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Alan_Tampa

2018 Florida Freeze

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Sandy Loam

Oops. Sorry, yes, that's a typo.  The one thermometer said 24.4 and the other said 23.4.  Either way, it's insanely cold and probably the coldest I've had since 2010.  Since I purchased a memory thermometer a few years ago, my coldest recorded temperature has been 26 F.  

It is now 1:37 pm and the temperature still is not quite up to 50 yet.  This is crazy -- and 26 F is the forecast for tonight.         

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DavidLee

I think Gainesville is so beautiful. The winter chill makes all of those dogwoods and azaleas bloom out better in the spring.  I remember back in December 1989 in Okeechobee, it got down to 23 and the temperature didn't get above freezing until around 11:00am. My young Coconut palm, key lime and Mango tree were toast. The freeze also killed back my grandfather huge avocado and our neighbor's Australian pine trees. Coastal Saint Lucie county look like a war zone. The drive down A1A on Hutchinson island look like a Nuclear war zone. Red Mangrove trees were killed to the nearly to the  ground.  In comparison, last night's freeze was not that bad. 

Edited by DavidLee

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DavidLee

Last night the low was 41 at FAU in Boca Raton. Don't think it has froze here since 1989 when the low was 29. Looks like last night's freeze impacted the West Coast more than the East Coast. Sometimes it is the inverse. 

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Tampa Scott

Spent about 6 hrs below freezing hitting a low of  28.3 @ 7:19 this morning.

 vws742.jpg.6635f3db7d0d486b181edce119944

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Zeeth
1 hour ago, sonoranfans said:

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.

I think that the wild royals at Emerson Point on Snead island are helped a lot by topography. This is something that I discovered the last few times I was there trying to gauge the local flora. 

The part of the park where they're found is the remains of an Indian shell mound, but the royals are found in the low spots of the mound that were excavated relatively recently. These depressions are at higher elevation than sea-level, but lower than the peaks of the mounds, so rain water flows into the depressions and stays for a while, but salt from the gulf/bay stays out. I think this is why they flourish in the park, but it's a relatively unique situation. Otherwise, the furthest north vouchered population of royal palms is in Desoto county on a small island between two freshwater rivers. Obviously no problems with salt or lack of water there, but further north that far inland is too cold. 

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Alan_Tampa

Initial impression is not as bad as 2010. So far anyways. Some obvious damage, but not like I saw in the evening after 2010 . 

Will update as things progress. Probably next week will see leaf drop, etc. 

Edited by Alan_Tampa
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Matthew92

I'm surprised I haven't seen more activity on here. Especially with the Orlando area hitting 9b temps- I saw several readings at 27 and even 26 throughout that area this morning.

I bottomed out at 18- beaches around 22. Still not as bad as 2014 where the barrier island microclimate couldn't keep 8b temps out- many Washingtonia were 100% defoliated right at the ocean.

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kinzyjr

I'm interested to see if we get frost overnight tonight, and if we have any additional repeated cold waves roll through.

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Chatta

first pick  is 2010 second was this morning, I believe 2010 we hit 31F if my memory serves correctly, we hit  28F last night. 

 

pBack Yard (3).jpg

20180118_074011e.jpg

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kinzyjr

@Chatta Very nice comparison.  The repeated freezes this year suck, but 2010 was one of those that will stick with me for a long time.  I can remember driving up Kathleen Road from downtown up past Duff Road and seeing fall colors on the trees and vines there.  That's the first and only time I've ever seen that.

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RedRabbit

It was cold for sure, but in reality this was only about 1 standard deviation below the average annual low for most of Central Florida. 

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Trópico
4 hours ago, Opal92 said:

I'm surprised I haven't seen more activity on here. Especially with the Orlando area hitting 9b temps- I saw several readings at 27 and even 26 throughout that area this morning.

I bottomed out at 18- beaches around 22. Still not as bad as 2014 where the barrier island microclimate couldn't keep 8b temps out- many Washingtonia were 100% defoliated right at the ocean.

