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First sub- 30's nights of the season


BS Man about Palms
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The Davis Vantage Pro II (the unit I use for the station at my Mississippi house, KMSNATCH4) is really I think quite an accurate device, and most people on the Wunderground Wundermap are pretty uniformly using either these units or Oregon Scientific, which is another good manufacturer. All the units are radiation-shielded to account for direct sun-exposure and they give surprisingly accurate and uniform readings. And yes, since they are expensive devices, I think most owners read the instructions and place these units under open sky and 5.5-6' above ground level. I've been watching the California temps during this cold wave and the stations, both official and unofficial, seem like they match the terrain, e.g., valley bottoms and canyon mouths much colder than air-drained slopes (I noticed the coastal valley lagoons in north county S.D., all of which seemed to be in the upper 20s this morning right at the mouth of the Pacific). So I wouldn't discount the accuracy of the stations unless you see a unit that is obviously way out of whack without any topographical or other mediating factor that could explain it. As far as wunderground's forecasts, they were always crazy off-base, but now that they are owned by NBC/Weather Channel the forecasts may have changed sources. I could never figure out where they got their bizarre forecast numbers but they seem to be a little better lately (not perfect). I think for forecasts you just have to find out who is catering to your area. weather.gov favors rural areas and the out-of-town airports (!) they demand be used as a home-base for various cities, and does a poor job at bumping lows for urban heat islands or air-drained areas. weather.com seems to favor population centers in their forecasts. I just go by that general notion. After a while, you just learn who's on the mark and who isn't!

Michael Norell

Rancho Mirage, California | 33°44' N 116°25' W | 293 ft | z10a | avg Jan 42/70F | Jul 78/108F avg | Weather Station KCARANCH310

previously Big Pine Key, Florida | 24°40' N 81°21' W | 4.5 ft. | z12a | Calcareous substrate | avg annual min. approx 52F | avg Jan 65/75F | Jul 83/90 | extreme min approx 41F

previously Natchez, Mississippi | 31°33' N 91°24' W | 220 ft.| z9a | Downtown/river-adjacent | Loess substrate | avg annual min. 23F | Jan 43/61F | Jul 73/93F | extreme min 2.5F (1899)

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Some very good questions on the forecasts and weather stations. For years, TWC was just a carbon copy of NOAA. They were OK but they did not factor-in microclimates. When everything went to the Internet, they seemed to just repost a blend of their own forecasts & the raw GFS output. I never check them anymore, so I couldn't tell you what they do these days. Probably just so-so as it takes a lot of resources (human intervention) to make accurate location-specific forecasts. Accuweather online is just model output. Don't waste your time. A few years ago, NOAA began offering location/tailored pinpoint forecasts. Here in Texas, they are usually spot-on. Not sure how close they are out in Cali but I imagine the elevation changes make it very difficult to make those pinpoint forecasts. But they probably have the best hands-on forecasts anywhere -- for free anyway. And as posted above, yes the weatherbug stations are hit-or-miss. Most are indeed very reliable. But there are numerous cases of them sitting up on rooftops, next to HVAC systems, inside fence enclosures, etc. Some of the worst offenders are schools and hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment installed by the maintenance crew. Most maintenance crews only care about one thing: ease of installation. There are even some websites poking a little fun at this. So the best bet is to check it out for yourself (if possible) and make sure it's setup correctly.

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jason...

you (and randy for that matter) were absolutely correct about the placement of the station next to house...after doing a few tests, it seemed to read about 3 to 4 degrees higher (after factoring in blowing wind and the fact that it was placed near ground level) than the near-properly-hung sensor in my greenhouse in the backyard...

thanks for taking the time to explain it all!

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Dang sorry Bret. But don't fret (Bret), because my Spinkle palms are totally getting ripped out too. They are just getting too cold burned, year after year, and the overhang of the house isn't helping. It'll just make room for some cooler, nicer looking, palms.

