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European winter 2016/2017


Exotic Life
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On 1/20/2017, 11:17:13, zootropical said:

Thank you for your map. It is great information source. - 6,7 °C for Aljezur. It is very cold. 

I visited south Portugal last December to have a look at possible place to grow a garden (in the future). Probably the savest is around Faro or in Algarve close to spain border. What is your opinion about best climate in Portugal? 

Sincerely.

Hi,

In Algarve, the best conditions are found close to the sea and at some elevation, especially when you can have both.

If one avoids the low spots, where cold air can accumulate, a frost free climate can be expected, pretty much along the entire

south coastline.

As a general rule, being close to the sea affords 1 or 2ºC higher in the cold months, whereas inland locations are warmer in the warm season, by as much as 5ºC or more.

Elevation can offer protection from frost but it also provides more wind exposure. Another thing to consider is the type of soil and water, which can be a limiting factor, as well. In Central Algarve, around Faro, as you go inland, the soil is made of very alkaline limestone and it's also very shallow. Borehole water is also be alkaline. For example, mine is 7.2 pH with a fair amount of calcium/magnesioum bicarbonates. Many plants dislike this combination. Tap water is expensive but quite soft.

As for Aljezur, it is famous in weather aficionados circles because its weather station is in a valley that drains the cold air from the nearby mountains. In clear, windless nights this allows the station to get incredibly cold. Other stations not far away suffer from the same problem, such as Portimão airfield (aerodromo).

The problem is that during these events the air is very dry and has very limited capacity to retain heat. I suppose behaves in ways similar to what happens in deserts. After sundown, the temperature falls quickly.

Driving around Faro during these kind of events I've observed how much the temperature can change from place to place, depending on elevation. Less that 1Km can

make as much as 10ºC of a difference. I assure you I am not exaggerating.

If you search for "Quinta do Mangueiral" in youtube, you can find a video of a place near Silves (I believe) that has an incredible garden that showcases how a great spot can make a difference...

regards,

--Sérgio

 

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Algarve, Portugal

Zone 10.

Mediterranean Climate moderated by the Atlantic Ocean

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Hello Jean I think Siafu pretty much sums it up very well!

Another place you can consider is around Lisbon coastal area or south of Lisbon coastal area. Lisbon while not as warm as Faro, during the coldest month it does have slightly higher lows! Also during the last 40 years of records with the official Lisbon station(not the airport one), it does not have any freezing temperatures accounts, Faro (I believe they use the coastal airport station) can't say the same. This might be very depend on elevation and proximity to the sea as Siafu explained however. Another reason to think Lisbon surroundings are very tough against extremes is due to parts of Laurisilva forest that survived in Serra da Arrabida (I take it the coastal area there) which was the ancient mediterranean forest that was extinct in continental europe during the last ice age.

But if your question includes Portugal and our islands, then Madeira will be the best place, better soil and zone 12 in coastal areas.

I have a question Sérgio, don't you think being in a lower elevation and near the "sea dunes", as in a beach house, would negate any radiational freezes due to the very close proximity with the sea which would keep it warmer?

Regards

 

Edited by Cluster
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Thank you very much Sergio and Cluster for your details.

In south of France it is also the same climatic conditions. If you are on a hill side face to the sea you can expect good microclimate. But in case of very cold winter event as february 1989 you can anyway receive -7°C at night and one or two frost days. I imagine day with temperature at 0°C or below are rare in south Portugal.

What about Monchique area. Does the cold air drainage is good? 

Yes Madera is wonderfull. I visited the island 15 or 20 years ago. I also visit Porto Santo. Very scenic places. 

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Yes days that reach 0 degrees are very rare, it does not happen ever in Lisbon, I imagine in South Portugal in a good microclimate freezing will never happen. As for the standard places in the south coast, it is very, very rare.

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Sergio,

Your films are very interesting. It seems Roystonea are growing there right?

Sincerely.

Jean-Michel

 

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14 hours ago, zootropical said:

 

A lot of very local cold pockets. Iin my area the worst after 1985 was probably 2012. This winter is cold but frost didn't fall to deep.

