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Matthew92

Florida Freeze Watch: Jan-Feb 2021

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RedRabbit
2 minutes ago, NickJames said:

This photo I took today definitely illustrates what elevation will do. The frost formed in only the low areas. Look how the slope of my lot has no frost on it. I can’t really think of another reason. 

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That may have more to do with proximity to your house since it radiates heat.

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NickJames
56 minutes ago, RedRabbit said:

That may have more to do with proximity to your house since it radiates heat.

If that’s the case, then I would be very happy. That would mean good news for my cocos and d. Decaryi which are significantly closer. 

I really just need to buy that multi sensor thermometer.

I do know that on Christmas night, using a handheld anemometer, my cocos spot was running 5 degrees warmer than the weather station - NOT accounting for any additional increase once I kick on the propane heater. 

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Matthew92
14 hours ago, JLM said:

Minus the 30s tonight, the forecast is literally Janurary gold through Monday and probably beyond Monday.

I just hope it isn't enough to trigger everything to leaf out/flower too early. I hate it when that happens and then it all gets zapped in Feb or March.

From the various sources I follow, it looks like there is a potential for the Polar Vortex to break apart and swing down into North America in February.

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PalmatierMeg

A Polar Vortex in Feb. increases plant survival odds in FL. A few years back I had a 37F low the 3rd week of Feb. What that low would have been the 2nd week of Jan. I don't want to envision. 

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kinzyjr

Ended up with 43F here and up at SugarCane, 41F at KLAL.

KORL = 46F, KMCO = 40F

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chinandega81
2 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

A Polar Vortex in Feb. increases plant survival odds in FL. A few years back I had a 37F low the 3rd week of Feb. What that low would have been the 2nd week of Jan. I don't want to envision. 

I agree. The longer February days and more direct sunlight allows for better heating, more heat absorbtion and it doesnt allow for the perfect storm of cooling that happens in January....even if it is only a few degrees. Hopefully the vortex itself is somewhat modified by then too!

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JLM
3 hours ago, Matthew92 said:

I just hope it isn't enough to trigger everything to leaf out/flower too early. I hate it when that happens and then it all gets zapped in Feb or March.

From the various sources I follow, it looks like there is a potential for the Polar Vortex to break apart and swing down into North America in February.

Hopefully the polar vortex ends up working the opposite for us, bringing us an early start to spring :D
Also, i hate it when everything blooms early. After Sally, trees began blooming again only to be zapped by frost/freezing temps less than 2 months later.

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JJPalmer

44 years ago today - could be worse!

 

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Matthew92

My 10 day forecast is a dumpster fire.... These temps will very probably start initiating leafing and flowering out dormant vegetation around here. Too early.... :rant: 

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Matthew92

Still, it's possible we could have below average temps in Feb. Hopefully everything will not have come out of dormancy yet, otherwise be prepared for zapped foliage/flowers.

 

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Matthew92

BTW, today is the 36th anniversary of the January 1985 polar vortex cold wave. 4 deg F at my location on that day (single digits for pretty much the entire Panhandle), 18 deg in Orlando (teens for much of Central FL). 30th anniversary of the infmaous 1985 arctic outbreak - WEATHER / CLIMATE - PalmTalk

297258465_1985jan.png.61474d058242e10f7e9172263674d1a7.png

Edited by Matthew92
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JLM

I like the warm temps, but when they last for more than a week, we are going to have problems. Hopefully we are lucky enough that we wont have anymore freezes or frost lol
 

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Hombre de Palmas

I started watering the last couple days in anticipation of the warmer temps. I like to hand water with low to medium pressure in the morning, it lowers my blood pressure, and I get the water right where I want it. It takes time and patience, both of which I have right now in much better supply than the local currency required to install an irragation system.