Bottomed at 25°F and tonight we’re already at 32°F. Calm air is on tap for tonight, and I am expecting a slower temperature drop but more hours below freezing than last night. 

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Jimbean
38 minutes ago, Trópico said:

Bottomed at 25°F and tonight we’re already at 32°F. Calm air is on tap for tonight, and I am expecting a slower temperature drop but more hours below freezing than last night. 

sorry to hear that.  We are in the mid forties now and I would not be surprised to see frost west of US-1

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Chatta

I hit 34F this morning, avoided the 2nd freeze.

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IHB1979

I had 43F at 7am this morning. I think we had a coastal on-shore flow that kept things a little warmer on the barrier island. Time for the warm-up! 

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PalmatierMeg

43.5F low this morning. What a difference a day makes. Hear, hear for the warm-up!

High yesterday was 55F vs predicted 58F.

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Palmaceae

I had a low of 40.8, had the blessing of clouds last night. Ready for the warm up.

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Eric in Orlando

I have been down in Ft. Lauderdale all week attending the TPIE show so missed the Wed. night freeze. Here is what my locations saw;

WED Night/THURS morning

29F at Leu Gardens

27F at my house in Altamonte Springs

 

LAST NIGHT

39F at Leu Gardens

35F at my house in Altamonte Springs

 

 

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kinzyjr

I ended up at 35.4F this morning.  I was worried when I saw that I was at 39.x at 8pm.  It apparently didn't drop much after midnight.

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Jimbean

According to weatherunderground:

Cocoa next to IRL:  39.7

West of I-95 Cocoa:  33.6

Titusville:  37.8

Merritt Island:  44.2

Cocoa Beach Pier:  45.4

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sonoranfans

the thing about this cold event is that overhead canopy effect is much reduced, nearby water impact much reduced and the wind meant that it was as cold at 15' and above as it was at the ground.  Radiational events with low wind are warmer at height than they are down low.  SO even mature trees saw the low temps at their bud height.   In 2010 radiational event my place was 28F low, anna maria on the coast was 37F.  This advective event was 30-31(?) at my place and 34 at anna maria, much closer in the low temps.  Last night was just 37F for a low, hopefully this is the end of the real cold with the days getting longer.

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Matthew92

For some reason I feel like it should be end of February instead of Jan. 19. Wondering what the rest of this winter will be like.

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Reeverse

I agree!! I don' think this was our last cold event the way this winter has been. I hope it was, but you never know...

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Silas_Sancona
On 1/18/2018, 2:15:47, Zeeth said:

I think that the wild royals at Emerson Point on Snead island are helped a lot by topography. This is something that I discovered the last few times I was there trying to gauge the local flora. 

The part of the park where they're found is the remains of an Indian shell mound, but the royals are found in the low spots of the mound that were excavated relatively recently. These depressions are at higher elevation than sea-level, but lower than the peaks of the mounds, so rain water flows into the depressions and stays for a while, but salt from the gulf/bay stays out. I think this is why they flourish in the park, but it's a relatively unique situation. Otherwise, the furthest north vouchered population of royal palms is in Desoto county on a small island between two freshwater rivers. Obviously no problems with salt or lack of water there, but further north that far inland is too cold. 

Would agree with Keith's assessment of Emerson Point. It was because of his initial observation of the Royals there I took acouple trips there to look over the general flora of the place as well. No doubt it is one of.. perhaps the only spot that far north along the west coast of FL. where you will encounter species of trees and other stuff that aren' t as commonly seen.. or perhaps not seen at all in non developed places in Manatee County.

Just the sight of large Gumbo Limbo and  native Ficus growing on a Shell mound in a manner that might resemble an Oak woodland back in CA. is an interesting clue about how effected.. or not effected by cold that spot might be compared to further inland/ away from the Gulf/ mouth of Tampa Bay influence. 

Exploring the N.W. side of the park, I encountered Jamaican Caper, Myrsine, White Stopper, FL. Snowberry, and the only Piscidia piscipula and Sideroxylon foetidissimim specimens i recall seeing outside of S. FL.  You can also find Sea Bean and Scavolea growing near the beach/ among Mangroves at the western end of the park. 

