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Cold Snap in Florida


bubba

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I'm not sure I understand why the west palm beach AP is a known cold spot.  It's only a mile or so inland.  If you consider how far most people are from the water, it sounds to me like that's still very close!  Unless elevation plays a part, I'm not sure that I understand.

I'm not saying that your temps are incorrect, just that west palm as a whole is much cooler than the barrier islands.

Jon

Brooksville, FL 9a

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Larry,You did miss my point.The station referenced as APRSWXNET is a part of the MADIS system,specifically referred to as the Meterological Assimilation Data Digest System.Even though technically not "Official"'the same exact criteria is rigidly applied and results regularly reviewed in order to recieve this designation. This particular station is the only MADIS station I could locate East of I-95.It is West of US-1.

What is a cold hole.Let's arbitrarily use today as an example.West Palm Airport,the"official" temperature,was reported as 73/50.The above-referenced MADIS station reported 80/57.Although it is not"official",it certainly corresponds much closer to what was experienced in this location.

The Airport here is a wide open space(I guess most are?)susceptible to greater cooling I would surmise because you do not have the normal heat traps associated with buildings and other features that seem to keep area's warmer.Parenthetically,this becomes my cold hole theory.Am I out in left field looking for pop flies?

What you look for is what is looking

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Bubba-

I dont think I missed your point as I am aware of the MADIS system.  I could send my data there if I chose to as its primarly (if not entirely) comprised of amateur stations.   If you scan lots of these stations (there are many of them in FL) youll see tremendous inconsistency.   As a quick example, theres a MADIS station less than half a mile from me and on January 3rd, they logged a low of 39F...which is almost 10F warmer than my station!   They also reported a -99F dewpoint sometime this winter as well!  And, there are hours and hours of data gaps.

So, I would not use the MADIS designation as a sign of a stations data being "good".

If one watches the offiial major stations, there is almost never major disagreement with each other when it comes to the raw numbers.  

Again...my point being that the major official stations are the ones that are, over the long run, going to give the best and most reliable results.  The other stations are, as noted by GSN, unfortunately going to be hit or miss.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(bubba @ Feb. 29 2008,18:29)

QUOTE
What is a cold hole.Let's arbitrarily use today as an example.West Palm Airport,the"official" temperature,was reported as 73/50.The above-referenced MADIS station reported 80/57.Although it is not"official",it certainly corresponds much closer to what was experienced in this location.

The Airport here is a wide open space(I guess most are?)susceptible to greater cooling I would surmise because you do not have the normal heat traps associated with buildings and other features that seem to keep area's warmer.Parenthetically,this becomes my cold hole theory.Am I out in left field looking for pop flies?

It works both ways.

If an area is wide open and has nothing to slow down the rate of heat loss, then the same holds true about it not having anything to prevent heating as well.  

So, these cold traps will usually not only have the coldest lows, but also the warmest highs.

The other angle is the ocean.  It tends to moderate temepratures )obviously).  So, how can the ocean slow heat loss at night, but not also slow heat gain in the day?  

This is why in the winter (generally) if one sees a station right on the water showing highs substantially above another station located inland, that the station on the waters reading may be suspect.  

You can ask many of the folks on this site who have gone to the trouble of installing a weather station in their yards.....It is not an easy task to get a solid accurate high temperature reading.  The slighest bit of direct sunlight on the sensor will affect the reading considerably.  

Also, I am not not trying to be combative in this thread!   I am only commenting so vigorously on this topic as I struggled with this whole issue for some time until I just broke down and made the ventilated enclosure and added the fan which runs 24/7.   Since then, my readings have been beautiful!

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(bubba @ Feb. 29 2008,18:29)

QUOTE
Let's arbitrarily use today as an example.West Palm Airport,the"official" temperature,was reported as 73/50.The above-referenced MADIS station reported 80/57.Although it is not"official",it certainly corresponds much closer to what was experienced in this location.

You made me look!