My Hibiscus seem to actually like the cool, dry weather we've recently experienced, and they are blooming like crazy. The Christmas Palms are kinda in a fetal position but are OK, the Foxtails are still opening their spears, albeit somewhat slowly, and the Roebeliniis, Majesties and Queen Palms are moving right ahead. I don't have any Coconut palms, but the ones in my neighborhood seem to be holding up pretty well. The only plants in my landscape that are very unhappy right now are my Helliconia pssitacorums which are beyond peevish and my Caesalpinia pulcherrimas which are on strike, but are willing to negotiate based on the favorable forecast. My Helliconia rostratas are faring much better than the pssitacorum  . 

After seeing that map above, I am dusting off my "Plan B" landscape plans featuring Chamaerops humilis, Trachycarpus fortunei, Sabal palmetto and Butia Capitata.

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JLM

That 75F in the forecast is a little concerning. Looks like blooming might occur. The average high for this time of year is about 60F, so i am forecasted to be 15F ABOVE AVERAGE on Monday.

Today: 64F 100% chance of rain
Tonight: 50F Cloudy
Tomorrow: 64F Partly Sunny
Tomorrow Night: 51F Cloudy
Sunday: 67F Cloudy
Sunday Night: 61F Cloudy
Monday: 75F Sunny with Gusty winds, 60% chance of rain
Monday Night: 58F Thunderstorm or two, 60% chance of rain
Tuesday: 71F 20% chance of showers
Tuesday Night: 56F 40% chance of showers
Wednesday: 70F 50% chance of showers/thunderstorms
Wednesday Night: 53F 40% chance of showers
Thursday: 65F 20% chance of showers

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AnTonY

@JLM

Precisely, if I had temperatures that warm, I'd want to be done with wintry freezes for good!

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AnTonY

@RedRabbit

That's a nice photo with those pines out back. I've always liked the aesthetic that results from the combo of tropical palms and SE US pines. When you look at the range of the longleaf pine and loblolly pine, for some reason, the distribution stops before reaching South Florida. I always wondered why.

Edited by AnTonY
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NickJames
On 1/22/2021 at 6:13 PM, AnTonY said:

@RedRabbit

That's a nice photo with those pines out back. I've always liked the aesthetic that results from the combo of tropical palms and SE US pines. When you look at the range of the longleaf pine and loblolly pine, for some reason, the distribution stops before reaching South Florida. I always wondered why.

 

3F15AAF3-38C8-46D2-8901-561DA9EFDBA6.jpeg

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NickJames
On 1/22/2021 at 6:13 PM, AnTonY said:

@RedRabbit

That's a nice photo with those pines out back. I've always liked the aesthetic that results from the combo of tropical palms and SE US pines. When you look at the range of the longleaf pine and loblolly pine, for some reason, the distribution stops before reaching South Florida. I always wondered why.

 

DB2322B3-B958-415E-98B6-9AE310366E6C.jpeg

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Matthew92

Well, unless we get a Feb surprise (or the cold forecast for Jan 28th ends up being lower than forecast), might be the 3rd winter in a row without solid hard freezing temps enveloping all areas of the FL Panhandle (some coastal microclimates have barely even gotten to freezing) and making it well into the peninsula (something on the magnitude of Jan 2018). Even though my neighborhood got to mid 20's deg F and even a couple sub 25 deg F readings in some isolated spots, it has not been cold enough to significantly damage queen palms here. Some Philodendrom selloums are still green even. Great if you're zone pushing palms/plants.

Some zone 9 plants around my neighborhood

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Edited by Matthew92
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Matthew92

Definitely not letting my guard down though. Despite the higher sun angle: quite a few of FL's historic freeze events interestingly were in February (more in the 1800's/early 1900's though)

Timeline of Major Florida Freezes - Florida Citrus Mutual (flcitrusmutual.com)

-1835: Feb 2-9 (the one where part of the St. Johns river froze and killed all citrus to the ground in places where they had been growing for many decades in N. and Central FL). Although not many official temperatures were recorded, many weather historian's believe this event to be the coldest for FL in recent times.