A realy neat place to visit and learn from. 

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RedRabbit
42 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Would agree with Keith's assessment of Emerson Point. It was because of his initial observation of the Royals there I took acouple trips there to look over the general flora of the place as well. No doubt it is one of.. perhaps the only spot that far north along the west coast of FL. where you will encounter species of trees and other stuff that aren' t as commonly seen.. or perhaps not seen at all in non developed places in Manatee County.

Just the sight of large Gumbo Limbo and  native Ficus growing on a Shell mound in a manner that might resemble an Oak woodland back in CA. is an interesting clue about how effected.. or not effected by cold that spot might be compared to further inland/ away from the Gulf/ mouth of Tampa Bay influence. 

Exploring the N.W. side of the park, I encountered Jamaican Caper, Myrsine, White Stopper, FL. Snowberry, and the only Piscidia piscipula and Sideroxylon foetidissimim specimens i recall seeing outside of S. FL.  You can also find Sea Bean and Scavolea growing near the beach/ among Mangroves at the western end of the park. 

A realy neat place to visit and learn from. 

I've actually never been, but I'm going to have to make it a point of going now. 

It is fascinating how some South Florida native plants can be found along the southern shore of Tampa Bay. I've got another interesting example for you, check out this range map for Ficus citrifolia: 

MapPic_Species3642.jpeg

Supposedly Ficus citrifolia is/was growing wild on an island in Tampa Bay just off Ruskin. It's really cool how there's one area they're growing wild that's so far separated from the rest. 

Edited by RedRabbit
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Jimbean

I have seen Ficus citrifolia in Brevard county, but I don't remember where

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Jimbean
On 1/18/2018, 4:15:47, Zeeth said:

Otherwise, the furthest north vouchered population of royal palms is in Desoto county on a small island between two freshwater rivers. Obviously no problems with salt or lack of water there, but further north that far inland is too cold. 

I checked that area out on google maps and it looks too cold as it is.  Judging by the 2011 photos it looks like that area could have easily saw 26F to 28F, and maybe as low as 24F.  Maybe if I have the time I will go there and check it out.

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Silas_Sancona
35 minutes ago, RedRabbit said:

I've actually never been, but I'm going to have to make it a point of going now. 

It is fascinating how some South Florida native plants can be found along the southern shore of Tampa Bay. I've got another interesting example for you, check out this range map for Ficus citrifolia: 

MapPic_Species3642.jpeg

Supposedly Ficus citrifolia is/was growing wild on an island in Tampa Bay just off Ruskin. It's really cool how there's one area they're growing wild that's so far separated from the rest. 

Agree w/ you..

Seeing isolated pockets of a species distribution makes me wonder whether the occurrence is a case of it occurrng due to being brought there by animals ( likely birds in the case of such things as Ficus or Gumbo Limbo) or possibly that these spots represent a northern boundry where years of development/ land use/ have eradicated most places where these species might have otherwise existed if not disturbed or artificially exposed to severe cold that might kill. Saffron plum, Sideroxylon celestrianum is another head scratcher since it's main distribution is S. Texas and south through Tamaulipas.. It's occurance in costal spots in FL. is unique

Here, Bursera microphylla reaches its northern boundry but is found only on South Mountain and no where else this far north in Maricopa county (to my knowledge). Bursera sp., which includes Gumbo Limbo, are considered reletively tropical and only microphylla  is thought to tolerate the kind of cold exposure you can see in the undeveloped parts of town well. Again, another interesting aspect of studying distribution maps, let alone how cold or heat effects general adaptability, especially in regards to tender stuff.

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Sandy Loam

According to my thermometers, my yard hit 28 degrees last night up north in Gainesville (well, 27.9 actually).  Tonight there won't be a freeze and temperatures will start creeping back up to normal again. 

 

My plants are showing visible damage from the big freeze Wednesday night when I hit my lowest temperature since 2010.  This will really put some borderline palms to the test.

