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Climate of the United States


NC_Palms
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On 6/21/2018, 1:21:44, PalmatierMeg said:

I disagree that mainland SFL (excluding, perhaps, the Keys) meets the criteria of true Tropical. While that may be true much of the year, winters are distinctly colder and drier than in the true tropics. That is because all of FL is vulnerable to Arctic influences that can drive unhindered the length of the peninsula every winter and lower temps to the 40s and occasionally the 30s down to freezing.

It’s actually pretty cool and dry during winter here in the true tropics (latitude: 17.78° S). The only difference between winter here and winter in our former USDA 10a home in FL is the occasional extreme cold snaps from the north FL would get off and on for a few weeks. We’ve had lows here in the 50s and highs of about 68-70 on several days, and there is nothing more tropical than lowland rainforest within the true tropics! South Florida (minus the occasional freeze) is pretty much exactly the same climate as the wet tropics of Australia.

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23 hours ago, PalmTreeDude said:

If you plant Loblollys in the ground (from seedling) after the first two years it is like they hit a growth spurt and just become huge. At least that is what I have found with them here. Some people here remove them because they see them as weeds but I love them. 

 

Not sure on thier growth rate, but they grow and put off babies like mad. 

 

14 hours ago, NC_Palms said:

 

Along the Chesapeake bay in Maryland’s western shore, loblolly pines are quite abundant. It’s rare to find loblolly pines farther up than maybe Baltimore. Pond pines, bald cypress and white cedar are some of the other conifers found among Maryland’s loblolly pines. Eastern white pine isn’t native to the majority of Maryland’s piedmont and coastal regions. The tree stops growing naturally in extreme southern Pennsylvania but has been naturalized throughout the Middle Atlantic. 

The immediate coastline of the Chesapeake bay near the Annapolis area andsouth are considered apart of the subtropical coniferous forest. 

The longleaf pine is the real tree of the South! Before colonialism the longleaf pine flatwoods blanketed the majority of the subtropical coniferous forest. Nowadays the flatwoods are rare, urbanization and farming depleted the dominate ecosystem. In the Carolinas and Virginia, loblolly pines and many deciduous trees have taken over. Beforehand their growth was limited by annual fires, which no longer naturally occur. Let fires happen naturally again and the longleaf pine will redominate. 

 

Didnt know that about eastern white. Come to think of it I dont see babies of eastern whites even in strands of them while loblolly drop them all over. Honestly Im not a fan of the eastern white but folks plant the ever living hell out of them! Loblolly grow in abundance all the way to Clarskville and to just north of Baltimore, but go east to the ocean and down. But they can pretty much been grown over most if nto the entire state (maybe not oakland). 

Im curious to see how slash do and I even heard longleaf could have been native pre colonial days as were greater strands of bald cypress and such before my DMV ancestors cut all of them down. 

Edited by mdsonofthesouth
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LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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Slash, loblolly, and Virginia pines seem to differ in toleration of snow load, replacing each other on a snow gradient.  

White pine is native in a couple of outlying Piedmont spots in North Carolina (one is south of Raleigh-Durham on a north-facing bluff), also Kent County, Delaware, coastal NJ, and a couple of spots along  the upper Chesapeake in Maryland.  (Elbert Little's tree atlas, still quite accurate).  

Southern Florida, apart from the Keys, is not tropical, though a fair number of tropical plants live here.  The occasional cold spells are devastating.  Even Cuba is by some standards not fully tropical.  

 

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Fla. climate center: 100-119 days>85 F
USDA 1990 hardiness zone 9B
Current USDA hardiness zone 10a
4 km inland from Indian River; 27º N (equivalent to Brisbane)

Central Orlando's urban heat island may be warmer than us

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10 hours ago, Yunder Wækraus said:

It’s actually pretty cool and dry during winter here in the true tropics (latitude: 17.78° S). The only difference between winter here and winter in our former USDA 10a home in FL is the occasional extreme cold snaps from the north FL would get off and on for a few weeks. We’ve had lows here in the 50s and highs of about 68-70 on several days, and there is nothing more tropical than lowland rainforest within the true tropics! South Florida (minus the occasional freeze) is pretty much exactly the same climate as the wet tropics of Australia.