I'm with you Matty. I am pulling out at least 2 spindles at my place this year after this winter. I have a large one right by my front door that looks great in the summer / fall, but then in the winter it gets a bit burnt up. Then this winter it really got knocked back and it's just not worth being in such a prominent place in my yard. More room for Pseudophenix!

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Burrrrrr!!!! I hope you guys pull through all this extreame cold weather. It sounds to be pretty wide spread.

We are having probably the warmest winter on record, for December and January especially. Our highs have been between 80-82 for weeks now. BUT....we had our devestating cold a couple of years ago. And it was terrible.

Jeff - thanks for the encouragement and I look forward to enjoying that warm weather of yours with you in a few weeks!! I'm very ready for my trip out there!

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I had built protection over the fragile stuff for Friday and Saturday, as those were supposed to be the coldest nights. Sunday was supposed to be warmer, and Monday warmer still, so when the breeze finally picked up and blew down my protection on Sunday morning, I assumed we were out of the woods and just put it all away.

Bad choice. My thermometer for last night at ground level is reading 34, just a few blocks from the coast in Encinitas. That's the coldest yet by several degrees. It's a different thermometer and location this year, but I'm pretty sure that's colder than 2007 for us.

Edited by Dorian
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I took down all my protection today just to see another frost warning. Dew point 27-34 depending on the site and a low of 34-36. The past 3 days I have been 4-6 degrees above their predictions so hopefully I'll be ok. I'm not gonna take another 3 + hours to put more protection up

Grateful to have what I have, Les amis de mes amis sont mes amis!

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I seem to be cooling down slower tonight than I have the last few nights. I'm protecting anyways just in case.

"it's not dead it's sleeping"

Santee ca, zone10a/9b

18 miles from the ocean

avg. winter 68/40.avg summer 88/64.records 113/25

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It felt warmer tonight as I put my boxes and sheets over sensitive plants. 42f at 10pm. I just don't trust it yet. Want to see a couple nights over 40f before I leave the protection off.

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Jim, have you looked at the weather station KCALOSAL1, labeled Los Altos Hills on the WUnderground map? It's a WLS-8000 industrial weather station (runs several thousand dollars and probably set up properly). For yesterday, 1/14, they were reporting the low as 36 recorded at 4:55 & 5:00 am that morning.

Debbie, I know about that reporting station and it's accurate as most of Wunderground's listed stations are in this area. The one station that is often way off is the Loyola one. It swings all over the place but is typically 7 to 10 degrees lower than the other nearby reporting stations. But that's not my qualm with Wunderground. It's their temperature forecasting that's been dismally inaccurate for most of the South Bay. When they predict a low of 25F for Los Altos and virtually all other weather outlets are forecasting 32F or above and the actual temperature ends up being 36F, you see there's a problem. Los Altos hasn't had a low of 25F since the Polar Express of 1990.

Jim in Los Altos, CA  SF Bay Area 37.34N- 122.13W- 190' above sea level

zone 10a/9b

sunset zone 16

300+ palms, 90+ species in the ground

Las Palmas Design

Facebook Page

Las Palmas Design & Associates

Elegant Homes and Gardens

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My low this morning was 7C (45F)... Looks like some warm sunny weather is now on the way!

Jack Sayers

East Los Angeles

growing cold tolerant palms halfway between the equator and the arctic circle...

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I guess it was a bit better last night; if by "better" it's a balmy 33F at 6:00 am, with ice on my roof of my truck. Almost makes me want to go for a dip in the pool.

Bret

 

Coastal canyon area of San Diego

 

"In the shadow of the Cross"

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Another beautiful night out in sanfreeze. 29.6f was my over night low. It's 31f right now at 7:30am. I'm now convinced that this weather is never going to end. It will be Augusts 8th and ill still be getting frost. Palms looks better when they're brown anyway right?!

