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Florida Freeze Watch - December 2020

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NickJames
11 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

There are few times I would take the NWS forecast numbers over the Weather.com forecast numbers, but this is one such occurrence:

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image.thumb.png.c41d51fe1fcad5d569b6c52c5823685e.png

They’re not mentioning frost in the NWS forecast. Maybe too windy on Friday night and too cloudy on Saturday night?

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NickJames

From NWS Melbourne. “33” for me. I bet I will hit freezing if that holds.

C4B51199-6718-46D1-AF65-F3065E6053AC.png

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kinzyjr
16 minutes ago, NickJames said:

They’re not mentioning frost in the NWS forecast. Maybe too windy on Friday night and too cloudy on Saturday night?

It's certainly possible.  Due to the wind, I'm anticipating more damage than normal at these temperatures - similar to January 2018.

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NickJames
3 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

It's certainly possible.  Due to the wind, I'm anticipating more damage than normal at these temperatures - similar to January 2018.

So this would be more damaging than a frost situation?

Just picked up another massive tarp. 

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kinzyjr
Just now, NickJames said:

So this would be more damaging than a frost situation?

Just picked up another massive tarp. 

It is largely dependent upon the plants in question.  Some are more sensitive to frost than cold, but advective cold is a lot harder to mitigate since the air isn't stratified and there is a wind chill factor.  As an example, I've seen sea grapes hold their leaves in a 26F radiational freeze, but have leaf drop and small branch die back in a 28F advective freeze event.  We have a few  Adonidia merrillii in the area that survived all of the bad ones I've been here for (2008, 2010, 2018), but they are all in fairly sheltered situations.  That may be an example of a palm that reacts more poorly to frost than chill.

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Estlander
1 hour ago, kinzyjr said:

There are few times I would take the NWS forecast numbers over the Weather.com forecast numbers, but this is one such occurrence:

image.png.84df89c35a4b9ea2780d9cc43dfa05cf.png

 

image.thumb.png.c41d51fe1fcad5d569b6c52c5823685e.png

Very optimistic numbers for Destin still. Even warmer than Lakeland. 

 

EABDD288-681D-4E70-AC8E-BBDBF2953F23.jpeg

58E632F8-5BB6-4F2D-9875-C6DC125C7DAB.jpeg

Edited by Estlander
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kinzyjr
1 minute ago, Estlander said:

Very optimistic numbers for Destin still.

Hopefully, it isn't too bad up there.

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Estlander
Just now, kinzyjr said:

Hopefully, it isn't too bad up there.

I think I’ll hit 31F in my yard, which I’m ok with, as that’s not cold enough to really hurt anything else but Banana leaves and Elephant ears.

Could be worse.  Crestview is predicted to hit 21F. 

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RedRabbit

With respect to 2018, hopefully we are just looking at minutes of freezing temperatures this time versus hours then. That should make a big difference. 

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NickJames
1 hour ago, Estlander said:

I think I’ll hit 31F in my yard, which I’m ok with, as that’s not cold enough to really hurt anything else but Banana leaves and Elephant ears.

Could be worse.  Crestview is predicted to hit 21F. 

Should I cover my banana? 

Not as worried about my elephant ears. 

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Estlander
14 minutes ago, NickJames said:

Should I cover my banana? 

Not as worried about my elephant ears. 

From what I’ve observed banana leaves get damaged around 32-31F if they’re out in the open under an open sky. If under canopy, they’ll be fine. Elephant ear leaves are exactly the same in my experience. 
Bananas leaves are not worth protecting, imo. With January ahead of us still, it’s very likely we’ll go even lower this winter than this Christmas freeze. They’ll quickly grow back anyway in spring. 

Edited by Estlander
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chinandega81

Should I leave incadescent lights on the ground, at the base of a protected frost tent since heat rises and it will be windy? Or wrap them around the tree branches instead??

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NickJames
18 minutes ago, Estlander said:

From what I’ve observed banana leaves get damaged around 32-31F if they’re out in the open under an open sky. If under canopy, they’ll be fine. Elephant ear leaves are exactly the same in my experience. 
Bananas leaves are not worth protecting, imo. With January ahead of us still, it’s very likely we’ll go even lower this winter than this Christmas freeze. They’ll quickly grow back anyway in spring. 

My banana didn’t get damaged terribly the other heavy frost morning...it’s actually under my travelers palm (which is as much of a canopy as my yard will ever get ha ha)

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NickJames

New update from NWS Melbourne. 

