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Mid Feb Arctic Blast - Fear in your heart


_Keith
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Wind chill only affects animals, mammals, people, etc., that produce body heat. Wind blowing across bare skin will cause body heat to transfer into the air surrounding it at a much faster rate. Hence, the body feels like it's actually being exposed to a colder temperature than what the ambient temperature actually is. Thus, palms, because they don't produce heat, are not affected (made colder), although dry cold wind can desiccate the leaves.

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They've dropped my forecast from 37 to 31 in 24 hours... Anna Maria Island is predicted to get down to 41, which shows how good it's microclimate is. It's too bad I'm here and not there...

Keith 

Palmetto, Florida (10a) and Tampa, Florida (9b/10a)

Palmetto.gif

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Posting snafu(s). Walt can you please elaborate? Surely high wind events have a greater impact (frost aside) than the same temp. without direct wind, don't they?

Steve

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Thursday's high to be 56. I am wondering: if I handwater the ground/mulch around my backyard jungle (not the palms themselves) will that wet ground (evaporation) help create a micro-climate that will keep lows above freezing? Now my queens are gone I have less protective canopy.

Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Florida
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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Posting snafu(s). Walt can you please elaborate? Surely high wind events have a greater impact (frost aside) than the same temp. without direct wind, don't they?

Steve

The wind may carry the cold air along with it, but all else equal, if the temperature that the winds carry is the same as the temperature around the plant, the drying and tearing effects aside, the winds makes no difference.

Edited by Jimbean

Brevard County, Fl

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Thursday's high to be 56. I am wondering: if I handwater the ground/mulch around my backyard jungle (not the palms themselves) will that wet ground (evaporation) help create a micro-climate that will keep lows above freezing? Now my queens are gone I have less protective canopy.

Perhaps it may raise your dewpoint a bit, assuming that you can keep the moisture there.

Brevard County, Fl

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They've dropped my forecast from 37 to 31 in 24 hours... Anna Maria Island is predicted to get down to 41, which shows how good it's microclimate is. It's too bad I'm here and not there...

That's why when I go to buy a house, one thing I am looking for is a nice microclimate.

Brevard County, Fl

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My low here in Corpus Christi this morning was 36.3F with light frost. It got down to 32F at the airport. The high today was 65F. They are only predicting a low tonight of 47F at the airport, which means I should only get down to about 51F, but I am already down to 46.5F at 9;30pm, which makes me think this is going to be another really cold night with clear skies and no wind. Let's all hope for the best for all of us. Good luck to you guys in Florida. It seems like the worst of this one certainly went to the east.

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They've dropped my forecast from 37 to 31 in 24 hours... Anna Maria Island is predicted to get down to 41, which shows how good it's microclimate is. It's too bad I'm here and not there...

That's why when I go to buy a house, one thing I am looking for is a nice microclimate.

Luckily this is my parents' house, not mine. Unluckily, it's where all my palms go until I'm out of med school. I'm with you on that sentiment though. There are some nice sized lots in AMI, so I'm hoping a doctors salary will be enough to buy one...

Keith 

Palmetto, Florida (10a) and Tampa, Florida (9b/10a)

Palmetto.gif

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They've dropped my forecast from 37 to 31 in 24 hours... Anna Maria Island is predicted to get down to 41, which shows how good it's microclimate is. It's too bad I'm here and not there...

That's why when I go to buy a house, one thing I am looking for is a nice microclimate.

Luckily this is my parents' house, not mine. Unluckily, it's where all my palms go until I'm out of med school. I'm with you on that sentiment though. There are some nice sized lots in AMI, so I'm hoping a doctors salary will be enough to buy one...

Yeah there you go

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Brevard County, Fl

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Good luck David. Tough first 2 winters in your new garden for sure. I am feeling for you and wishing you the best..

In my post I sometimes express "my" opinion. Warning, it may differ from "your" opinion. If so, please do not feel insulted, just state your own if you wish. Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or any other damages

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I think you guys on the west cost of central Florida are good to go for tonight; those winds look like they are coming out of the west pretty good.

Brevard County, Fl

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Thanks Keith. ...42 at 10:30 pm....don't think that second front has come through yet. Pretty darn windy out there. Had a small Bizmarkia that spear pulled earlier this winter, it was holding alot of water so I butchered it ....got the water out and covered it with pinestraw and dirt. Will be interesting to see if it works. Supposed to be 70's this weekend.

