise as much as 22 degrees!  Then coming out of the gorge in Mesquite, Nevada the temperature would drop back down to about 5 degrees above my house temp. That makes sense because my house was 8a and Mesquite is 8b.  There is something about the canyon walls and the river that create an incredible micro climate. The only problem with the stealth planting idea is that the area only receives 8 inches of rain per year.  I had the same idea.  Somebody could try planting near the Virgin River but it floods big time and would wash away anything planted in its path.

I have driven Old US-91 shown on the map. It is beautiful Mojave desert. There are large Joshua Tree forests, many varieties of cactus, and Agave Utahensis.  If you are lucky you might spot big horned sheep, coyotes, and desert tortoise. I bet the big horned sheep are loving that 9b ridge in winter while humanity is shivering in the valley.  I never had an appreciation for the desert flora until those years living in this northern most area of the Mojave.  The scenery is even better if you get back on the dirt roads. 

If you find yourself driving through the area get off the freeway in St. George and drive back to Snow Canyon State Park (named for the Snow brothers not the cold stuff).  The red rock mountains and lava flows are spectacular.  You can stay at the Red Mountain Spa.

You will see palms and I managed to grow quite a few but that is another story.

A freak 9b also seems plausible to me in this area, St. George is in somewhat of a basin and sometimes the whole thing gets filled with cold air that has nowhere to drain, the narrow opening of the virgin river going into the gorge is not sufficient to drain the cold air. This location, on the west side of the beaver dam mountains is a wide open slope all the way down to mesquite. I think the minimum temps at least in favorable areas are likely higher even than those in Mesquite. There are numerous large Phoenix genus palms in Mesquite while the ones in St. George take regular beatings and sometimes even die.  

I would love to guerrilla plant some cool things in this remote and beautiful corner of Utah but I agree, there is no water and summer temperatures regularly exceed 110 F. There is permanent water in portions of the beaver dam wash but it flash floods also, and besides, the bottom of the wash would be a cold air trap, the warmest areas are in the slopes. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bill H2DB

Maybe you could place a digital max / min thermometer out there somewhere with some good Lithium ion batteries just as the cold part of

winter was starting , and then retrieve it later.       The Minimum memory feature might tell the tale .

  If a good location can be found . and reasonable setup was made..........

 

Stealth weather !!

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xerarch
7 hours ago, Bill H2DB said:

  Is there some actual data from this area ?         Else wise , how is the rating determined ?

 

3 minutes ago, Bill H2DB said:

Maybe you could place a digital max / min thermometer out there somewhere with some good Lithium ion batteries just as the cold part of

winter was starting , and then retrieve it later.       The Minimum memory feature might tell the tale .

  If a good location can be found . and reasonable setup was made..........

There are no weather stations in this area, there are tons of them on the other side of the mountain range in St George, UT and some stations at the bottom of the slope in Mesquite NV. This map came from the interactive USDA zone map which has some kind of algorithm to extrapolate likely temperatures between weather stations based on various factors. My post above lists why I think it could be plausible to have a blip or two of 9b in an isolated spot. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
smithgn
11 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

:greenthumb: Nice  ..Lets not even mention Queen Palms:rage::mrlooney:..  Perhaps a day trip ..with a few Copernicia Alba and Hypaene seedlings in tow might be in order?:hmm:.. Wonder if some of the Agave junkies on another forum know this area.. hrmm:indifferent: Wonder if there are any/ how many 10A spots exist on some of the South-facing hillsides surrounding the valley here..

Lol this is a great idea! Just plant a few seedlings and check back periodically. I wonder how remote this area is?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xerarch
1 minute ago, smithgn said:

Lol this is a great idea! Just plant a few seedlings and check back periodically. I wonder how remote this area is?

I've been all around a number of dirt roads in the area, there is a lot of flora and fauna there that can't be found anywhere else in Utah. Joshua trees and various other types of yucca, barrel cactus, agave, cholla, roadrunners, desert tortoise, chuckwalla, a lot of these were also mentioned above by MikeB.   It's a pretty cool area for someone like me who really enjoys finding plants and animals that are particular to a certain area. 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silas_Sancona
8 minutes ago, Bill H2DB said:

Maybe you could place a digital max / min thermometer out there somewhere with some good Lithium ion batteries just as the cold part of

winter was starting , and then retrieve it later.       The Minimum memory feature might tell the tale .

  If a good location can be found . and reasonable setup was made..........

 

Stealth weather !!

