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Alan_Tampa

2018 Florida Freeze

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sonoranfans

I just removed quite a bit of overhanging oak canopy(big trim) since the oaks were shredding my 20-25'  archies(maxima, alexandre,myolensis).  this may change the garden a bit... ouch

 

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PalmatierMeg

Brought all my potted tropical palms indoors again. And this time I wrapped my 3 dwarf red spicata and 1 canal rescue coconut seedlings in blankets. I haven't protected planted palms for at least 6 years but I wanted to give these little guys a little boost. Hope this will be the last really cold blast of the season.

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Jimbean

My forecast has trended down to 34F.  We are 48F now at 10:45pm.

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RedRabbit

It is currently 41.5f and the forecast is still for 28f. By comparison, this time the night before the January 4th freeze it was already 37f. The temperature is going to have to drop rapidly at some point tonight if it is really going to hit 28f. Given where we're at now, if it does freeze the duration shouldn't be too bad.

Edited by RedRabbit

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Sandy Loam

Right now, it is officially colder here in Gainesville, Florida, that it is in Boston.  31 here, 32, Boston.  And my minimum low tonight is forecast to be 22!!! (23 in Boston)  This is insane!  Tonight will end up being my coldest night since 2010.  This is absolutely ridiculous.   Even Key West, Florida, will get down to 53 or 54 tonight and won't even crack the 70s tomorrow. The high there is in the 60s tomorrow.  These are very strange times.  

Meanwhile, I see the forecast for Yuma, Azirona and it's the 70s by day, 50s at night, as it has been most of the winter. No fair.  If the future of the polar vortex is increasing instability (meaning more eastern-USA cold plunges), we need to consider moving out west.          

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Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, Sandy Loam said:

Right now, it is officially colder here in Gainesville, Florida, that it is in Boston.  31 here, 32, Boston.  And my minimum low tonight is forecast to be 22!!! (23 in Boston)  This is insane!  Tonight will end up being my coldest night since 2010.  This is absolutely ridiculous.   Even Key West, Florida, will get down to 53 or 54 tonight and won't even crack the 70s tomorrow. The high there is in the 60s tomorrow.  These are very strange times.  

Meanwhile, I see the forecast for Yuma, Azirona and it's the 70s by day, 50s at night, as it has been most of the winter. No fair.  If the future of the polar vortex is increasing instability (meaning more eastern-USA cold plunges), we need to consider moving out west.          

As much as I hate briefly chuckling at this.. (trust me, even I've been scratching my head regarding the craziness this winter has brought, esp. for everyone back your way) I have to tell you ..carefully consider what anyone who might wish to trade anywhere in FL.  for Yuma.. or even up here in Phoenix.. will be giving up.. or have to face challenge-wise..

Heat, to the extreme, imo, is probably more of a pain in the .... compared to the lack of water out this way... and shade, if you have it, doesn't always guarantee you won't still loose stuff. Brutal.. and perplexed is all I can say of surviving two summers here. Definately a valued learning experience however. 

As someone said before, yes the cold everyone has been experiencing stinks but it will pass and will happen, just have to roll with the hits, so to say. 

If there was a place out west that might be similar to Florida, but might be less likely to experience such brutal cold waves as back east.. it would be somewhere in Southern Sonora, Mex. such as Alamos or places nearer that coast there.. While about as hot as here, they certainly get far more rainfall there then we do. I believe Alamos is a tad higher in elevation ( in the hills, at the foot of the Sierra Madre Occidentale) and perhaps a tad cooler during the summer than closer to the coast. I myself wish I could invest in acouple acres of land there, just to have a reliable source of seed from hard to locate stuff on my wish lists.. 

As frustrated as everyone has been, the crazy cold will pass.

As far as the P.V. weirdness causing all the chaos of late, it is thought that the weird  warm west/ cold east dipole mess of late should start relaxing as everyone starts seeing less cold winters... while hoping this assumption pans out in comming decades,  we'll see what really happens.