I agree with Opal.  I can't believe there is another month of "winter" left in which potential cold snaps could possibly still happen again.  I really hope we're done with cold snaps for the year. It was crazy Wednesday night when Gainesville was colder than Boston. That makes absolutely no sense.

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Zeeth
7 hours ago, Jimbean said:

I checked that area out on google maps and it looks too cold as it is.  Judging by the 2011 photos it looks like that area could have easily saw 26F to 28F, and maybe as low as 24F.  Maybe if I have the time I will go there and check it out.

Yeah that was my initial thought when I was reading through the literature and found R. regia in the vouchered specimens area for Desoto county. The author collected enough material to positively ID them as royal palms though and I was able to find some tall pinnate palms on some sattelite views in maps. I checked the local neighborhoods on street-view and saw a few royals in yards but it looks like they got hit pretty hard in 2010.

Here's what the literature says about where to find the palms:

Deep Creek Preserve. W side of Peace River ca. 4.5 km NE of jctn I-75 & C-769, between Deep Creek & Peace River, ca. 200 m N of Charlotte Co. line. T39S, R23E, Sec. 34,

27˚ 2’ 00” N, 81˚ 59’ 51” W (27.033332833333333, -81.9975)

Freshwater tidal swamp. Trees to 12-14 m, among Acrostichum danaeifolium. 3 widely scattered trees observed in area.

From: VASCULAR FLORA OF TWO CONSERVATION LANDS IN CHARLOTTE AND DESOTO COUNTIES, FLORIDA AND NOTES ON THE FLORA OF FLORIDA

The literature says the trees are as tall as 14 m (45 feet), so you shouldn't have trouble finding them if you decided to look.

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Jimbean
3 hours ago, Zeeth said:

Yeah that was my initial thought when I was reading through the literature and found R. regia in the vouchered specimens area for Desoto county. The author collected enough material to positively ID them as royal palms though and I was able to find some tall pinnate palms on some sattelite views in maps. I checked the local neighborhoods on street-view and saw a few royals in yards but it looks like they got hit pretty hard in 2010.

Here's what the literature says about where to find the palms:

Deep Creek Preserve. W side of Peace River ca. 4.5 km NE of jctn I-75 & C-769, between Deep Creek & Peace River, ca. 200 m N of Charlotte Co. line. T39S, R23E, Sec. 34,

27˚ 2’ 00” N, 81˚ 59’ 51” W (27.033332833333333, -81.9975)

Freshwater tidal swamp. Trees to 12-14 m, among Acrostichum danaeifolium. 3 widely scattered trees observed in area.

From: VASCULAR FLORA OF TWO CONSERVATION LANDS IN CHARLOTTE AND DESOTO COUNTIES, FLORIDA AND NOTES ON THE FLORA OF FLORIDA

The literature says the trees are as tall as 14 m (45 feet), so you shouldn't have trouble finding them if you decided to look.

Finding wild populations of royals in central Florida is like trying to find life on Mars.  It's hypothetically possible given just the right conditions, but it's either too cold or the water is too salty.  In case you guys don't know what I'm talking about:

https://www.space.com/5399-mars-salty-life.html

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Ed in Houston
On 1/18/2018, 10:18:30, RedRabbit said:

It was cold for sure, but in reality this was only about 1 standard deviation below the average annual low for most of Central Florida. 

It sure would be nice to be able to calculate the probability of having a particular freeze event. One could then plan on a garden that would have for example a 50% chance of being cold hardy for 50 years. Zone pushers may wish to plan a garden that would have a 50% chance of being cold hardy for 5 or 10 years. This assumes that nature follows a normal distribution for temperatures. However since the climate is changing one way or another and there are cold spells and warm spells that last for decades is is difficult to understand the probability of cold events occurring and their severity.

I looked at Hobby airport in S.E. Houston and used sampled data for two periods, 1947-2017 and 1991-2017. The latter period was chosen as it seemed to be a particular favorable period.

The average annual low temperature at Hobby from 1947-2017 was 24.8F with 1 standard standard deviation of 5.5 degrees.