With 32 expected at DAB, I probably see 29 which is very devastating for me. Lol. 
 

I’ll have to do a video of the protection setup I’m going to deploy. I’m also going to help my neighbors. 

49F3B945-3FBE-46C3-A8B0-D1500B27EAE1.png

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NickJames

Question, with that forecast, should I bother doing anything with my ‘established’ foxtail out front? It is very tall at this point so I would have to get out my extension ladder. This will be its second winter. It took 32.9 degrees last year with no damage 

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RedRabbit
1 hour ago, NickJames said:

Question, with that forecast, should I bother doing anything with my ‘established’ foxtail out front? It is very tall at this point so I would have to get out my extension ladder. This will be its second winter. It took 32.9 degrees last year with no damage 

Does your house protect it from the wind? If so I think it will be fine. At 29f and windy I’d guess it has a 60% chance of surviving in the open. @kinzyjr would know better since he’s got a ton of data on this. 

Edited by RedRabbit

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JLM

My queens are getting wrapped tomorrow. Forecasted low of 26, wind chills in the 20-25 range. Could care less about the foliage, i just want the bud to be unharmed. Im doing my normal wrap the christmas lights around the bud and base of the palms then wrap with a towel. Hoping for the best, fingers crossed!

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Jimbean

I'm now predicted at 43F tonight, and 36F tomorrow night. 

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kinzyjr
7 hours ago, NickJames said:

Question, with that forecast, should I bother doing anything with my ‘established’ foxtail out front? It is very tall at this point so I would have to get out my extension ladder. This will be its second winter. It took 32.9 degrees last year with no damage 

There are a few in Maitland that survived 24F.  The lowest I can verify them surviving here is 26F.  That's the lowest I've recorded personally.  There are places in town that have recorded lower temperatures in the freeze events of 2008, 2010 and 2018, but I don't have enough localized data to tell which plants might have been exposed to what temperature.  NWS recorded lower temperatures at the airport in 2010 and 2018 than I did. 

All of this said, Wodyetia bifurcata hardiness is tough to pin down.  Most of them do pretty well until 28F with wind (we only lost about 10% of them here in 2018), but I've seen a few adults die at 30F-32F.  In my opinion, they do well here because the stock has gotten hardier over the years.  When they first came on the scene, 2008's short 26F radiational event even toasted a bunch of them.  Now, I'd imagine that type of event would result in less than a 20% kill.

At this point, I'd let it ride it out.  You didn't get damage at ~33F, so it's likely not one of the weaker ones I mentioned.  At some point, it will become next to impossible to protect.  My yard has a few new plantings I should probably cover if I want to ensure survival.  At some point, I'll be in the same situation.  I'll have to either let it ride it out and just remove whatever it is that dies, or spend more time wrapping stuff up each year.

A few links for reference:

Here is a complete listing of NWS records for Florida freeze events up to 2018: https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/66320-florida-freeze-and-weather-station-data/

The data @RedRabbit mentioned is available here: https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/61358-0000-cold-hardiness-observation-master-data/

My issues with local temperatures: https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/6179-make-your-own-zone-map/&do=findComment&comment=939342  

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bubba

Hourly view on Weather Underground 12/25/2020: H-72F L-49. Cold day at PBIA is 12/26/2020: H-61F L-44F. PBIA is a notorious cold hole...

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NickJames
1 hour ago, kinzyjr said:

There are a few in Maitland that survived 24F.  The lowest I can verify them surviving here is 26F.  That's the lowest I've recorded personally.  There are places in town that have recorded lower temperatures in the freeze events of 2008, 2010 and 2018, but I don't have enough localized data to tell which plants might have been exposed to what temperature.  NWS recorded lower temperatures at the airport in 2010 and 2018 than I did. 

All of this said, Wodyetia bifurcata hardiness is tough to pin down.  Most of them do pretty well until 28F with wind (we only lost about 10% of them here in 2018), but I've seen a few adults die at 30F-32F.  In my opinion, they do well here because the stock has gotten hardier over the years.  When they first came on the scene, 2008's short 26F radiational event even toasted a bunch of them.  Now, I'd imagine that type of event would result in less than a 20% kill.

At this point, I'd let it ride it out.  You didn't get damage at ~33F, so it's likely not one of the weaker ones I mentioned.  At some point, it will become next to impossible to protect.  My yard has a few new plantings I should probably cover if I want to ensure survival.  At some point, I'll be in the same situation.  I'll have to either let it ride it out and just remove whatever it is that dies, or spend more time wrapping stuff up each year.