Are you totamy frost free in Malta?

Yes we don't ever get frost in Malta, the coldest ever recorded was 1.4C at the airport inland, lowest ever on the coast where I live is 4C.

Malta - USDA Zone 11a

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Hello Nathan.

How long has the station in St Paul's Bay been going? Is it an official weather station or someone's else? Lampedusa has recorded below 4c before or so I have read, one would imagine St Paul could probably go a bit lower with older records. Still Malta is very mild, no freezes ever.

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The 4C record low is from the Met Office station at Selmun, not in St Paul's Bay, this is the closest offical station to where I live & it is on the other side of the bay. It was recorded on the same night in 1981 that the aiport recorded 1.4C, the weather station has been operating since the 1940's. As we get our coldest weather from the north or north east the cold air has to cross a lot of sea before it reaches here so on the immediate northern coasts that air picks up some warmth from the sea which is still relatively warm in winter, before cooling as it travels over land southwards across the Island...

 

Edited by SouthSeaNate

Malta - USDA Zone 11a

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On 1/21/2017, 5:44:08, Cluster said:

Hello Jean I think Siafu pretty much sums it up very well!

Another place you can consider is around Lisbon coastal area or south of Lisbon coastal area. Lisbon while not as warm as Faro, during the coldest month it does have slightly higher lows! Also during the last 40 years of records with the official Lisbon station(not the airport one), it does not have any freezing temperatures accounts, Faro (I believe they use the coastal airport station) can't say the same. This might be very depend on elevation and proximity to the sea as Siafu explained however. Another reason to think Lisbon surroundings are very tough against extremes is due to parts of Laurisilva forest that survived in Serra da Arrabida (I take it the coastal area there) which was the ancient mediterranean forest that was extinct in continental europe during the last ice age.

But if your question includes Portugal and our islands, then Madeira will be the best place, better soil and zone 12 in coastal areas.

I have a question Sérgio, don't you think being in a lower elevation and near the "sea dunes", as in a beach house, would negate any radiational freezes due to the very close proximity with the sea which would keep it warmer?

Regards

 

Lisbon often stays warmer than Faro in the winter due to cloud cover and wind, as well as the heat island effect. Overcast and windy nights are pretty common in Lisbon, especially in the colder months. Faro, on the other hand, has  a very large percentage of clear skies throughout the year and the air is drier. At night, this is less desirable and causes lower temperatures.

 

I do believe that most of what grows in Algarve will grow in Lisbon, but I am convinced Lisbon is more vulnerable to the polar incursions we experienced these past days. Just check the IPMA records for 20/01/2017 to see that it got to -0.4ºC in Tapada da Ajuda, which is Lisbon and not very far from the river.Also, that same day, it got to -2.8ºC in Praia da Rainha, Almada. On the 17th, Cabo Raso also got down to -0.7C. So, being right by the sea does not always work.

The biggest advantage Algarve has in regards to Lisbon is the number of tropical nights (>20ºC). While evenings in Lisbon are often cool and windy, Algarve summer nights tend to be much warmer and calm.

 

Algarve, Portugal

Zone 10.

Mediterranean Climate moderated by the Atlantic Ocean

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On 1/21/2017, 9:15:25, zootropical said:

Sergio,

Your films are very interesting. It seems Roystonea are growing there right?

Sincerely.

Jean-Michel

 

Just to make it clear, the videos are not mine.

Yes, those are Roystonea.

Algarve, Portugal

Zone 10.

Mediterranean Climate moderated by the Atlantic Ocean

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Hello Hello Nathan,

I see, I am not familiar with Malta weather, could not find that station. I am more familiar with Canary Islands and Madeira where north coast stations would probably record lower than the south ones. However we do have a new official one in Porto Moniz, north coast of Madeira, which seems to have warmer lows, (less elevation than the south ones though, so that might help), but too soon to see how it handles extremes. I have also found lower temperatures for Valleta than the 4C, weird^_^.

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Hello Sérgio.