I actually feel worse for all the guys that made it through last year and this year that might see a real freeze for the first time. If Erics mule, JxBxS, and BxSc recover from spear pulls and the big Bizzy comes through with minimal damage it will be a not too horrible winter (aside from all the DD seedlings dying).

All my big stuff will do just fine.....i hope

David Simms zone 9a on Highway 30a

200 steps from the Gulf in NW Florida

30 ft. elevation and sandy soil

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Thanks Keith. ...42 at 10:30 pm....don't think that second front has come through yet. Pretty darn windy out there. Had a small Bizmarkia that spear pulled earlier this winter, it was holding alot of water so I butchered it ....got the water out and covered it with pinestraw and dirt. Will be interesting to see if it works. Supposed to be 70's this weekend.

I actually feel worse for all the guys that made it through last year and this year that might see a real freeze for the first time. If Erics mule, JxBxS, and BxSc recover from spear pulls and the big Bizzy comes through with minimal damage it will be a not too horrible winter (aside from all the DD seedlings dying).

All my big stuff will do just fine.....i hope

I am in Mobile tonight and it is 37 right now heading to a forecasted low of 26. Looks like they were forecasting Destin at 27 so figured you would be about the same. Cold at home, but only 32 so we lucked out through this for the second time. But its still gonna screw up the spring blooms and hit the reset button on a lot of tender spring growth that was already starting.

In my post I sometimes express "my" opinion. Warning, it may differ from "your" opinion. If so, please do not feel insulted, just state your own if you wish. Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or any other damages

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Hey Jim,

I like your comment about looking for a nice microclimate when you go to buy a house, but how do you determine what is a good microclimate and what is not until you actually live there? I am afraid that the house I have is actually in a cold pocket here in Flour Bluff, even though Flour Bluff is a 10A part of the east side of Corpus Christi. My lows the last two winters have been 10A, but I get real chilly early in the evening and stay that way till sun up, even though the Naval Air Station about 2.5 miles north of me is often 4-8 degrees F warmer than my place.

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Hey Jim,

I like your comment about looking for a nice microclimate when you go to buy a house, but how do you determine what is a good microclimate and what is not until you actually live there? I am afraid that the house I have is actually in a cold pocket here in Flour Bluff, even though Flour Bluff is a 10A part of the east side of Corpus Christi. My lows the last two winters have been 10A, but I get real chilly early in the evening and stay that way till sun up, even though the Naval Air Station about 2.5 miles north of me is often 4-8 degrees F warmer than my place.

It essentially all comes down to physics. Microclimates occur for a reason. Being on top of an elevation change, being surrounded by urbanization, being located next to or (even better) being surrounded by water makes for varying degrees of microclimates. As for daytime highs are concerned, urbanization, landmass, and being located further south all help.

As for your situation, your local water temperature might be your culprit. Waters that are, say, 55F will moderate your cold events, but will also keep your average temperature down too.

Brevard County, Fl

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Thanks Jim. That all makes sense. The Naval Air Station even though it is a couple of miles north of me is surrounded by deeper water on three sides, and even though I am a little south and .6 a mile inland from the Laguna Madre, the Laguna Madre near my house is very shallow, as in only a foot or two deep near shore, and the tiny bay about 3 miles west of me (Oso Bay), is also very shallow and narrow at that point.

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Posting snafu(s). Walt can you please elaborate? Surely high wind events have a greater impact (frost aside) than the same temp. without direct wind, don't they?

Steve

Steve: Just do a Google on "wind chill" for an explaination better than I can give. All wind does is move more cold air across a body, thus extracting heat from a body faster than what the body would lose in still air -- but the air itself isn't colder.

It's like the principle of blowing on a hot piece of food so as to cool it off so you can put it in your mouth without burning your mouth.

If a person were to step outside on a windy cold night, and say it was 30 degrees and the wind was blowing 25 MPH. That person might lose body heat at a rate as fast as they would if it was 15 degrees outside but with no wind.

Aside from that, dry cold wind will dry out a plant (pull moisture from it) at a much faster rate than still air, so that would be a negative effect of cold air. On the other hand, wind can prevent frost formation on surfaces on radiational cooling nights (clear sky and little to no wind) where frost otherwise would have formed had there been no wind.

So again, a palm or plant doesn't generate heat to lose from wind, that's why wind has no effect of making the palm/plant colder. On the other hand, if one has string lights and insulative wraps to help keep a palm/plant warmer, then the wind could pull heat away from the palm/plant faster than if there was no wind.