Heres what I found for stations around KPBI for today---

KPBI - 73/50

Palm Springs FL US (MADIS) - Lake Worth - 72/50

Bahama Heights, West Palm Beach, FL  - 76/51.7

Lake Worth, FL (lkwf1) - Marine Buoy (located offshore in the Atlantic) - 71/56

Lantana FL US, Boca Raton, FL - 73/56

Lantana, Lantana, FL -73.2 / 55.5

Uncle Chris' Tiki Hut, Boynton Beach, FL  - 70.8 / 53.3

Boynton Beach FL US, Boynton Beach, FL (MADIS) - 80/57

Palm Beach County, Boynton Beach, FL  - 72.7 / 55.6

There are more but the above list is enough to show what I am talking about.

At least one of these stations has an odd reading that just doesnt match up nor make any sense when compared to area readings.  Just by looking at the shape of the temperature plot, one can see that something is "amiss".

Also, the Lake Worth offshore buoy low temperature reading will set an upper boundary for low temperature for any on land station in the area.  If a station on land reports a higher low temperature than a buoy sitting in the middle of the ocean (when the surrounding air is in the 50's), then something is likely askew.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Larry,I think you have much more knowledge on this topic than I do.Obviously, the MADIS designation is not what I thought it was.It does seem that our reported High/Lows at West Palm are always cooler than experienced.I can not offer substantive evidence other than what grows.I have spent plenty of time on the West Coast of Florida and believe that the Palm Beach area grows a much wider variety of Tropical Palms and plants than St. Pete but it seems the recorded "Official" temperatures are identical.

What you look for is what is looking

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Oh Bubba....by no means am I trying to bring forth a comparison of the St. Pete area to that of Palm Beach!   Where did that come from!?!?  The difference between St. Pete and Palm Beach is significant IMO.  

I only chat about this topic as Ive had a weather station for awhile and have struggled with all the pitfalls normally encountered.  So, I can spot this same issues with other stations, for no other reason that getting frustrated myself!

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Larry, I appreciate your help! I would point out that you observed only two MADIS sites. Palm Springs is West.The second Madis site is the one I look to and while it is East of I-95, it is still West of US-1.The Buoy is not MADIS and just because it is a  buoy,my guess is that buoys have reported errors before.It is unfortunate that we seem to have no verifiable,official weather stations in South Florida close to the Ocean near the Gulfstream.I really do appreciate your knowledge and willingness to discuss this stuff!

What you look for is what is looking

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Bubba-

I think there are plenty of reliable stations in SFL near the ocean.  But, that doesnt mean that every station can be looked at in a vacuum.  The Boyton Beach MADIS station is an example.  I am no statistics expert, but I believe the readings from that station today would be considered an "outlier".  The readings there just dont make sense given all the other "circumstantial evidence" provided by the numerous other stations in the area(see...I threw in a legal term there....LOL).

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Larry,This little exercise may make a lawyer out of you.(God forbid,I would not advise it!)Please give me some examples of reliable Coastal South Florida weather stations.Thank you.

What you look for is what is looking

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Bubba-

The ones that are reliable are the ones whose numbers compare favorably with its peers.  That is the benefit of having so many stations to look at.

For example---

If the buoy sitting in the Atlantic reads 71F for the high, and the airport a few miles inland reads 73F, what factors would be at play to allow a station between these two to read a high of 80F?  How could that reading be justified as "correct"?  

Yes...I am throwing the question back at you counselor :D

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Larry,I understand your point.Where are the reliable (not buoys)weather stations near the Coast in South Florida?The West Palm airport is approximately 3 to 4  miles from the Coast and I need closer than that,if possible.I know Miami Beach has a station but know of none in this area.This is important because of our area's proximity to the Gulfstream.Can you help?