-1895: Feb 8-9, the second of the disastrous freezes (first being in Dec. 1894) which wiped out much of the existing citrus industry 

-1899: Feb 13-14, further set back regrowing efforts by citrus growers after the 1895 freeze

-1917: Feb 2-6, wiped out much of the tropical plants collections at Nehrling estate in Gotha (near Orlando).

-Only Feb of 1996 seems to be a recent very severe Feb freeze for FL. Feb 5th- Low 20's into Central FL.

-Since Feb 1996: looks like Feb 2010 and Feb 2015 were some of the coldest. Feb 2010 saw several night well into the 20's in N. FL plus snow flurries one day with a high in the 30's. In Feb 2015 I recorded 22 deg at my location on the 19th, and parts of Central FL flirted with freezing the next morning. 

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Estlander
2 hours ago, Matthew92 said:

Well, unless we get a Feb surprise (or the cold forecast for Jan 28th ends up being lower than forecast), might be the 3rd winter in a row without solid hard freezing temps enveloping all areas of the FL Panhandle

 

 

Yes, unless there's a Feb surprise, coastal panhandle is gonna have a third 10A winter in a row. Hasn't even gotten cold enough to damage Bottle palms here. For comparison,  the first pic I took a week or so ago. Second pic back in Sept. 2020.

IMG_2920.JPG

IMG_2922.PNG

Edited by Estlander
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Matthew92
45 minutes ago, Estlander said:

Yes, unless there's a Feb surprise, coastal panhandle is gonna have a third 10A winter in a row. Hasn't even gotten cold enough to damage Bottle palms here. For comparison,  the first pic I took a week or so ago. Second pic back in Sept. 2020.

I'm surprised they don't have more yellowing on them since even though it has been 10a, there have been plenty of temps in the 30's deg F. Have you gotten frost out there? I wonder if it is too windy being close to the ocean- and I know your property and many residences around Santa Rosa Beach seem to have quite a lot of tree cover too.

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Estlander
4 hours ago, Matthew92 said:

I'm surprised they don't have more yellowing on them since even though it has been 10a, there have been plenty of temps in the 30's deg F. Have you gotten frost out there? I wonder if it is too windy being close to the ocean- and I know your property and many residences around Santa Rosa Beach seem to have quite a lot of tree cover too.

I’m surprised too they look this good considering December and January have been a bit on the cooler side. 
I’ve seen frost on cars on a couple of occasions, but that’s metal, so it’s pretty normal to have that. 
I’m not an early morning person, but a family member that goes to work at 6 am. said there was frost on the grass in our yard one morning this January. 
Overall the beachside doesn’t seem to be a very frosty place. Far rarer here than more inland areas. 
If I had to judge by my more tender plant life, then I’d say frost hasn’t been an issue for me yet. 
My 6ft. tall Mango tree that’s in its third winter right now, and in a completely open yard with no canopy of any kind and completely open to northerly winds, looks flawless. 

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Edited by Estlander
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Estlander

And I don’t know frost hardy a Giant Bird of Paradise is, but the leaves reaching over the roofline don’t seem to have any kind of frost damage either. 

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Matthew92
1 hour ago, Estlander said:

And I don’t know frost hardy a Giant Bird of Paradise is, but the leaves reaching over the roofline don’t seem to have any kind of frost damage either. 

 

1 hour ago, Estlander said:

I’m surprised too they look this good considering December and January have been a bit on the cooler side. 
I’ve seen frost on cars on a couple of occasions, but that’s metal, so it’s pretty normal to have that. 
I’m not an early morning person, but a family member that goes to work at 6 am. said there was frost on the grass in our yard one morning this January. 
Overall the beachside doesn’t seem to be a very frosty place. Far rarer here than more inland areas. 
If I had to judge by my more tender plant life, then I’d say frost hasn’t been an issue for me yet. 
My 6ft. tall Mango tree that’s in its third winter right now, and in a completely open yard with no canopy of any kind and completely open to northerly winds, looks flawless. 