South Florida’s immediate coastline is a weak tropical climate, warm enough to support many tropical native plants from the Caribbean. Anywhere inland, South Florida becames strong subtropical coniferous. 

 

4 hours ago, Dave-Vero said:

Slash, loblolly, and Virginia pines seem to differ in toleration of snow load, replacing each other on a snow gradient.  

White pine is native in a couple of outlying Piedmont spots in North Carolina (one is south of Raleigh-Durham on a north-facing bluff), also Kent County, Delaware, coastal NJ, and a couple of spots along  the upper Chesapeake in Maryland.  (Elbert Little's tree atlas, still quite accurate).  

Southern Florida, apart from the Keys, is not tropical, though a fair number of tropical plants live here.  The occasional cold spells are devastating.  Even Cuba is by some standards not fully tropical.  

 

South Florida is interesting, the immediate coastline is warm enough to support a tropical forest. Anywhere inland is too cool, thus more coniferous and more comparable to Georgia or South Carolina than to the Barriar islands of Palm Beach county. Tropical regions in South Florida are pretty much a weak tropical climate. The occasional cold spells are deadly to the native flora. The rest of Florida seems to be a strong subtropical climate. 

Zone 8a Greenville, NC 

Zone 8b/9a Bluffton, SC

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9 hours ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

 

Not sure on thier growth rate, but they grow and put off babies like mad. 

 

 

Didnt know that about eastern white. Come to think of it I dont see babies of eastern whites even in strands of them while loblolly drop them all over. Honestly Im not a fan of the eastern white but folks plant the ever living hell out of them! Loblolly grow in abundance all the way to Clarskville and to just north of Baltimore, but go east to the ocean and down. But they can pretty much been grown over most if nto the entire state (maybe not oakland). 

Im curious to see how slash do and I even heard longleaf could have been native pre colonial days as were greater strands of bald cypress and such before my DMV ancestors cut all of them down. 

I don’t think longleaf pine was ever native to Maryland. If it would of ever been native, longleaf pine restoration projects would definitely be occuring. Historically, the subtropical coniferous forest of Maryland and the northern Virginia tidewater was dominated by loblolly and shortleaf flatwoods. 

You probably won’t have trouble growing either a longleaf or a slash pine in Maryland. I’ve heard about this person who’ve grown a longleaf pine in Lancaster, PA - with ocasional cold damage. 

White pines are grown here as Christmas tree since they are much more heat tolerant than spruces and firs. 

Zone 8a Greenville, NC 

Zone 8b/9a Bluffton, SC

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6 hours ago, NC_Palms said:

South Florida’s immediate coastline is a weak tropical climate, warm enough to support many tropical native plants from the Caribbean. Anywhere inland, South Florida becames strong subtropical coniferous. 

 

South Florida is interesting, the immediate coastline is warm enough to support a tropical forest. Anywhere inland is too cool, thus more coniferous and more comparable to Georgia or South Carolina than to the Barriar islands of Palm Beach county. Tropical regions in South Florida are pretty much a weak tropical climate. The occasional cold spells are deadly to the native flora. The rest of Florida seems to be a strong subtropical climate. 

Nope. My family is from the Everglades, and as has been discussed many times on this forum by other locals, the climate from Clewiston to Pahokee is generally as mild as anything in Miami or the Keys. In fact, there is a pocket in Pahokee that *might* prove to be the most frost-free mainland climate in the United States.

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11 hours ago, NC_Palms said:

I don’t think longleaf pine was ever native to Maryland. If it would of ever been native, longleaf pine restoration projects would definitely be occuring. Historically, the subtropical coniferous forest of Maryland and the northern Virginia tidewater was dominated by loblolly and shortleaf flatwoods. 

You probably won’t have trouble growing either a longleaf or a slash pine in Maryland. I’ve heard about this person who’ve grown a longleaf pine in Lancaster, PA - with ocasional cold damage. 