:greenthumb: like this idea..  Have pondered the idea of something similar here.. If such a profile exists in CA, according to how Sunset dictates it's plant zones, why shouldn't similar, terrain-related effects not exist in other parts of the South West. One place it would be interesting to document winter temps exists in South Mountain where Bursera microphylla grow on a few south facing slopes in the Park.. While the trees do get knocked back by frost damage occasionally, id bet those slopes stay relatively warm.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xerarch
1 minute ago, Silas_Sancona said:

:greenthumb: like this idea..  Have pondered the idea of something similar here.. If such a profile exists in CA, according to how Sunset dictates it's plant zones, why shouldn't similar, terrain-related effects not exist in other parts of the South West. One place it would be interesting to document winter temps exists in South Mountain where Bursera microphylla grow on a few south facing slopes in the Park.. While the trees do get knocked back by frost damage occasionally, id bet those slopes stay relatively warm.

It's amazing how much of a difference the slope of a mountain can make, I lived in the Phoenix area for a good while. I lived in Mesa and then on the west side near the White Tank mountains. One night I went riding ATV's with a friend on the west side of the white tanks. When we left my neighborhood, it was cold, even a bit uncomfortable with the breeze of riding, as we climbed the gentle slope of the foot of the mountain it got noticibley warmer.  By the time we got to a resting point to sit and chat for a while it has downright warm. I sat there thinking about how I could probably have planted some pretty tropical stuff in that spot if it wasn't for lack of water.  

If you live near South Mountain or any other mountains I bet you could document some pretty warm pockets if you set your mind to it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alicehunter2000

If you all are out wondering around in the desert just make sure that if you see a bunch of abandoned vehicles with out of state tags........DON'T STOP!

the-hills-have-eyes_592x299.jpg

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silas_Sancona
4 minutes ago, Alicehunter2000 said:

If you all are out wondering around in the desert just make sure that if you see a bunch of abandoned vehicles with out of state tags........DON'T STOP!

the-hills-have-eyes_592x299.jpg

:greenthumb::floor: I hear this is what becomes of local Snowbirds that got lost.. and were never found.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silas_Sancona
42 minutes ago, Xerarch said:

It's amazing how much of a difference the slope of a mountain can make, I lived in the Phoenix area for a good while. I lived in Mesa and then on the west side near the White Tank mountains. One night I went riding ATV's with a friend on the west side of the white tanks. When we left my neighborhood, it was cold, even a bit uncomfortable with the breeze of riding, as we climbed the gentle slope of the foot of the mountain it got noticibley warmer.  By the time we got to a resting point to sit and chat for a while it has downright warm. I sat there thinking about how I could probably have planted some pretty tropical stuff in that spot if it wasn't for lack of water.  

If you live near South Mountain or any other mountains I bet you could document some pretty warm pockets if you set your mind to it. 

We're right off Dobson, between Chandler and the 202. San Tan, South Mountain, and the east slopes of the Sierra Estrella circle the horizon. Great sunset backdrop when it isn't dusty/hazy.

Regarding your experience, there is a ridge line that cuts into the southwest part of San Jose, dividing the Almaden Valley from the rest of the valley to the east where id experience the same exact temperature changes and have pondered the same thoughts about what could grow there. Spent a lot of time exploring/mountain biking the ridge line before most of it was developed into a Golf Course. Camped up there a few times with friends in High school and photographed an electrical storm up there, under the high tension lines of course. ( street view: Pfeiffer Ranch/ Deer hollow rd area ) Anyway, while it would be chilly in the slot canyon that butts up against the ridge, with a never ending n/n.w. breeze off San Francisco bay pulling over top.. the mid sections of these slopes were always quite a bit warmer and would keep the canyon floor below it ( now full of houses) quite warm and wind-free on warmer days during the winter.

The micro climate on steeper, south facing side of the ridge also featured patches Southern CA type Coastal Sage scrub (very uncommon plant community anywhere else in the valley), and soil-wise, is composed mostly of fine sand due to the ridge's rare geology and massive Sandstone outcrops.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hammer

What about Nannorrhops as a stealth planting? Bismarkia too might be a survivable choice.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silas_Sancona
57 minutes ago, Hammer said:

What about Nannorrhops as a stealth planting? Bismarkia too might be a survivable choice.

Hmm, Nannorrhops scattered among Joshua trees.. sounds pretty sweet. Maybe a Saguaro or two as well.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Las Palmas Norte

Did a very quick, random Google street view to see what might be around in Washington, Utah. Saw some Trachycarpus and these Washingtonia in Washington, Utah. Wonder if there's some further north?

Cheers, Barrie.