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Alan_Tampa

So it's about 3am. Seems to be just around freezing in my yard. No ice anywhere, which is neat. 

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Trópico

28°F and plenty of night still left to continue dropping about 2 - 3 degrees an hour ☠️

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Alan_Tampa

According to my car thermometer,  was 29 at my house at 0500. It' dry this go round,  route to work saw no ice. That usually helps. We will see what really took a hit in about a week, maybe two for some stuff. Winter is just awful. 

 

2010 ditches had ice on them. At midnight was already below freezing.  So this was less bad, hope so?

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Matthew92

Checking things this right now as of 5:50 am Central time. 19 deg for me, 23/24 for both Gainesville and Ocala, 28 in Orlando area...

Looks like most areas are fulfilling their assigned USDA hardiness zone lowes.

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Missi

Inland Naples chiming in. It was predicted to get down to 34 degrees this morning at this time, but it's currently 38.

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kinzyjr

It was 30.4F at 4:30am, but has since dropped to 28.2F.  No frost or ice on the windshields.  I'm sure having a completely clear sky and wind cooled it off pretty fast.  The sun is coming up, so temperatures should start rebounding.  One more day of this garbage, then this go-around is over.

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IHB1979

Coastal Brevard is 33F at 7am. About 4 degrees below forecast. 

Edited by IHB1979

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Zeeth

Some weird temps this freeze. My garden in Palmetto is currently 30˚, which is 2 degrees warmer than 2010, but I'm expecting a lot of damage on my coconuts (good for testing my cold hardiness experiment though). Kopsick is 31˚, which is 2 degrees colder than it was in 2010. Anna Maria Island is 33˚, which is also about 2 degrees colder than it was in 2010 (and the coldest I've ever seen it there). That wind is helping keep frost at bay (nothing on the cars or in the yard this morning), but is really killing the costal influence. 

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Xerarch
34 minutes ago, Opal92 said:

Checking things this right now as of 5:50 am Central time. 19 deg for me, 23/24 for both Gainesville and Ocala, 28 in Orlando area...

Looks like most areas are fulfilling their assigned USDA hardiness zone lowes.

This is something that I think every time we get one these “freak” events. Everyone talks like it’s such a fluke when temps get down to their calculated USDA zone. The zones are there for a reason and the reason is years of compiled data.

True many of these areas have been spoiled with stretches of mild weather since after the 80’s but you can’t argue the averages, and unfortunately the average include years that must be below average as well. 

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Cape Garrett

32 here at my house in Cape Coral...haven't seen a freezing temperature in I think 8 years.  Just hit 32 about 10 minutes ago.  Should start to warm up with the sun up now.  Not too worried.  

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Chatta

I ended up at 28F. No ice either. I'll post a comparison photo from 2010 to today, biiig difference i  think tooday was colder though

I also noticed no energy being released by the lake...

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RedRabbit

27.9f was my low. It was very interesting to see how different areas of Florida fared this morning. I grabbed about 40 Wunderground screenshots I'll be posting later.

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Reeverse

Yeah last night was by far my coldest night since 2010. 28.3 on the beachside over here. 

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Palmaceae

32 for me in the Cape.

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ThePalmNovice

28 degrees here in St Cloud  (southeast Orlando) right now. Just went out and checked the yard. It's definitely below freezing with some small frozen puttles on the driveway. The windows are all covered in ice. Surprisingly though there's no frost anywhere in the yard and walking outside it feels far warmer than the temperature suggests. That's compared to the last freeze where my yard was completely blanketed in white. I've got my fingers crossed everything makes it through, but given a lot of my palms suffered damage last time I'm expecting to take another hit.

Edited by ThePalmNovice

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IHB1979

7:30am EST - On my drive into work, pickup thermometer read 31F on A1A for majority of beachside from Indian Harbour Beach to Patrick Shores. We're at 34F at 8:30am EST, I think we were at/under 32 for an hour or so.