The point here is that a given object exposed to wind must have heat to lose, otherwise windy conditions make no difference with respect to heat loss.

Mad about palms

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41 degrees and windy here in south brevard county, at 6:21. Still hasn't been below 40 this winter.

Malabar, Florida. Zone 10a, East Central Florida.

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645am and the low reached was only 45F due to howling winds off the Gulf. I will not be able to cover effectively later if the winds keep up. It is almost impossible to keep frost cloth down in high winds. Not for Palms, for the begonias and sensitive tropicals. I recently had my palms trimmed well, so my canopy is reduced (figures) but it had to be done. The fronds were ridiculous. Here's hopihn for something - either wind die down OR a revised forecast up! :hmm: They have us under a Hard Freeze warning, but in Tarpon, nothing....Pinellas escapes the worst of it? I am thinking more like lower 30'sF here, but duration is the issue. :bemused:

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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Wow! interesting idea Walt! very interesting indeed...thanks for the pictures...worth a thousand words. I imagine if you wait to the last minute and fill with hot water it would be best.

Brilliant!

Coral Gables, FL 8 miles North of Fairchild USDA Zone 10B

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All the weather forecasters agree at 33 for a low tonight in Cape Coral. Last night the low was 45 at my house, but was raising before sunrise. We are currently under a freeze warning.

Lived in Cape Coral, Miami, Orlando and St. Petersburg Florida.

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Thursday's high to be 56. I am wondering: if I handwater the ground/mulch around my backyard jungle (not the palms themselves) will that wet ground (evaporation) help create a micro-climate that will keep lows above freezing? Now my queens are gone I have less protective canopy.

Meg - I believe it and practice it. The temperature of the water will be much greater than the ambient air temp. If your see the vapor rising off the mulch, how could this not help? The wet mulch also keeps many of its microbes alive which can only be a benefit to the roots during the eventual warm up. Its cold events like this that heavy mulching proves to be so beneficial. Hand watering only, keep the leaves dry so as not to entice any fungal outbreaks. Your roots will thank you.

In 2010 - many palms died down this way that survived and prevailed in my garden. I'd like to think that my hand watering the mulch as the sun was rising made the difference.

Coral Gables, FL 8 miles North of Fairchild USDA Zone 10B

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Thursday's high to be 56. I am wondering: if I handwater the ground/mulch around my backyard jungle (not the palms themselves) will that wet ground (evaporation) help create a micro-climate that will keep lows above freezing? Now my queens are gone I have less protective canopy.

Meg - I believe it and practice it. The temperature of the water will be much greater than the ambient air temp. If your see the vapor rising off the mulch, how could this not help? The wet mulch also keeps many of its microbes alive which can only be a benefit to the roots during the eventual warm up. Its cold events like this that heavy mulching proves to be so beneficial. Hand watering only, keep the leaves dry so as not to entice any fungal outbreaks. Your roots will thank you.

In 2010 - many palms died down this way that survived and prevailed in my garden. I'd like to think that my hand watering the mulch as the sun was rising made the difference.

I totally agree, I covered a lot of small stuff yesterday and watered the day before so the mulch was still wet. So that heat coming off the mulch raising up within the covered palm should raise the temp by a few degrees.

Lived in Cape Coral, Miami, Orlando and St. Petersburg Florida.

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41 degrees and windy here in south brevard county, at 6:21. Still hasn't been below 40 this winter.

yep, 41F here in Merritt Island too. Still a zone 11A winter here

Brevard County, Fl

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Warmer than expected! ...... 31 and 3 hours below freezing.....can live with that.....crossing fingers tonight will not be much worse. Spring is just around the corner.

Maybe this bodes well for the rest of Florida. ....good luck everyone

David Simms zone 9a on Highway 30a

200 steps from the Gulf in NW Florida

30 ft. elevation and sandy soil

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Warmer than expected! ...... 31 and 3 hours below freezing.....can live with that.....crossing fingers tonight will not be much worse. Spring is just around the corner.

Maybe this bodes well for the rest of Florida. ....good luck everyone

Thanks David, bring down that warm, err sort of warmer air :)

Lived in Cape Coral, Miami, Orlando and St. Petersburg Florida.