 

 

Washington, Utah 01.jpg

Washington, Utah 02.jpg

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
palmsOrl

That whole yard in the first photo must be extremely well-irrigated to look so lush and green, with the grass and all the trees.  It looks like Washington, Utah lows average upper 20s from early December to late January, but I can see Washingtonia fillifera surviving there pretty easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xerarch

There are Washingtonia all over that southwestern corner of Utah, St. George/Washington, the elevation increases quickly going north from there so the palminess doesn't last too long.  I have seen Washingtonia, Butia, Brahea, Chamaerops, Phoenix, Tracycarpus, Rhapidophylum, all in the area.  I posted a photo of some crossed palms at the In-n-out in Washington in another thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • UK_Palms
      By UK_Palms
      I may have to crack out the shorts next week for work. My written rule is that anything over 16C / 61F is typically shorts and t-shirt weather in my line of work. Otherwise I will overheat if I am working in jeans and a hoodie inside the warehouse. Those forecasted nighttime temperatures are ridiculous as well for 51N during the last week of December. I would expect nighttime lows of 13-14C in July, let alone late December. Some model runs are putting the nighttime lows at 15C for Wednesday and Thursday following a high of 18C / 64F on Wednesday! 

       
      14C at 850hPa translates to about 17-18C at ground level. It will be interesting to see just how warm it gets, especially if some eastern places also benefit from a Foehn effect too. Potentially 20C / 68F in a few eastern locations, although I find that hard to believe during the last week of December at 51-54N. Probably 18C maximum. If we had a setup like this in July it would bring 35C+ temperatures. 

       
      The consistency of the ensemble runs is remarkable! I have never seen a set of ensemble runs so consistent like this. It looks like this warm/mild spell is nailed on now. 

      Here's the ECMWF for Wednesday, which is supposedly going to be the warmest day, although it could be any of Wednesday, Thursday or Friday in theory.

       
      UKMET pumping higher pressure and warm air up from Africa, although the airflow into western Europe and the UK is coming up from the Canary islands specifically.

       
      The GFS model puts Jan 1st / New Years day as the warmest day potentially...

       
      Here's the ECMWF model for New Years day. Both setups looking very similar. Potentially record breaking in many places on the western half of the continent. 

       
      December records, and possibly winter records too, may tumble next week in Spain, UK, France, Netherlands, Germany etc. Watch this space. Daytime maxima and nighttime minima both at threat.
    • Sabal_Louisiana
      By Sabal_Louisiana
      Of the the three major humid subtropical regions of the World:
      The southeastern United States
      East Asia (central and southern China, southern Japan, etc)
      The Pampas of South America (northern Argentina, far southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay)
      The last one listed is the least affected by severe cold waves and is also favored biologically since it is contiguous with the Neotropics.
      Even so, I am mildly surprised that the subtropical latitudes of South America are not immune to moderately low temperatures, even brief freezes.
      For instance, at the end of June 2021, a cold snap brought temperatures down to 0.8C at Asuncion and -1 at the airport near Iguazu Falls at the northern tip of Argentina.
      Both locations are inland, away from the coast, but at about the same distance from the equator as Miami, Florida. All time record lows for these places would be around 25F/-4C so I would say that the temps experienced a couple of weeks ago are worthy of note.
      The recent cold appears to be somewhat localized because Porto Alegre, Brazil at 30S latitude, but very close to the Atlantic, got no lower than 5C, even though they had cold rain with a high temp of only 10C on the last day of June.
      Even Buenos Aires, some distance to the south, comparable in latitude to Little Rock or Osaka bottomed out at around 3C. Earlier in the season, B.A. fell to about 1.6C and that is the lowest they've seen this winter so far.
      Like the southern United States, the coldest temperatures of the winter season in warm temperate parts of South America typically occur around or just after the solstice and less so during latter part of the season.
      In East Asia by contrast, February is usually the coldest month.
    • Tracy
      By Tracy
      La Nina patterns or cooler equatorial sea surface temps from the Central Pacific through to the Easter Tropical Pacific are occurring right now.  These patterns often lead to dry and clear Autumn and Winter weather patterns here in Southern California where I live.  The west coast just experienced a typical La Nina weather pattern last weekend with an inside slider storm coming down the coast with strong winds and leaving us now with cool dry nights and no marine layer.  I hope that this isn't a sign of what is to come as we get deeper into Autumn and enter Winter.  With clear skies, I bottomed out at 39 degrees last night, and even the weather station at Moonlight Beach right on the ocean was reading 43 degrees this morning at first glow. 
      The leaves on my banana plants got pretty beat up, and the Encephalartos laurentiaunus below which is flushing had some leaflets ripped off in the strong winds.  Everything below the wall was protected, while everything above the wall felt the full force of the wind.
      So how are you and your garden doing this during this La Nina Autumn?


    • PalmTreeDude
      By PalmTreeDude
      What exactly are sunset climate zones? I tried to look it up and basically every site just says, "it takes in all the factors of growing in a climate" and then doesn't really explain it. Is a higher number good or bad? What's the scale? 
    • John in Andalucia
      By John in Andalucia
      mountain-forecast.com
      This site has given me a better understanding of average temperatures for highland species. I think it's a great resource for palm growers.
       
×
×
  • Create New...