The average annual low temperature at Hobby from 1991-2017 was 28.5 degrees with 1 standard deviation of 3.4 degrees.

So what is the probability of a particular cold event at Hobby? The last cold spell we had resulted in a low of 19F at Hobby. Using the 1947-2017 data set, the probability is about 15% of having a 19F or colder event, about once ever seven years. Using the period from 1991-2017 the probability of 19F at Hobby is almost zero.a S.D. 2.8F.

https://camo.githubusercontent.com/553dc29eb299a3509dd789119700695a7d2eaee4/687474703a2f2f6d617468616c6f70652e636f2e756b2f77702d636f6e74656e742f75706c6f6164732f323031352f30332f62656c6c2d63757276652d6d6174682d69732d66756e2e706e67

 With the climate changing and dispersed with warm and cold spells that last decades the bottom line is........

 

http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/25100000/Do-you-feel-lucky-dirty-harry-25130434-360-270.jpg

Ed in Houston

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ed in Houston
typo
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RedRabbit
15 minutes ago, Ed in Houston said:

It sure would be nice to be able to calculate the probability of having a particular freeze event. One could then plan on a garden that would have for example a 50% chance of being cold hardy for 50 years. Zone pushers may wish to plan a garden that would have a 50% chance of being cold hardy for 5 or 10 years. This assumes that nature follows a normal distribution for temperatures. However since the climate is changing one way or another and there are cold spells and warm spells that last for decades is is difficult to understand the probability of cold events occurring and their severity.

I looked at Hobby airport in S.E. Houston and used sampled data for two periods, 1947-2017 and 1991-2017. The latter period was chosen as it seemed to be a particular favorable period.

The average annual low temperature at Hobby from 1947-2017 was 24.8F with 1 standard standard deviation of 5.5 degrees.

The average annual low temperature at Hobby from 1991-2017 was 28.5 degrees with 1 standard deviation of 3.4 degrees.

So what is the probability of a particular cold event at Hobby? The last cold spell we had resulted in a low of 19F at Hobby. Using the 1947-2017 data set, the probability is about 15% of having a 19F or colder event, about once ever seven years. Using the period from 1991-2017 the probability of 19F at Hobby is almost zero.a S.D. 2.8F.

https://camo.githubusercontent.com/553dc29eb299a3509dd789119700695a7d2eaee4/687474703a2f2f6d617468616c6f70652e636f2e756b2f77702d636f6e74656e742f75706c6f6164732f323031352f30332f62656c6c2d63757276652d6d6174682d69732d66756e2e706e67

 With the climate changing and dispersed with warm and cold spells that last decades the bottom line is........

 

http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/25100000/Do-you-feel-lucky-dirty-harry-25130434-360-270.jpg

Ed in Houston

 

 

 

 

 

Funny you mention calculating the probability of x low temp in any given year. I actually did that once for various locations in Florida and I noticed the the same problem with the data not being normally distributed. If Tampa's avg low is 32f with a st dev of 3f it should basically never get below 20f, but that has happened on at least 3 occasions in the past 100 years... It actually did work well over the recent past, but it would have broken down if I had included the major freezes of the 80s.

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Palmaceae

I am seeing the damage now in my garden. Some of the coconuts are showing damage on the newer fronds as I did hit 32, and one sensor in the coldest part of the yard hit 31. 

Here is what a P. pacifica looks after a few nights in the 30's this winter.

 

20180120_153232.jpg

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Palmaceae

Some damage on the coconuts, it will be more evident in a few more weeks.

 

20180120_153309.jpg

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Palmaceae

And even the D. lutescens show some damage.

 

20180120_153420.jpg

Edited by Palmaceae
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Palmaceae

Here is my more protected P. pacifica. Irma and cold damage!

 

20180120_153245.jpg

Edited by Palmaceae
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Palmaceae

My Gaussia gomez-pompae is not happy either.

 

20180120_153147.jpg

Edited by Palmaceae
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Jimbean

It doesn't look too bad, I'm sure it will pull through)

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