I usually see immediate damage on bananas, cannas and elephant ear, but none in my yard...yet. 

 

Edited by IHB1979
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RedRabbit
1 hour ago, Zeeth said:

Some weird temps this freeze. My garden in Palmetto is currently 30˚, which is 2 degrees warmer than 2010, but I'm expecting a lot of damage on my coconuts (good for testing my cold hardiness experiment though). Kopsick is 31˚, which is 2 degrees colder than it was in 2010. Anna Maria Island is 33˚, which is also about 2 degrees colder than it was in 2010 (and the coldest I've ever seen it there). That wind is helping keep frost at bay (nothing on the cars or in the yard this morning), but is really killing the costal influence. 

I always thought AMI and some of the coastal areas of Manatee county were largely immune from freezes. I think we speculated before the all time low there might be something like 27f. This wasn't that bad of cold event and AMI had 33f so it makes me think the all time low is lower than we previously thought. 

What I'm getting at is if coastal Manatee county really can get cold it might explain why there aren't any native royals there. I noticed today inland Collier county managed to stay in the upper 30s... It is starting to make sense why there are native royals there and not in the warmest parts of Central Florida.

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IHB1979
1 hour ago, Xerarch said:

This is something that I think every time we get one these “freak” events. Everyone talks like it’s such a fluke when temps get down to their calculated USDA zone. The zones are there for a reason and the reason is years of compiled data.

True many of these areas have been spoiled with stretches of mild weather since after the 80’s but you can’t argue the averages, and unfortunately the average include years that must be below average as well. 

I think most everyone on this particular thread was proactively monitoring and preparing for days leading up to this event. I'm not trying to argue, but I don't recall much zone banter. That usually starts in about week from now when the damage sets in. ;)

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Palmaceae
1 hour ago, Xerarch said:

This is something that I think every time we get one these “freak” events. Everyone talks like it’s such a fluke when temps get down to their calculated USDA zone. The zones are there for a reason and the reason is years of compiled data.

True many of these areas have been spoiled with stretches of mild weather since after the 80’s but you can’t argue the averages, and unfortunately the average include years that must be below average as well. 

Very well said. Since I lived through the 80's with a palm collection, I have seen how cold we can get.

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Sandy Loam

I agree -- last night was the coldest night since 2010.  This has been a bad winter for the eastern US in general, but certainly it has been extraordinary for the southeast. Of course, I am up in Gainesville, Florida, where our "North Florida" climate is really an extension of Georgia, not Florida. 

I have two thermometers in my yard.  One says that the minimum last night was 34.4 F.  The other says 33.4 F and it is only about 20 yards/metres away.  Strange.  There is no canopy overhead above the colder thermometer, so perhaps that explains the difference.  At the very coldest moment of the night/early morning, the Wunderground personal weather stations in the region ranged from 20 F (outside of town; west near Newberry, FL) up to 26 F in the hilltop areas north of the UF campus.  I was expecting a broader range of temperatures at that hour across the region, including some fluke warm spots, but none were there.  I didn't see frost anywhere, despite this being the coldest temperature in eight years. 

 

The temperatures mentioned above strike me as crazy cold for central Florida (especially coastal), for Tampa Bay and for the Fort Myers area most of all.  I couldn't help myself from looking around at other temperatures at the coldest moment of the early morning today.  West Palm Beach got down to 40 F, Miami got down to 44 F and Key West got as cold as 54 F.   The fifties started at about Marathon, FL.  Wow.  Those are certainly rare cold events for so far south.  Meanwhile, only 50 miles across from Miami is Bimini which was 59 F. And Grand Bahama (only 70 miles across from West Palm Beach, Florida) was at 58 F.  So just a little bit of water between the mainland makes a huge difference.