A few links for reference:

Here is a complete listing of NWS records for Florida freeze events up to 2018: https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/66320-florida-freeze-and-weather-station-data/

The data @RedRabbit mentioned is available here: https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/61358-0000-cold-hardiness-observation-master-data/

My issues with local temperatures: https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/6179-make-your-own-zone-map/&do=findComment&comment=939342  

Thank you! I see @RedRabbit also asked about the wind. Unfortunately, this is the ONLY tender palm pretty much that has complete exposure to the N and NW.

Also, I imagine it got colder than my thermometer/weather station location (which has exposure only to S/SE/E. 

While I can’t comment yet on its true cold hardiness, I can tell you it has rapidly grown and is very vigorous. Last winter it put out 3 fronds (and then slowed down when it hit 32.9). 

Here’s a look at it right this moment. As you can see, they have not yet built the houses on the NW side of the culdesac - I anticipate them providing a slight wind block once constructed. 

C7593203-1935-4FE3-8AB4-C5AC937E3AE6.jpeg

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NickJames

Also those brown spots in the lawn are from frost. I’m assuming those are small dips in the lawn. 

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kinzyjr
1 minute ago, NickJames said:

Thank you! I see @RedRabbit also asked about the wind. Unfortunately, this is the ONLY tender palm pretty much that has complete exposure to the N and NW.

Also, I imagine it got colder than my thermometer/weather station location (which has exposure only to S/SE/E. 

While I can’t comment yet on its true cold hardiness, I can tell you it has rapidly grown and is very vigorous. Last winter it put out 3 fronds (and then slowed down when it hit 32.9). 

Here’s a look at it right this moment. As you can see, they have not yet built the houses on the NW side of the culdesac - I anticipate them providing a slight wind block once constructed.

Assuming they nailed the forecast, I wouldn't worry about this particular event.  In my opinion, the greater worry is that January will be worse.

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NickJames
Just now, kinzyjr said:

Assuming they nailed the forecast, I wouldn't worry about this particular event.  In my opinion, the greater worry is that January will be worse.

That’s my concern as well. Ugh. 

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JLM
2 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Assuming they nailed the forecast, I wouldn't worry about this particular event.  In my opinion, the greater worry is that January will be worse.

If they nailed the forecast this time, and January could be worse, i will be at queen killing temps. My forecasted low for Friday night is 24. A Hard Freeze Watch is in place for parts northeast Florida.

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NickJames

Ok question. I know there is mixed debate on this.

Is it helpful or harmful to do a deep watering before an event like this?

I realize it’s going to rain at least a little bit later today but I can supplement with reclaimed (free) irrigation. This water would be slightly more acidic and contain far more nutrients than rainwater if that matters. 

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kinzyjr
54 minutes ago, NickJames said:

Ok question. I know there is mixed debate on this.

Is it helpful or harmful to do a deep watering before an event like this?

I realize it’s going to rain at least a little bit later today but I can supplement with reclaimed (free) irrigation. This water would be slightly more acidic and contain far more nutrients than rainwater if that matters. 

Since it will likely top out at 80F here today, it may help hold some heat.  I considered the same myself, but it is supposed to rain later this evening.  Probably just a wrap and tie for this event on anything I'm leery about surviving.  As @RedRabbit pointed out, January 2018 was mathematically worse than this is predicted to be and plenty of tender stuff survived that and recovered.  If not, time to get the shove and chainsaw out. 

@JLM We'll see what happens.  Everything I've read has been in the 30F-34F range for my area for this event.  Coconuts could probably use a tie + wrap after they dry out (assuming it rains) just to ensure the growth points stay healthy.  Veitchia and Carpentaria may get a wrap in some frost cloth since they've only been in the ground about half of the year. 

 

First time I've seen this happen - Accuweather has the highest minimum in the forecast (34F) vs. Weather.com + NWS + Wunderground.com (32F)

image.png.d01fa643624064d7cf0590aec85581d3.png

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RedRabbit
1 hour ago, NickJames said:

Ok question. I know there is mixed debate on this.

Is it helpful or harmful to do a deep watering before an event like this?

I realize it’s going to rain at least a little bit later today but I can supplement with reclaimed (free) irrigation. This water would be slightly more acidic and contain far more nutrients than rainwater if that matters. 