What you look for is what is looking

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Put a weather station in your yard, Bubba.  :)

I concur with Larry, it is a pain in the ass trying to get accurate readings with these amateur stations. I made a pretty nice passive solar shield for mine but I still think it is maybe 3 to 4 degrees on the warm side during sunny afternoons. On the bright side, it does return VERY accurate low temperatures which is what I really care about. Way too many of these amateur stations are either under canopy or placed right on a wall or nailed to an oak trunk - something that screws them up. This morning for example, my station that reports to weather  underground completely out in the open showed 39.4F while my other non-reporting sensor mounted under foxtail canopy (not even an oak!) about 15 feet away read 43.4F - big difference! About the only other stations I really trust in my area are the official stations and the FAWN stations and Larry's station because I know it is maintained properly.

Parrish, FL

Zone 9B

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Thank you Guys!God forbid,I will duly and fully enter into the land of weather junkyism.I only wish I had done it this past winter.I appreciate your patience!

What you look for is what is looking

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Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,have you reach your verdict??

Mr. Foreman would you please publish the VERDICT!! :laugh:

Scott

Titusville, FL

1/2 mile from the Indian River

USDA Zone COLD

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(bubba @ Mar. 01 2008,06:17)

QUOTE
Thank you Guys!God forbid,I will duly and fully enter into the land of weather junkyism.I only wish I had done it this past winter.I appreciate your patience!

Bubba,

One must remember that one of these weather stations ONLY tells you what the weather is NOW,or has been. It  only records actual data which becomes history ,right after it is recorded.

Although these are great machines if installed properly ,and calibrated. They do not PREDICT the weather. As far as I'm concerned NO one (man ,machine ,or even super computer) has figured that out! :;):

Scott

Titusville, FL

1/2 mile from the Indian River

USDA Zone COLD

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(gsn @ Mar. 01 2008,10:35)

QUOTE
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,have you reach your verdict??

Mr. Foreman would you please publish the VERDICT!! :laugh:

Scott-

We let Bubba off the hook.  He was essentially pleading "no contest", so we gave him a break.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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I greatly appreciate your kind and gentle treatment!

What you look for is what is looking

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So a DEAL was cut!, eh!!! :laugh:

All parties content with said results, if only the legal system  really worked so well! :D

Scott

Titusville, FL

1/2 mile from the Indian River

USDA Zone COLD

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(bubba @ Mar. 01 2008,06:17)

QUOTE
Thank you Guys!God forbid,I will duly and fully enter into the land of weather junkyism.I only wish I had done it this past winter.I appreciate your patience!

I always thought Bubba was angling for a meteorologist slot at one of the local Palm Beach Co TV stations, not that we couldn't use a better one... :P

SoCal and SoFla; zone varies by location.

'Home is where the heart suitcase is'...

_____

"If, as they say, there truly is no rest for the wicked, how can the Devil's workshop be filled with idle hands?"

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Greg, Just bit spots from time to time so I can shake people up.Very short spots.I would prefer also an idiotic title like Chancelor or Conquistador.

I will get a weather station but I know that Temp's on the barrier Island and in many places in this area are substantially warmer than those reported at the"cold hole".

What you look for is what is looking

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(bubba @ Mar. 01 2008,16:38)

QUOTE
I will get a weather station but I know that Temp's on the barrier Island and in many places in this area are substantially warmer than those reported at the"cold hole".

Does this statement break the confidentiality aggreement on the DEAL cut? :laugh:

I have no doubt that the airport gets colder than the barrier island.This would only make sense,the Atlantic Ocean on one side ,Lake Worth(intercoastal) on the other. With the airport approx 4 miles inland, west of Lake Worth.

However I don't think it is going to be way way warmer, like you might think, just warmer!  :;):

Scott

Titusville, FL

1/2 mile from the Indian River

USDA Zone COLD

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It hit 39.7F in New Port Richey on Thurs AM and stayed just above 40F from 2am until 6am then popped to 45F as I left for work at 645a. Though the afternoons were chilly, the nights stayed rather balmy and they were off on the "good side" for a change! Greg in NPR

Begonias are my thing. I've been growing and selling them for three decades, nearly two in Tampa Bay. NPR is an bhour N of St Pete, coast

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Scott, I was just trying to count my incorporeal heriditaments,no confidentiality breaches.This is a warm microclimate.