I have also noticed those areas, but they have to have something going on. Praia da Rainha always gets very low temperatures, it is not just record lows. Cabo Raso went to -0.7 but cabo Carvoeiro was around 2.6 and 3.1. This does make one question if being close to the sea is the only factor, in the balcony of my flat in Lisbon I recorded 3,6 only and it is at some elevation, like 90-100 m. If you look at wunderground stations in the expo promenade zone they recorded very high lows, like 6 etc..Of course these stations are usually not reliable but still they seem warmer than many inland areas from Wunderground. Lisbon official station and the airport recorded relative high lows, way higher than Tapada da Ajuda.

 

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Garden dropped to -6C here last weekend, but "milder" this morning with only -0.7C. Some parts in the east went down to minus 10 this morning! 
It looks like it is going to stay frosty at night all week, hopefully it will warm up a bit later this week. 

Southwest

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5 hours ago, Cluster said:

Hello Hello Nathan,

I see, I am not familiar with Malta weather, could not find that station. I am more familiar with Canary Islands and Madeira where north coast stations would probably record lower than the south ones. However we do have a new official one in Porto Moniz, north coast of Madeira, which seems to have warmer lows, (less elevation than the south ones though, so that might help), but too soon to see how it handles extremes. I have also found lower temperatures for Valleta than the 4C, weird^_^.

The Malta Met Office has several weather stations, but only Luqa Airport is used as the official WMO station for Malta as a whole. They don't publish any data from the other stations other than "right now" temperatures etc.. on their website. I only knew of the 4C low (which could be anything between 3.5C & 4.4C, since it was rounded up or down) as it was mentioned in a Maltese newspaper some time ago, as they often give statistics from various stations after any notable weather. There is a quoted low of 1.2C for Valletta online, but this was actually recorded at the Floriana University which is inland from Valletta, the Met Office doesn't class this as "official" as it is unclear if the apparatus used was of the standard required for WMO stations as it was recorded in the 1800's...

The record low in Lampedusa is 2.2C, at the airport, so it is likely that right by the sea will have seen a higher record low. The average winter minimums in Lampedusa are actually very similar to those recorded in coastal Malta where the lows are generally 2-3C higher than those recorded at Luqa airport. In the last cold snap we had here on December 31st 2014 & January 1st 2015 the airport set a new record low for December with 2.8C & the following night dropped to 2.1C, on that same night here on the northern coast the temperature dropped to just 6.0C, this was also the coldest spell of weather in Malta for 25 years.

Malta - USDA Zone 11a

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9 hours ago, Cluster said:

 

Hello Sérgio.

I have also noticed those areas, but they have to have something going on. Praia da Rainha always gets very low temperatures, it is not just record lows. Cabo Raso went to -0.7 but cabo Carvoeiro was around 2.6 and 3.1. This does make one question if being close to the sea is the only factor, in the balcony of my flat in Lisbon I recorded 3,6 only and it is at some elevation, like 90-100 m. If you look at wunderground stations in the expo promenade zone they recorded very high lows, like 6 etc..Of course these stations are usually not reliable but still they seem warmer than many inland areas from Wunderground. Lisbon official station and the airport recorded relative high lows, way higher than Tapada da Ajuda.

 

It shows that it's complicated and there's no magic formula to find the perfect place. There are some general rules (being close to sea, avoid low spots, etc)

but they only provide guidelines.  Not all cold events are exactly the same. I've noticed places that perform well in some occasions, but then for some reason they do not live up to

expectations some other times.  

These days, I try to be realistic and stick to what has proved to be reliable in my location for the bulk of the garden. I still like to experiment with tender stuff because 

sometimes plants prove more resilient than what's written in books.  

Algarve, Portugal

Zone 10.

Mediterranean Climate moderated by the Atlantic Ocean

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On 13/1/2017 8:27:02, Phoenikakias said:

It will be quite the opposite for us. Like I said, your cold is my warmth and vice versa lol

Today 21° max and 11 min. And the forecast says this week will be warmth.

And Greece, with low temperatures.