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40F here for low, 39 at Orlando Executive Airport near downtown. Orlando Intl Airport had 40 and Sanford Orlando Intl 30 miles to the north had 38F. They were predicting 35-36 for Orlando last night. Tonight the predicted low for metro Orlando is 32F, 29-30 for the outlying suburbs, hopefully it says a few degrees warmer.

Eric

Orlando, FL

zone 9b/10a

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49.1 overnight vs 42 predicted. At 10:15 it's up to 56.

Fri low up to 33 - if only I could get a similar bump

Think I will do some ground watering this p.m. Gulf waters here are 65, so a breeze (not gale) off them might help moderate temps.

Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Florida
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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All I did for this event was bring inside the inventory of Cyrtostachys and cover the big one. You can see at the bottom of the picture, the little space heater.

post-5491-0-40205900-1424359791_thumb.jp

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All we did was wrap it up in this mylar and clipped it tight--left it open in the picture so everyone can see. Hot air rises and Ray said we shouldn't get too much wind so we left the top off... Safety assured!

post-5491-0-33108600-1424359832_thumb.jp

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Expected low of 37F. Gross weather. Currently 55F...

Yes, I agree, gross weather, I thought this was late February! :)

Currently 53 in the Cape.

Lived in Cape Coral, Miami, Orlando and St. Petersburg Florida.

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49.1 overnight vs 42 predicted. At 10:15 it's up to 56.

Fri low up to 33 - if only I could get a similar bump

Think I will do some ground watering this p.m. Gulf waters here are 65, so a breeze (not gale) off them might help moderate temps.

Meg - I had folks laughing at me getting up at sunrise. All bundled up freezing my butt off watering, all the while thinking my poor palms. Those who laughed, staying in their warm beds thinking, my stuff will be OK - they got dead plants while I lost very few.

Many consider the Moose the Bumpmeister - I wish I could give you the bump you are looking for. We can only do what we can, and take solace that we tried our best. Still way better then 2010 - at least a nice warm up will soon follow.

Good Luck to All ! :greenthumb:

Coral Gables, FL 8 miles North of Fairchild USDA Zone 10B

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Yes, thank goodness this so-called "Artic Storm Octavia" is a quick event that will only last one night. It is truly incredible how far the polar vortex/jetstream is dipping south into the southeast. I have not had any nights below 26 F for three years, so my 20 F forecasted for tonight is a real shock (latest National Weather Service). Places within Storm Octavia's range six hours north of us are actually going to be warmer than here in Gainesville, FL. For example, Charleston, South Carolina is going to be chilly tonight, but is forecast to be slightly warmer than Gainesville. This is strange indeed.

Tallahassee has been downgraded by the National Weather Service to 20 degrees Fahrenheit tonight also, but they are typically about six degrees colder than we are in Gainesville.

Don't be surprised if we see more of these low-latitude polar events in the years to come as the oceans continue to warm, causing the western sides of the world's continents to be warmer while the eastern sides of continents become more frigid - E.g.: http://www.caltech.edu/news/warm-water-causes-extra-cold-winters-northeastern-north-america-and-northeastern-asia-1678 California, you're safe.

I still can't believe that Daytona Beach, FL is going to reach down to 30 F tonight. It will be in the 70s F there during the daytime for the next several days starting on Saturday, but still.....

I have a lot of 22 degree minimum palms. Let's see if they can handle 20 F tonight.

Edited by Sandy Loam
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....and, apparently, Key West, Florida was just downgraded in the forecast to 50 degrees Fahrenheit/10 Celcius for the minimum tonight as a result of Storm Octavia's arctic air mass. I know that may be shockingly cold in Key West and perhaps the coldest temperature in four years, but there really aren't many plants that are going to die at 50 F/10 C. Don't you wish you could be growing plants down there instead?

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One good sign today is the high temps today are higher than the forecast. Right now it is 58 headed for 60, that is a couple degrees warmer than the forecast earlier this morning.

Lived in Cape Coral, Miami, Orlando and St. Petersburg Florida.

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One good sign today is the high temps today are higher than the forecast. Right now it is 58 headed for 60, that is a couple degrees warmer than the forecast earlier this morning.

yeah it's about 2PM and it is currently 53F. That's already beating the forecast by a degree for the high. I'm guessing we are heading to about 56F today.

Brevard County, Fl

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Currently 53F out with howling wind. Magic number tonight is 35F.. The later it reaches it, the better. Closely paying attention to the winds this evening also. Sunrise tomorrow morning can't come fast enough.

-Nathan

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