I’m pretty sure watering prior to a freeze is harmful.

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JJPalmer

Shorter range models are trending colder than longer range models.  Looks like there are two main outliers: HRRR and GFS.  Let's hope we wind up closer to the GFS.  Will be interesting to see how these evolve over the next 24 hours.  

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Edited by JJPalmer
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JLM

Queens are wrapped. I tied up the fronds, wrapped the bottom half in lights, wrapped the bud with a towel, then wrapped the bottom half with a sheet. Hoping for the best for all of you further south as well! 

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PalmatierMeg

All the best to you and your palms, @JLM. I got stuff ready to move indoors tomorrow.

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Alan_Tampa

I highly discourage using anything other than real actual frost cloth for covering plants for a cold event.  

 

Canopy is your friend when trying to grow out of the zone. The more dense your yard, with a mind to establish some kind block for any type of winter wind starting with a N will go a long way to protecting your plants.  For those getting a yard established to contain outside of the zone, it will take at least 5 years to be able to mitigate a bad winter with passive techniques.  Providing "heat" from an electrical source within the confines of some kind of cocoon, is the first step towards melted and damaged plants.  If your tarp, or plastic covering worked in the past, that is because it did not get cold enough to actually do damage.  Every freeze here in Florida is unique, no two are exactly alike and this is why I strongly suggest people don't go nuts with protection, keep planting until you find the right spot, or get enough good winters in a row for plants to get to size.  Most of my stuff is way too big to cover, I mean, how do cover a 35ft jackfruit tree? You don't.  I tried in 2010 and it did nothing.  This looks to be a very borderline event, which means most likely some cosmetic damage, for the areas from which most have posted. 

 

I have been in the same place in Tampa (Northdale near the veterans for more than 20 years.  Only a few people have been to my yard (Chatta and Mike Evans) , it is a very messy jungle, but contains a good deal of 10A plants, so packing them in seems to work.  2010 was rough, 2018 damaged a few things (that was a weird one actually, things that had no trouble in 2010 were damaged, things that 2010 decimated, did pretty good)

 

 

 

Oh, and for small plants, cover with hay.  It will be gone by spring and add a little to the soil.  And a bale of hay goes a long way!

 

Alan

 

 

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Steve the palmreader
8 hours ago, JLM said:

If they nailed the forecast this time, and January could be worse, i will be at queen killing temps. My forecasted low for Friday night is 24. A Hard Freeze Watch is in place for parts northeast Florida.

No problem for a queen

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JLM
9 minutes ago, Steve the palmreader said:

No problem for a queen

I would rather be safe than sorry. Low tonight is 30, but i dont want to be wrapping palms on Christmas Day lol
Tomorrow tonight is what the wrapping is for. Last year i full on wrapped these things when temps hit 27, which is excessive. These are juvenile palms, and probably more likely to be damaged from low 20s than a mature queen. There are other young queens in the neighborhood that never get any protection, i will use these as a general idea of when they get damaged, if they get damaged.

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NickJames

Just got home from Jacksonville. When I left Kernan and JTB area, it was 45 and raining hard with strong NW winds. 

Arrived home to Mosaic in Daytona Beach to similar conditions, only it was about 47 degrees. 

Horrific weather. I guess I’m glad we aren’t getting a freeze tonight...as it’s still actively raining...there will be a lot of standing water until it has time to evaporate in the wind and dry air. 

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RedRabbit

The forecast updated here calling for 33f Saturday and 32f Sunday... Is anyone else seeing Sunday as the colder morning now?

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NickJames
4 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

The forecast updated here calling for 33f Saturday and 32f Sunday... Is anyone else seeing Sunday as the colder morning now?

Not me

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NickJames

Yikes. And to think it was pouring rain a few hours ago. 

F42DBEC9-6CB1-4A69-BABB-13E238A6853F.jpeg

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kinzyjr
5 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

The forecast updated here calling for 33f Saturday and 32f Sunday... Is anyone else seeing Sunday as the colder morning now?

It didn't flip flop, but they added a few degrees to the overnight tonight and subtracted a few from Sunday.  The forecast was for 41F, so depending on what source you use for data, they nailed it as far as the airport goes.  I lucked out and had 44F on this one.  I recorded a high of 85F here yesterday.  That would be a record if it was official.  I'm sure that helped mitigate the temperature drop a little.

image.png.b8d5a6b964d2b06f839a2541aa07299b.png

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