Like you say your cold is my warmth:P

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2 hours ago, Monòver said:

Today 21° max and 11 min. And the forecast says this week will be warmth.

And Greece, with low temperatures.

Like you say your cold is my warmth:P

At least I do not have to worry about the nasty, palmivorous insects with this cold. A BIG benefit for my pocket:rolleyes:

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49 minutes ago, Phoenikakias said:

At least I do not have to worry about the nasty, palmivorous insects with this cold. A BIG benefit for my pocket:rolleyes:

:D

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Mild winter day here at the moment for this area, 14 degrees and sunny. 

Long term forecasts shown again possibilities for new cold, hope it stays away. 

Southwest

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1 hour ago, Rafael said:

Yes, no "picudo rojo" :rant:

The "picudos rojos" are sleeping inside the CIDP, the best place this days. Quiet and warm. 

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1 minute ago, Monòver said:

The "picudos rojos" are sleeping inside the CIDP, the best place this days. Quiet and warm. 

Ha!

5 year high 42.2C/108F (07/06/2018)--5 year low 2.3C/36F (12/27/2015)--Lowest recent/current winter: 3C/37F (2/24/2022)

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On 21/1/2017 20:42:06, zootropical said:

Thank you very much Sergio and Cluster for your details.

In south of France it is also the same climatic conditions. If you are on a hill side face to the sea you can expect good microclimate. But in case of very cold winter event as february 1989 you can anyway receive -7°C at night and one or two frost days. I imagine day with temperature at 0°C or below are rare in south Portugal.

What about Monchique area. Does the cold air drainage is good? 

Yes Madera is wonderfull. I visited the island 15 or 20 years ago. I also visit Porto Santo. Very scenic places. 

Hello zootropical, Almería (Spain) would be also a very good option for a garden, with irrigation obviously as the rain is low.

The yearly average is 19.1ºC being the 2nd warmest in continental Europe after Sevilla with 19.2ºC (without counting UE islands). It's the only zone in continental Europe where it never went below 0ºC. In the hardest cold spell from Spain from more than half a century ago hit 0.2ºC, and until 2005 that was the record, but on the cold spell from 2005 it arrived to 0.1ºC. Still above freezing mark. The average high on January is 16.9ºC and the low 8.3ºC.

I also have to mentione that it's the station of the airport, which is outside of the city. In the city the temps are even slightly warmer inside Almeria.

This is the official climate chart: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almer%C3%ADa#Climate . Also a good option is nearby the coast of Cartagena (Murcia), as they're planting pineapples for juices and in a zone near Almeria there are plantations of papayas and mangos so definetly it's worth to check that place :) 

Temperatures in Europe 20 minutes ago:

061e38a3afb60583d7ad64d9ec9c3adbo.gif

Edited by pRoeZa*

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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8 hours ago, Exotic Life said:

Mild winter day here at the moment for this area, 14 degrees and sunny. 

Long term forecasts shown again possibilities for new cold, hope it stays away. 

wait a second... that's the Feyenoord logo :wub:

ben je Nederlandse bro? ik ben ook uit Rotterdam :lol: maar mijn vader is Spaans 

PS. Sorry for the off topic guys. I'm just asking him if he is dutch, no conspiracy or something :lol:

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I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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4 hours ago, Monòver said:

The "picudos rojos" are sleeping inside the CIDP, the best place this days. Quiet and warm. 

After the cold wave from middle january I hope lots of them died :evil:

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There are places in Portugal for sure that did not have freezing temperatures at least in the last 60 years :), the Lisbon weather station I am talking about from 60 till now has recorded 0.2 (and before 0.2 was 0.4), but there are better places than that station as I am sure there are better places in Spain than Almeria station as well. Another thing I discussed that gives me a hint that there are very protected spots against freezing in Portugal, is the fact that some Laurisilva forest survived south of Lisbon in the Arrabida zone, whereas the rest/most of the mediterranean lost the forest during the last ice age.

 

It is not hard to imagine as the Atlantic Ocean is as warm or warmer than same latitude mediterranean during the coldest months. And if that Lisbon station can do it, south Portugal will also have more places (warmer water) that can do it. This is the reason why Coruña is so mild as well.