Meanwhile, Havana was 62 F while Key West hit its 54 F minimum, with only 90 miles in between those two cities.  Even more dramatic was the difference with Nassau, Bahamas, which hit its minimum of 70 F at the same time, even though it is a good "one hour drive" distance north of Key West.  The farther you were from the continental influences, the better you escaped the deep southeastern polar plunge last night.          

 

The forecast has Gainesville hitting 51 degrees today and then another freeze tonight (our last) at 26 F before things return to normal again.  What scares me is that it is 9:19 am and the temperature is supposedly still only 28 F, according to weather.com.  Last night, the hourly forecast predicted that Gainesville would go above the freezing mark somewhere between 8:00 am and 9:00 am.  That hasn't happened, so I certainly hope we go above freezing before 10 am or else I fear dire consequences for my landscaping.  My garden is a mix of "safe" zone-appropriate plants and risky plants that can't take much more of this cold, especially after that nasty, prolonged freeze two weeks ago. 

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Palmaceae

Snow in all 50 states, first time since 2010.

Snow in 50 states.PNG

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PalmatierMeg

34.2F on the Isabelle Canal. Coldest since 2010.

Predicted high only 58F. Tonight's predicted low 40F. Then a warmup. I'm sad to say the way this winter is trending this won't be our last serious cold event. I hope I'm wrong but I'm looking for another around early Feb. This routine is getting old.

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Palmaceae

Here is one of my temp sensors from last night.

 

32degress.PNG

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sonoranfans
2 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

I always thought AMI and some of the coastal areas of Manatee county were largely immune from freezes. I think we speculated before the all time low there might be something like 27f. This wasn't that bad of cold event and AMI had 33f so it makes me think the all time low is lower than we previously thought. 

What I'm getting at is if coastal Manatee county really can get cold it might explain why there aren't any native royals there. I noticed today inland Collier county managed to stay in the upper 30s... It is starting to make sense why there are native royals there and not in the warmest parts of Central Florida.

In an advective cold event with a consistent due north wind velocity of 14-15 mph, the coastal influence is minimized.  This is the worst case for a place like AM which is usually a 10b area.  Most cold events hit the area with a NW wind(over the gulf) and there proximity the water helps moderate even in an advective event.  2010 was radiational with low wind so AM was a lot warmer.  This was a worse case scenario for AM as water proximity effects were minimized.  AM low temps were very close to cape coral, ~ 100 miles south and also on the coast.  In 2010 only the coastal miami area was warmer than AM.

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Sandy Loam
1 hour ago, PalmatierMeg said:

34.2F on the Isabelle Canal. Coldest since 2010.

Predicted high only 58F. Tonight's predicted low 40F. Then a warmup. I'm sad to say the way this winter is trending this won't be our last serious cold event. I hope I'm wrong but I'm looking for another around early Feb. This routine is getting old.

Oh dear.  I truly hope not.  One more freeze could prove very damaging, especially following two big ones already.  Usually after February 20, I feel like the nothing too bad is likely to happen, and especially after March 1.  March is generally very "summer-like" up in the north of Florida.  Summer and November are our most pleasant weather months.

Last year, no matter how tender and tropical, not a single plant in my yard had the slightest browning or even leaf-tip damage.  What a contrast with this brutal winter this year.  So much for my predictions that global warming might push me up a half-zone.  Whatever warmth is added to summers, for example, the overall climate change wonkiness seems to take away in winter.       

 

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sonoranfans

Red rabbit, AM historic low is 27F over the last 70+ years of records but this is not enough to kill mature royals.  Moving inland it will get colder and yes probably too cold for wild royals.  But the island of AM is several degrees warmer than inland on most cold events.  Royals are intolerant of salt in soil and don't grow that well in AM, probably for this reason.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st574  AM is flooded in salt water every few(6-8) years when storms hit as it is a low island, about 3-4' above sea level.  This I expect would kill off the wild royals if there ever were any there. 