Titusville-How is the Best of the Best-Wilber Marshall!Now Mr. Marshall was one outstanding hit master!

What you look for is what is looking

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(bubba @ Mar. 01 2008,18:40)

QUOTE
Scott, I was just trying to count my incorporeal heriditaments,no confidentiality breaches.

If you will translate that into ENGISH,I might be able to respond to you... and MIGHT is the is the salient (see even I know one(1) fairly big word) word! :P:D

Okay I admit it,I had to use the online Thesaurus! :laugh:

Scott

Titusville, FL

1/2 mile from the Indian River

USDA Zone COLD

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Scott,I am really just interested in Wilber at this point.Are the cold shelters still open in your area?

What you look for is what is looking

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(bubba @ Feb. 29 2008,19:54)

QUOTE

I can not offer substantive evidence other than what grows.I have spent plenty of time on the West Coast of Florida and believe that the Palm Beach area grows a much wider variety of Tropical Palms and plants than St. Pete but it seems the recorded "Official" temperatures are identical.

This is probably a little off-topic (though I'm not sure what the "on-topic" topic is at this point!), but this is something I used to puzzle about constantly.  I couldn't figure out why our lows would seem similar to (if not a little warmer than) places like Sarasota and Venice, but they seem to have a lot more coconuts, and royals especially.  I think what keeps St. Pete "artificially" warmer on the coldest nights also keeps us cooler during the days (a phenomenon that is more pronounced in some years than in others--January 2003 was just plain crummy here).  So whoever said that thing about overall warmth being just as important (if not more so) than absolute  minimums, in a thread a while back--wait, I think that was you, Bubba!  But I would certainly agree with that.  (I wish it *wasn't* true--I actually took a road trip with my roomate to West Palm a few years back, to see if it was the kind of place I'd like to live after graduation (I had high hopes).  We took that diagonal road from Okeechobee, and were anxious to "get into town," so we turned off on Blue Heron.  While I enjoy experiencing different cultures, and my roomate grew up in inner city Erie, it made St. Pete's southside look like a country club.)

Eric

St. Petersburg, FL

www.myspace.com/koolthing78

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Eric,You are right and of course that leads to the downward spiral of USDA zones versus Koppen.The real area's where Tropical Palms and Plants can be grown are in those region's in Florida that qualify for Tropical Savanah inclusion. This criteria takes the region's coldest month and requires that it average 64 degrees F to be considered Tropical Savanah.Even West Palm's cold hole airport location is 66F. for the month of January.What is St. Pete's average for January?

Now wrong turns.... that is a whole separate subject!

What you look for is what is looking

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(bubba @ Mar. 01 2008,23:14)

QUOTE

Eric,You are right and of course that leads to the downward spiral of USDA zones versus Koppen.

Eric-

Dont get Bubba started on the USDA zones!  You are opening the ubiquitous Pandora's box!

The real area's where Tropical Palms and Plants can be grown are in those region's in Florida that qualify for Tropical Savanah inclusion. This criteria takes the region's coldest month and requires that it average 64 degrees F to be considered Tropical Savanah.Even West Palm's cold hole airport location is 66F. for the month of January.What is St. Pete's average for January?

As I mentioned above, there is no comparison between St. Pete and PB in overall climate.  PB is much warmer overall, even though the actual lows on colder mornings arent far off.

St. Pete's average for January is about 61.5F.

And, Im sorry once again to attack your judgements Mr. Counselor, but one must not fling opinions around without facts!  That wont work in Judge Judy's court, nor will it here!  

If the Palm Beach AP is a cold hole, then apparently so is the Ft Lauderdale AP.  Can you tell which one is which in the below plot?

pbfll.gif

Bubba......we graciously gave you nolo contendere...but instead of sitting there nodding your head in agreement before leaving the court room to go do your community service, you must continue to try and get one over on us!