 

This is the Arrabida Zone I was talking about :

0454-e1451177584254.jpg

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24 minutes ago, Cluster said:

There are places in Portugal for sure that did not have freezing temperatures at least in the last 60 years :), the Lisbon weather station I am talking about from 60 till now has recorded 0.2 (and before 0.2 was 0.4), but there are better places than that station as I am sure there are better places in Spain than Almeria station as well. Another thing I discussed that gives me a hint that there are very protected spots against freezing in Portugal, is the fact that some Laurisilva forest survived south of Lisbon in the Arrabida zone, whereas the rest/most of the mediterranean lost the forest during the last ice age.

 

It is not hard to imagine as the Atlantic Ocean is as warm or warmer than same latitude mediterranean during the coldest months. And if that Lisbon station can do it, south Portugal will also have more places (warmer water) that can do it. This is the reason why Coruña is so mild as well.

 

This is the Arrabida Zone I was talking about :

0454-e1451177584254.jpg

Which Lisboa station is that? IPMA? Yes, in Spain the cape of Cabo de Gata and all of that coastline zone between Almería has never seen freezes too. btw I was also saying Almeria because it gets quite warm on winters and the official AEMET yearly average is the 2nd warmest on continental Europe with 19.1ºC.

Maybe it can be some other parts in coastal Cádiz as the lowest temp in Cádiz was -1.0ºC in February of 1956 so it may be possible.

That picture of Arrabida has a typical Med. climate landscape. Did you find information or something about the laurel forests there? All the sources that I found say that the laurel forests existed before the ice age, that now they only exist on Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands (Macaronesia).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurel_forest#Macaronesia_and_the_Mediterranean_Basin I couldn't find nothing more than some laurel species which survived, and can be found near Lisboa, and also near Cádiz and between the border of Portugal and Extremadura in Spain but they are spared species of plants/trees.

I tried to find something related to laurels in Arrabida on the net but all what as I got was a blogspot.

And about the wunderground stations (I readed something above) I wouldn't believe them as most are very unprecise amateur stations and are on rooftops or in protected spots or even protected in the rooftops (with things nearby). According to some wunderground stations zones in coastal Murcia have yearly averages of almost 21ºC and one wunderground station from Gandia claims more than 20ºC in a yearly average, those temps are really warmed up!

Edited by pRoeZa*

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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If I find the article again I will show you about the forest. The forest has changed over the years though, Madeira one for example evolved adapting to the island lack of predators for example, so won't be exactly the same.

you can see the 61-1990 for Lisbon here: http://www.recordmeteo.com/weather-hi-low/weather-station-lisboa-en-8535.html

71-2000 from ipma site: http://www.ipma.pt/en/oclima/normais.clima/1971-2000/012/

81-2010 from ipma site: http://www.ipma.pt/en/oclima/normais.clima/1981-2010/012/ 

The lowest was from the 81-2010 series, just like Almeria.. interesting.

 

Ps: There are many ipma stations (like 4 or so) in Lisbon and Lisbon is the city of the 7 hills, so many different microclimates. Some of these weather stations are more prone than others to extreme freezes (probably radiational freezing zone ones).

 

 

Edited by Cluster
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12 minutes ago, Cluster said:

If I find the article again I will show you about the forest. The forest has changed over the years though, Madeira one for example evolved adapting to the island lack of predators for example, so won't be exactly the same.

you can see the 61-1990 for Lisbon here: http://www.recordmeteo.com/weather-hi-low/weather-station-lisboa-en-8535.html

71-2000 from ipma site: http://www.ipma.pt/en/oclima/normais.clima/1971-2000/012/

81-2010 from ipma site: http://www.ipma.pt/en/oclima/normais.clima/1981-2010/012/ 

The lowest was from the 81-2010 series, just like Almeria.. interesting.

 

 

True! And the other minimums are also very similar. 

Maximums are quite warmer on Almeria, but minimums in 3 months are almost identical and the other 3 differ a very bit.