"it's not dead it's sleeping"

Santee ca, zone10a/9b

18 miles from the ocean

avg. winter 68/40.avg summer 88/64.records 113/25

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37.7 was the low for me and at 7 it was 39. Weather Underground and The Weather channel apps are both off for me but only by a little. The station by me is pretty accurate with temp and the WC app is better with humidity. Just like Jim said, They both suck at their forecasts although this prediction was the closest. I was forecasted at 34-36 with frost. No frost even on the cars and roof.

Grateful to have what I have, Les amis de mes amis sont mes amis!

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Another beautiful night out in sanfreeze. 29.6f was my over night low. It's 31f right now at 7:30am. I'm now convinced that this weather is never going to end. It will be Augusts 8th and ill still be getting frost. Palms looks better when they're brown anyway right?!

According to Randy (inland palms) all of his "brown form" versions of various palms become much easier to maintain, requiring much less water or shelter. It seems to adversly affect the growth rate however. He's the expert on this phenomenon, you should shoot him a pm.

Bret

 

Coastal canyon area of San Diego

 

"In the shadow of the Cross"

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38°F for the low here at my house on the hill in san marcos...i too believe this event is finally over....going over to my dad's place in vista to water and check the damage that has been wrought over the last few days...i'll post some pics of what it's like to try and grow plants in the middle of a cold drain later.

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34 f @ 6:30am .. I hate this winter !!!! More burn this winter than last winter for my palms . On a good note the cycads keep on going strong !

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Jim, have you looked at the weather station KCALOSAL1, labeled Los Altos Hills on the WUnderground map? It's a WLS-8000 industrial weather station (runs several thousand dollars and probably set up properly). For yesterday, 1/14, they were reporting the low as 36 recorded at 4:55 & 5:00 am that morning.

Debbie, I know about that reporting station and it's accurate as most of Wunderground's listed stations are in this area. The one station that is often way off is the Loyola one. It swings all over the place but is typically 7 to 10 degrees lower than the other nearby reporting stations. But that's not my qualm with Wunderground. It's their temperature forecasting that's been dismally inaccurate for most of the South Bay. When they predict a low of 25F for Los Altos and virtually all other weather outlets are forecasting 32F or above and the actual temperature ends up being 36F, you see there's a problem. Los Altos hasn't had a low of 25F since the Polar Express of 1990.

Jim, seems like a good climate there in Los Altos. What about Mountain View? Much of the same? I'm getting tired of living in z9b so I am looking for different areas. I'm considering Irvine as well as it seems a lot cheaper to buy than the peninsula. Except all my family lives up here in NorCal so that isn't the best scenario

Also, last night 29.1F. Back below 32 again... Dew point looks to finally climb above 40 today so we should be fine tonight

Edited by enigma99
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WEather underground says 71. I read 72.9 front yard, back yard 68, and on the ground next to rocks, sidewalk and Bizzy is 85.3

Grateful to have what I have, Les amis de mes amis sont mes amis!

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WEather underground says 71. I read 72.9 front yard, back yard 68, and on the ground next to rocks, sidewalk and Bizzy is 85.3

Just wait until Tomorrow or Friday :D

Edited by enigma99
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I was 42 f this morning. Much better

Matt Bradford

"Manambe Lavaka"

Spring Valley, CA (8.5 miles inland from San Diego Bay)

10B on the hill (635 ft. elevation)

9B in the canyon (520 ft. elevation)

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Jim, have you looked at the weather station KCALOSAL1, labeled Los Altos Hills on the WUnderground map? It's a WLS-8000 industrial weather station (runs several thousand dollars and probably set up properly). For yesterday, 1/14, they were reporting the low as 36 recorded at 4:55 & 5:00 am that morning.

Debbie, I know about that reporting station and it's accurate as most of Wunderground's listed stations are in this area. The one station that is often way off is the Loyola one. It swings all over the place but is typically 7 to 10 degrees lower than the other nearby reporting stations. But that's not my qualm with Wunderground. It's their temperature forecasting that's been dismally inaccurate for most of the South Bay. When they predict a low of 25F for Los Altos and virtually all other weather outlets are forecasting 32F or above and the actual temperature ends up being 36F, you see there's a problem. Los Altos hasn't had a low of 25F since the Polar Express of 1990.