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(koolthing78 @ Mar. 01 2008,22:37)

QUOTE

(bubba @ Feb. 29 2008,19:54)

QUOTE

I can not offer substantive evidence other than what grows.I have spent plenty of time on the West Coast of Florida and believe that the Palm Beach area grows a much wider variety of Tropical Palms and plants than St. Pete but it seems the recorded "Official" temperatures are identical.

This is probably a little off-topic (though I'm not sure what the "on-topic" topic is at this point!), but this is something I used to puzzle about constantly.  I couldn't figure out why our lows would seem similar to (if not a little warmer than) places like Sarasota and Venice, but they seem to have a lot more coconuts, and royals especially.  

Hi Eric,

You're right - there are a lot more of the coconuts and royals planted out in Venice and Sarasota, although we're consistently a few degrees warmer in winter than those areas.  So I think there are two other pieces of the puzzle.  How much bearing they have on the situation is questionable, but they are definitely factors.  

1)  Heat Island Effect - not talking about GW here.  It's well-established that an urban area is going to have significantly warmer microclimates than nearby suburban/rural areas.  Back in the 80's and before, Pinellas had undeveloped areas and frankly wasn't very urban, compared to now.  Now look at it.  It's a built-up city with high-rises lining the gulf & bay, and we've reached "build-out" with little to no vacant areas, a sea of concrete.  So back during our colder decades, when S FL was already urban, we're comparing an area with a heat island effect to an area that wasn't nearly as citified.  Then there is air traffic.  This has a measurable warming effect on temperature - and the St. Pete/Clearwater airport has more traffic than it did back in those times.

2)  Second, the matter of local availability.  Back in the 70's and early 80's, your average nursery - and this was before there was a Home Depot / Lowe's / Wal-Mart on every corner - stocked mostly hibiscus, jasmines, podocarpus, pittosporum and the racks & racks of ligustrumzzz - along with a few things that really weren't suited to the area like pears n' peaches (?!)  There just weren't too many "exotics" being offered - and  they wouldn't have been practical, as those were colder decades.  One winter in the 60's, the temp actually hit 17F according to a local grower.  But demand affects supply - and when most of your populace hails from Ohio, Chicago etc, there won't be a big market for things they've never heard of.  I noticed a huge change in the early 90's.  I think (not sure about this) that it may have been the influx of people from S. FL after 8/92, who perceived this area as being "safer" - and when they got here, they certainly would have created a demand for the familiar plants they grew in S. FL.  Back in the 70's & 80's, I don't recall seeing things like adonidia and lutescens planted in many yards; now, they're all over the place, some are mature specimens.  We're even seeing hyophorbes reaching a good size.

Or maybe it's just a climate cycle; could we return to those colder decades - I guess time will tell.

St. Pete

Zone - a wacked-out place between 9b & 10

Elevation = 44' - not that it does any good

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(spockvr6 @ Mar. 02 2008,07:27)

QUOTE
This criteria takes the region's coldest month and requires that it average 64 degrees F to be considered Tropical Savanah.Even West Palm's cold hole airport location is 66F. for the month of January.What is St. Pete's average for January?

...St. Pete's average for January is about 61.5F.

So - we're a whole 2.5 degrees from inclusion.  I guess we need more air traffic! :D

St. Pete

Zone - a wacked-out place between 9b & 10

Elevation = 44' - not that it does any good

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(spockvr6 @ Mar. 02 2008,07:27)

QUOTE
If the Palm Beach AP is a cold hole, then apparently so is the Ft Lauderdale AP.  Can you tell which one is which in the below plot?

pbfll.gif

Bubba......we graciously gave you nolo contendere...but instead of sitting there nodding your head in agreement before leaving the court room to go do your community service, you must continue to try and get one over on us!

I think it is fairly obvious that any airport in South Florida is going to be colder than ,on the BEACH.

Last  time I looked none of the airports were on the BEACH? They are all located INLAND away from the water,(PBI,MIA,FIA,)and sprawl of development. Well when they were built, they were away from the SPRAWL of development,maybe NOT any more! :laugh:

I think bubba will be surprised when he gets his weather station up an running. As stated before it is going to be warmer than the airport.Only makes sense water on both sides,of his fairly narrow strip of land(barrier island). Where as the airport is 4-5 miles inland away from any water.