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RedRabbit
25 minutes ago, sonoranfans said:

Red rabbit, AM historic low is 27F over the last 70+ years of records but this is not enough to kill mature royals.  Moving inland it will get colder and yes probably too cold for wild royals.  But the island of AM is several degrees warmer than inland on most cold events.  Royals are intolerant of salt in soil and don't grow that well in AM, probably for this reason.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st574  AM is flooded in salt water every few(6-8) years when storms hit as it is a low island, about 3-4' above sea level.  This I expect would kill off the wild royals if there ever were any there. 

I was really thinking of areas on the southern shore of Tampa Bay like Edison Point Preserve for royals rather than AMI.

Bartram supposedly saw royals in Astor back in the 18th century and it is no wonder they died there, but I was always a little puzzled by why they didn't survive in coastal Manatee county given how warm it usually is there. On Jan 4th I had 31.6 while AMI was at 44 IIRC so they've got a heck of a microclimate. I believe it extends into parts of Bradenton too. It could be that royals never lived there naturally, but I've always thought the climate was suitable for it.

Today has made me reconsider that. My line of thought is if AMI hit 33 today then during an epic advective freeze, like the one of 1835, coastal Manatee county may have gotten down to 20f. That could have killed any royals living there, along with the others allegedly living in Central Florida at the time.

Then again, it may just be a myth that royals were ever growing naturally in Central Florida.

Edited by RedRabbit

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PalmatierMeg
29 minutes ago, Sandy Loam said:

Oh dear.  I truly hope not.  One more freeze could prove very damaging, especially following two big ones already.  Usually after February 20, I feel like the nothing too bad is likely to happen, and especially after March 1.  March is generally very "summer-like" up in the north of Florida.  Summer and November are our most pleasant weather months.

Last year, no matter how tender and tropical, not a single plant in my yard had the slightest browning or even leaf-tip damage.  What a contrast with this brutal winter this year.  So much for my predictions that global warming might push me up a half-zone.  Whatever warmth is added to summers, for example, the overall climate change wonkiness seems to take away in winter.       

 

About 4-5 years ago a freak cold front hit me with a record low of 37F around the third week of Feb. Caught me completely off guard as predictions missed the mark. So, it happens. Local TV stations indicated last night's low would be closer to upper 30s close to the Gulf but I had a "bad feeling" and decided not to play Russian roulette with my tropical palms, esp. the planted coconut seedlings. Guess I'll find out later how that pans out.

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Jimbean
5 minutes ago, RedRabbit said:

I was really thinking of areas on the southern shore of Tampa Bay like Edison Point Preserve for royals rather than AMI.

Bartram supposedly saw royals in Astor back in the 18th century and it is no wonder they died there, but I was always a little puzzled by why they didn't survive in coastal Manatee county given how warm it usually is there. On Jan 4th I had 31.6 while AMI was at 44 IIRC so they've got a heck of a microclimate. I believe it extends into parts of Bradenton too. It could be that royals never lived there naturally, but I've always thought the climate was suitable for it.

Today has made me reconsider that. My line of thought is if AMI hit 33 today then during an epic advective freeze, like the one of 1835, coastal Manatee county may have gotten down to 20f. That could have killed any royals living there, along with the others allegedly living in Central Florida at the time.

Then again, it may just be a myth that royals were ever growing naturally in Central Florida.

The only areas of central Florida that are zone 10A are also areas that happen to be very salty; too salty for royals to grow naturally.

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Jimbean

The lows according to weather underground:

UCF campus: 27.7

Titusville near the IRL: 28.4

Brevard county west of I-95 near Cocoa: 26.1

Merritt Island (roughly same latitude): 30.7

Cocoa Beach Pier (roughly same latitude): 32.1

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PalmatierMeg

I'm not a FL native but the only "wild" or native royals I am aware of are found in the Everglades. Much further north than that they might live for a while on borrowed time but an arctic blast direct from the north would eventually knock them back. North winds would allow no ameliorating influence from either the Gulf or the Atlantic and Lake Okeechobee is not large enough to protect all of SFL. I am speaking for natural, pre-settlement, not man-planted, populations. 