Jim, seems like a good climate there in Los Altos. What about Mountain View? Much of the same? I'm getting tired of living in z9b so I am looking for different areas. I'm considering Irvine as well as it seems a lot cheaper to buy than the peninsula. Except all my family lives up here in NorCal so that isn't the best scenario

Also, last night 29.1F. Back below 32 again... Dew point looks to finally climb above 40 today so we should be fine tonight

Debbie, Mountain View, being even closer to the bay than Los Altos, has slightly milder night time temperatures unless you compare them to Los Altos' higher altitude microclimates. I have clients on or near hilltops here in Los Altos that never see frost. Those are the most fun projects because I can plan with much more tropical plants than down in the lowlands. Even closer to you in Gilroy I have a client in Jackson Oaks whose bananas are always green by the end of winter. Jackson Oaks, in Morgan Hill, is on a hilltop and the residents enjoy much milder mornings than down in the frosty valley.

Jim in Los Altos, CA  SF Bay Area 37.34N- 122.13W- 190' above sea level

zone 10a/9b

sunset zone 16

300+ palms, 90+ species in the ground

Las Palmas Design

Facebook Page

Las Palmas Design & Associates

Elegant Homes and Gardens

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Last night I took all my plants out of the garage and put them back outside as well.

Maybe we can get back to enjoying this crazy hobby!

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35F at 5:30. Yeah baby, heat wave! Got home with a little bit of fading light last night; the worst looking palms were my 15 foot Roystonea borinquena (looked great over the weekend, but fried now) & a Veitchia, (planted in a dumb place).

Bret

 

Coastal canyon area of San Diego

 

"In the shadow of the Cross"

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I just did my first thorough walk through of my garden this morning and am surprised that I don't see more cold damage. There's minor spotting on Wodyetia, Kentiopsis and Veitchia. All of the Archontophoenix, Chambeyronia and Rhopalostylis have no spotting. I think the velez-ness of my garden helped protect it. I'm glad this happened this year and not a year or two ago as stuff is much more mature now and I think could handle the cold better and also protect each other with the closeness of how they are planted.

There are a few palms that I plan on pulling out this spring, but overall, I'm very relieved with what I saw this morning. Maybe some more damage will show up in the next few days / week, so I will update accordingly.

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We had a low of 50 f this morning, but driving through El Cajon (hwy 8 near Mollison) I observed a lot of frost on roof tops. Yikes!

Matt Bradford

"Manambe Lavaka"

Spring Valley, CA (8.5 miles inland from San Diego Bay)

10B on the hill (635 ft. elevation)

9B in the canyon (520 ft. elevation)

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34f for me this morning. light frost

"it's not dead it's sleeping"

Santee ca, zone10a/9b

18 miles from the ocean

avg. winter 68/40.avg summer 88/64.records 113/25

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Still dropping into the mid 30's here at night. Our high today, however, is expected to be 66F and warmer over the weekend into next week. Spring fever!

Jim in Los Altos, CA  SF Bay Area 37.34N- 122.13W- 190' above sea level

zone 10a/9b

sunset zone 16

300+ palms, 90+ species in the ground

Las Palmas Design

Facebook Page

Las Palmas Design & Associates

Elegant Homes and Gardens

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34 this morning. the whole world is out to get me!

"it's not dead it's sleeping"

Santee ca, zone10a/9b

18 miles from the ocean

avg. winter 68/40.avg summer 88/64.records 113/25

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dude, that's crazy.

Matt Bradford

"Manambe Lavaka"

Spring Valley, CA (8.5 miles inland from San Diego Bay)

10B on the hill (635 ft. elevation)

9B in the canyon (520 ft. elevation)

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