I get the impression that he thinks it's going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 8F to 10F degrees  warmer in any given cold event.  I personally don't think that is going to be the case.Even though he has never stated how much warmer he thinks it is in his location ,re the airport. :;):  Bubba if I am putting numbers in your mouth, please feel free to correct me,and let us know what you think the temp differential might be?

Bubba waiting for you to prove me WRONG! :D

Scott

Titusville, FL

1/2 mile from the Indian River

USDA Zone COLD

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Larry,Scott and all,I am not trying to start any Border Wars here.To the contrary,I am observing a fact as a true admitted amateur.That simple fact is that the Temperatures recorded at our airport seem to be consistently cooler than what I experience.I do look forward to learning if my "experience"is proven by the data or not.Strong possibility that I am wrong.Looking forward to what is shown and Scott I believe it is probably going to show that our Minimums are about 4 degrees warmer in the Winter than the airport with Winter Maximums very possibly cooler.

On the issue of Koppen and Tropicals in Florida,I do believe the total heat concept revealed by Koppen and the Magic number of a 64F. average in the coldest month is salient. Take a look at these Florida locations and the corresponding Jan. average based upon years 1960-1990.I would point out that these years were relatively cold in comparison to more recent timeframes:

Tarpon Springs-60.9

Tampa-61.3

St.Pete-61.7

Venice-62.4

Sarasota-64.0

Ft.Myers-64.9

Naples-64.3

Orlando-60.9

Avon Park-60.6

Arcadia-60.6

Clewiston-64.3

Moorehaven-62.7

Okeechobee-63.1

Belle Glade-64.0

Vero-63.0

Ft.Pierce-62.6

West Palm-66.2

Loxahatchee-65.1

Pompano-67.2

Ft. Lauderdale-67.5

Tamiami Trail/40 Mile Bend-67.0

Flamingo-66.5

Homestead-66.2 Miami Beach-67.9

Key West-70.3

Take a look at these numbers and see how they compare with the varieties of Tropical Palms and Foliage in your area.Give me your thoughts.

What you look for is what is looking

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(bubba @ Mar. 02 2008,14:09)

QUOTE
I do look forward to learning if my "experience"is proven by the data or not.Strong possibility that I am wrong.Looking forward to what is shown and Scott I believe it is probably going to show that our Minimums are about 4 degrees warmer in the Winter than the airport with Winter Maximums very possibly cooler.

Bubba,

All in fun,no border wars from this end!

You are not wrong,your place is definately going to be warmer than the airport,as I conceded previously! :D

I'll even buy 3 to 4 degrees warmer,but the way you were talking I ASSUMED you thought it was going to be far greater than that.

Yes I know what happens when one ASS-U-ME's That is why I ask you what you thought would be the differential.

I am really curious as to what the difference will be,come next winter! :;):

Scott

Titusville, FL

1/2 mile from the Indian River

USDA Zone COLD

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Bubba-

I agree with Scott....There is no doubt youll be warmer for lows and probably slightly cooler for highs than the airport.  That is what water proximity will provide for you.

I will guess about the same as you...maybe 3-5F difference on the lows.  This is no doubt significant as on any cold mornings we all scratch and claw for every degree we can get!

Until you get your station up and running, just watch that offshore buoy and compare it to KPBI.  Your data will likely fall between those two stations.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Larry, Thank you for your imput and help.Because of the Gulfstream's proximity to our area,I have always hypothesized that it creates a microclimate.Specifically,the Stream is only 2 miles offshore and it's consistently warm temperatures have an effect on our area.We will see if my theory has any substance.You are certainly growing some edgy stuff with great success in Tarpon Springs!

What you look for is what is looking

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(bubba @ Mar. 02 2008,14:09)

QUOTE
Take a look at these numbers and see how they compare with the varieties of Tropical Palms and Foliage in your area.Give me your thoughts.

I think they correspond rather well.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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