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Jimbean
1 minute ago, PalmatierMeg said:

I'm not a FL native but the only "wild" or native royals I am aware of are found in the Everglades. Much further north than that they might live for a while on borrowed time but an arctic blast direct from the north would eventually knock them back. North winds would allow no ameliorating influence from either the Gulf or the Atlantic and Lake Okeechobee is not large enough to protect all of SFL. I am speaking for natural, pre-settlement, not man-planted, populations. 

In fact, the areas that royals grow naturally in Collier county are barely zone 10A.  They also seem to require a lot of water and less salt in the wild.  In a similar way, Acoelorrhaphe wrightii is cold hardy enough to grow in central Florida, but I believe the nutrition requirements restrict their habitat in Florida in south Everglades where the soil is rich and there is no competition with saw palmetto. 

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Matthew92
3 hours ago, Sandy Loam said:

I agree -- last night was the coldest night since 2010.  This has been a bad winter for the eastern US in general, but certainly it has been extraordinary for the southeast. Of course, I am up in Gainesville, Florida, where our "North Florida" climate is really an extension of Georgia, not Florida. 

I have two thermometers in my yard.  One says that the minimum last night was 34.4 F.  The other says 33.4 F and it is only about 20 yards/metres away.  Strange.  There is no canopy overhead above the colder thermometer, so perhaps that explains the difference.  At the very coldest moment of the night/early morning, the Wunderground personal weather stations in the region ranged from 20 F (outside of town; west near Newberry, FL) up to 26 F in the hilltop areas north of the UF campus.  I was expecting a broader range of temperatures at that hour across the region, including some fluke warm spots, but none were there.  I didn't see frost anywhere, despite this being the coldest temperature in eight years. 

Wait, did you mean 24.4F and 23.4F instead of 34.4F and 33.4F???

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sonoranfans
1 hour ago, RedRabbit said:

I was really thinking of areas on the southern shore of Tampa Bay like Edison Point Preserve for royals rather than AMI.

Bartram supposedly saw royals in Astor back in the 18th century and it is no wonder they died there, but I was always a little puzzled by why they didn't survive in coastal Manatee county given how warm it usually is there. On Jan 4th I had 31.6 while AMI was at 44 IIRC so they've got a heck of a microclimate. I believe it extends into parts of Bradenton too. It could be that royals never lived there naturally, but I've always thought the climate was suitable for it.

Today has made me reconsider that. My line of thought is if AMI hit 33 today then during an epic advective freeze, like the one of 1835, coastal Manatee county may have gotten down to 20f. That could have killed any royals living there, along with the others allegedly living in Central Florida at the time.

Then again, it may just be a myth that royals were ever growing naturally in Central Florida.

Perhaps edison point preserve may have had them at some time.  But the warm area around AM does not extend into bradenton.  First AM is surrounded by water east west and north.  Second in 2010 the difference between west bradenton and AM was about 3-4F, that is quite a difference.  On the other hand its much closer with a advective event and NORTH wind.  The long term definition of the growth is going to be determined by the absolute lows and AM will always be the same or warmer than even west bradenton.  In the 9 years Ive had my house in florida Ive never seen so small a difference between the coast and inland.  My daughters house right on tampa bay in ruskin saw 28, colder than my place which is ~8 miles sw of the nearest water which is tampa bay.  I dont think the tampa shoreline is quite as warm as AM anywhere on it.  Even sw pinellas which is the second warmest area in the tampa bay region from what Ive seen, is not quite as warm as AM.  I also agree with JimBeam that the warm parts of central florida are more restricted to coastal areas and these tend to have salty soil that is not going to propogate generations of royals.  The best looking 20+ year old royals in the AM/Bradenton area are NOT on AM, but inland yet still west of us41.

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