That mango is amazing. Citrus in my yard and on the mainland were in active growth mode in December when the first freeze came and zapped the top few inches of new growth. Now there are unsightly leafless twigs and many brown leaves on the ground.  I imagine a Mango tree would be pretty toasted. The microclimate out there continues to amaze me. Again, it seems the key is having Choctawhatchee bay to your north, as I noticed places like Rosemary beach (right on the coast) that have nothing but continued land mass to the north have gotten about as cold as I have. What I think has saved you a lot this winter is the fact that we've gotten almost all radiational freezes that have allowed the microclimates to do their magic. Events like early Jan 2014 and Jan 2018 were windy/advective if I remember right and still blasted the barrier islands with hard freezing temps (even though I know they were still moderated to a degree). 

Despite our "frigid" temps in the 20's and one night to the mid and even low 20's here on the mainland, plants under canopy have survived a lot better thanks to the radiational non-windy freezes. I've seen some White Bird of Paradise that are mostly brown, but some only slightly to moderately, and a few almost none (under canopy) such as seen here (in addition to an undamaged Philodendron selloum). This location was close to Rocky Bayou which may have had an influence but I think the tree canopy and nearby swampy area/thick vegetation may have helped more.

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Cordyline "Ti" plants are mostly toast- although I did see a few right up against someone's brick house that were only moderately damaged. I also saw a dwarf Tibouchina plant under a thickly canopied oak tree that was still blooming with no visible damage (in the same neighborhood that saw 24-25 deg F. I haven't seen damage on any queen palms. All bananas I've seen are completely toast.

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Too bad I didn't plant a queen palm in ground right after Jan 2018, as it would have gotten some good growth these last almost 3 years.

Edited by Matthew92

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Estlander
57 minutes ago, Matthew92 said:

 

That mango is amazing. Citrus in my yard and on the mainland were in active growth mode in December when the first freeze came and zapped the top few inches of new growth. Now there are unsightly leafless twigs and many brown leaves on the ground.  I imagine a Mango tree would be pretty toasted. The microclimate out there continues to amaze me. Again, it seems the key is having Choctawhatchee bay to your north, as I noticed places like Rosemary beach (right on the coast) that have nothing but continued land mass to the north have gotten about as cold as I have. What I think has saved you a lot this winter is the fact that we've gotten almost all radiational freezes that have allowed the microclimates to do their magic. Events like early Jan 2014 and Jan 2018 were windy/advective if I remember right and still blasted the barrier islands with hard freezing temps (even though I know they were still moderated to a degree). 

Despite our "frigid" temps in the 20's and one night to the mid and even low 20's here on the mainland, plants under canopy have survived a lot better thanks to the radiational non-windy freezes. 

Cordyline "Ti" plants are mostly toast- although I did see a few right up against someone's brick house that were only moderately damaged. I also saw a dwarf Tibouchina plant under a thickly canopied oak tree that was still blooming with no visible damage (in the same neighborhood that saw 24-25 deg F. I haven't seen damage on any queen palms. All bananas I've seen are completely toast.

Yes, having the bay to your north is definitely the key.  Rosemary and the western side of Panama City Beach do get a bit colder, as do other coastal areas between Destin and Gulf Breeze/Pensacola Beach that again do not have any water to their north. 
Gulf Breeze/Pensacola Beach, of course, again have the same setup with a large bay to their NNW, and, as a result, enjoy a similar microclimate as the Destin area. 
Whatever the freezes (radiational or advective) the bay has always saved our butt from the worst

Bananas are the most cold tender plants I have in my yard(at least when it comes to their leaves, not the plants themselves). The ones completely out in the open have 90-95% damage to their leaves. The ones under pines are completely fine. I even have a plantain plant that’s flowering right now with a few young plantains on them. I’ll post of few pics in my next post in a minute. 
 

 

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Estlander

These are all in the wild part of my yard that I’ve just kind of planted there and forgot with no special care given. No extra water, no trimming etc  

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Edited by Estlander
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NickJames

Meanwhile in Daytona, I probably killed my bottle palm and everything looks like death. LOL. 