I also see that in Portugal happens same as in Spain. March gets warm quickly. First station is Almeria airport, second Lisboa Geofisico:

January 8.3/8.3ºC (1st is Almeria 2nd is Lisboa)

February 9.0/9.1ºC

March 10.6/11.0ºC

April 12.5/11.9ºC

November 12.3/11.8ºC

December 9.6/9.4ºC

Extreme minimums 

January 0.1/1.0ºC (1st is Almeria 2nd is Lisboa)

February 1.0/1.2ºC

March 1.0/0.2ºC

April 6.0/5.5ºC

November 3.1/4.3ºC

December 2.0/2.1ºC

lol! very similar. Geofisico station where is located? Inside the city of Lisboa? Those are really mild averages.

I've checked the airport of Lisboa (Portela) and it recorded 0ºC on both 2015, 2013 and 2009: http://www.tutiempo.net/clima/Lisboa_Portela/2015/85360.htm

 

 

Edited by pRoeZa*

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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Hello again.

The Geofisico station is the official sation for Lisbon which meets the highest standards in an attempt to nullify artificial heat , though sometimes they also use the airport one. There are 2 or so more but those are not as "fair" as those 2 others. The Geofisico is way closer to the Tagus river/ocean while the airport station is quite inland. I think Geofisico is at a "medium elevation" so not that close to the river/ocean, but still way closer than the airport.

The Laurisilva forest was the ancient forest of the Mediterranean in the tertiary, before the last ice age killed it. The Laurisilva forest is actually a combination of various species and basically in Arrabida some of this ancient forest survived. On the islands of Azores, Madeira, Canaries and Cabo Verde is where you will find most of the ancient mediterranean forest. Madeira has the biggest Laurisilva forest, followed by La Gomera. 

Here is an article (in portuguese sorry):

click to download the pdf: 

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Antonio_Lopes12/publication/296701877_O_Clima_e_a_vegetacao_da_Arrabida_e_da_Madeira_duas_ilhas_caras_a_Orlando_Ribeiro/links/56ebd9e308aed740cbb602ce/O-Clima-e-a-vegetacao-da-Arrabida-e-da-Madeira-duas-ilhas-caras-a-Orlando-Ribeiro.pdf?origin=publication_detail

They talk about a lot of stuff and how many plants survived on Madeira and Arrabida, just to quote a part of it: " Na Arrábida, assim como na Madeira, a posição meridional e a proximidade do mar justificam que ambas se tenham mantido numa posição marginal face às glaciações, o que permitiu a sobrevivência de alguns elementos florísticos de carácter Terciário (Lousã et al., 1999; Neto e Afonso 2011)."

 

 

Edited by Cluster
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We are not finished with winter yet, as we will get hit by another cold wave from tomorrow. Looks very frosty during the nights but because of February days will warm up more and easier. Hopefully it will not get that cold and it will be the last frost period of this winter. 

Edited by Exotic Life
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Southwest

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35 minutes ago, Exotic Life said:

We are not finished with winter yet, as we will get hit by another cold wave from tomorrow. Looks very frosty during the nights but because of February days will warm up more and easier. Hopefully it will not get that cold and it will be the last frost period of this winter. 

Yes, I've seen that in Rotterdam things are really cool those days, much under average...

Meanwhile here in Spain we are warm, where I live today 23.2ºC, on Motril (the south) 25.4ºC... that's incredible for Europe. 

d7353ce4e3b08a6068199018b8a10dafo.gif

I live in Altea, Spain 38°34'N 0º03'O. USDA zone 11a. Coastal microclimate sheltered by mountains. 
The coconuts shown in my avatar are from the Canary Islands, Spain ! :)

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Looks like real winter weather is over here with no cold anymore in the forecasts. I know March can be cold sometimes but you also can see very nice temperatures with a stronger getting sun. Going to wait a while now before the first plans for spring plantings can be done. I think I can say that last cold wave have not been that cold at all with only some light frosts. Today will be the first springlike day with plenty of sunshine and a proper 15 degrees. 

 

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Southwest

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