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JLM

I put in a personal weather station in my backyard, i can move the temperature sensor to various places if needed as i havent mounted it. If we get anymore deep freezes i may put the sensor in the wrapping just to see how good of a job it does. 

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JJPalmer

Still not seeing much evidence of a deep penetration of arctic air through early- to mid-February. Obviously doesn’t rule it out, but models even >300hrs out can’t come to any sort of consensus around cold. *knocks on all the wood*

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JJPalmer
On 1/25/2021 at 2:48 PM, Estlander said:

Yes, unless there's a Feb surprise, coastal panhandle is gonna have a third 10A winter in a row. Hasn't even gotten cold enough to damage Bottle palms here. For comparison,  the first pic I took a week or so ago. Second pic back in Sept. 2020.

IMG_2920.JPG

IMG_2922.PNG

Are you in Destin? Those look absolutely phenomenal.  Do you see many 9B / 10 plantings up there?

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Matthew92

Getting ready for about a 40deg temperature drop here. About 75 right now, will be 38 tomorrow morning and around freezing the next morning.  Some of the warmest weather I've experienced in January. Humidity is at summer levels. I actually started getting hot taking a walk in the neighborhood. Brought all my orchids outside and they've enjoyed the rain (got over 1 and 1/2 inches). Thankfully we will snap back to temps cold enough to hopefully delay trees and plants from blooming/leafing out too early. 

Edited by Matthew92
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Estlander
12 hours ago, JJPalmer said:

Are you in Destin? Those look absolutely phenomenal.  Do you see many 9B / 10 plantings up there?

Yes, I’m in Destin. The most common 9b palms here are Queens(which are probably more a warm 9A palm), P. Roebeleniis and Majesties. Not a lot of zone 10 palms I’m afraid.

There was a 9ft. ,what looked like, Archonthphoenix Purpurea that blew me away when I saw it, but January 2018 took it out. 
Giant bird of paradise, Ti plants and crotons are also common as far as non-palms. 
Many zone 10 plants do good here until we get a zone 9b, or worse yet, 9a winter. 
 

Edited by Estlander
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JLM
27 minutes ago, Estlander said:

Yes, I’m in Destin. The most common 9b palms here are Queens(which are probably more a warm 9A palm), P. Roebeleniis and Majesties. Not a lot of zone 10 palms I’m afraid.

There was a 9ft. ,what looked like, Archonthphoenix Purpurea that blew me away when I saw it, but January 2018 took it out. 
Giant bird of paradise, Ti plants and crotons are also common as far as non-palms. 
Many zone 10 plants do good here until we get a zone 9b, or worse yet, 9a winter. 
 

If you get a 9a winter down there on any given year, that means ill probably have an 8a/8b winter. So far, 9a winter up here!

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Estlander
2 hours ago, JLM said:

If you get a 9a winter down there on any given year, that means ill probably have an 8a/8b winter. So far, 9a winter up here!

Yes, It’s interesting how a winter that is considered warm here may not be so warm just a short distance away. 

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Matthew92

Something to keep an eye on

 

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Silas_Sancona
31 minutes ago, Matthew92 said:

Something to keep an eye on

 

:greenthumb: Was just going to mention this..  

CFS ( ..and various GFS runs ) on Tidbits/ Pivitol  have started trending down -way down in some instances at times- ( Temp. anomaly-wise ) as well mid-month for the east, ..inc FL / TX.  Hard to say if it will pan out, but..

As for the Polar Vortex/ effects of a SSW, this was an excellent morning read:
https://climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/sudden-stratospheric-warming-and-polar-vortex-early-2021

Edited by Silas_Sancona
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JJPalmer

For the fun of it - here is the 3km NAM, which appears to most closely resemble NWS predictions for this evening.  

 

sfct.us_se.png

Edited by JJPalmer
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kinzyjr

Looks like Tuesday night will be the cold one thus far.  Somewhere between 37F-39F predicted here at this point.

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JLM

About 41F here at almost 11pm. NWS forecasting a low of 32F.

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