White pines are grown here as Christmas tree since they are much more heat tolerant than spruces and firs. 

 

There is a pretty significant difference in climate in PA than in MD despite bordering each other. My mother in law has a friend that lives pretty SE of Pittsburgh who has been trying for years to grow crepe myrtles to no avail, yet they are literally EVERYWHERE here in MD. Are there crepes in PA? I am sure there are some planted somewhere. As for being longleaf being native, I am just figuring it could have been possible pre mini ice age as there are stories of tidewater and eastern shore folks using Spanish moss for bedding and pillows so why wouldn't longleaf be a possibility? Both cases could be hearsay, although the moss accounts are written apparently somewhere, but interesting none the less.

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LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) has an astonishing distribution from Maryland to northern Chile and Uruguay.  Apparently introduced and gone wild in Queensland and New South Wales.

As for crape myrtles, the National Arboretum in Washington D.C bred a lot of the cultivated varieties.  I was told in the SE corner of Pennsylvania that crapes had been popular for a while, but a severe winter killed almost all of them.   I think Longwood Gardens still had a Lagerstroemia fauriei, the Japanese species (or variety of crape that might be relatively hardy.

 

 

 

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Fla. climate center: 100-119 days>85 F
USDA 1990 hardiness zone 9B
Current USDA hardiness zone 10a
4 km inland from Indian River; 27º N (equivalent to Brisbane)

Central Orlando's urban heat island may be warmer than us

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1 hour ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

There is a pretty significant difference in climate in PA than in MD despite bordering each other. My mother in law has a friend that lives pretty SE of Pittsburgh who has been trying for years to grow crepe myrtles to no avail, yet they are literally EVERYWHERE here in MD. Are there crepes in PA? I am sure there are some planted somewhere. As for being longleaf being native, I am just figuring it could have been possible pre mini ice age as there are stories of tidewater and eastern shore folks using Spanish moss for bedding and pillows so why wouldn't longleaf be a possibility? Both cases could be hearsay, although the moss accounts are written apparently somewhere, but interesting none the less.

I would guess that they would grow if one were closer to Philadelphia than Pittsburgh.  There was a guy growing sabal minor and needle palms near Philly: http://www.bg-map.com/hardiplm.html 

For comparison:

Pittsburgh:

PittsburghPA.png

Philadelphia:

PhiladelphiaPA.png

Baltimore:

BaltimoreMD.png

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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59 minutes ago, Dave-Vero said:

Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) has an astonishing distribution from Maryland to northern Chile and Uruguay.  Apparently introduced and gone wild in Queensland and New South Wales.

As for crape myrtles, the National Arboretum in Washington D.C bred a lot of the cultivated varieties.  I was told in the SE corner of Pennsylvania that crapes had been popular for a while, but a severe winter killed almost all of them.   I think Longwood Gardens still had a Lagerstroemia fauriei, the Japanese species (or variety of crape that might be relatively hardy.

 

 

 

 

There are so many varieties around here that winter easy and Im about 1-1.5 hours due south of Gettysburg with no traffic. They are seem to be bullet proof here. 

 

57 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

I would guess that they would grow if one were closer to Philadelphia than Pittsburgh.  There was a guy growing sabal minor and needle palms near Philly: http://www.bg-map.com/hardiplm.html 

For comparison:

Pittsburgh:

PittsburghPA.png

Philadelphia:

PhiladelphiaPA.png

Baltimore:

BaltimoreMD.png

 

I think there are some 7b pockets in extreme SE PA, so I could see that. I tell everyone that the weather may look similar just over the PA line, but it sure does feel a whole lot different. Its a pretty stark difference for me and surprising to say the least. Even the drive from Taneytown to Gettysburg has shown stark differences.  

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LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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The range of longleaf pine extends into a few southernmost counties of southeast Virginia, not getting as far as Norfolk.  Snow load may have been a limit, or lack of conditions suitable for grasslands with pines.  

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Fla. climate center: 100-119 days>85 F
USDA 1990 hardiness zone 9B
Current USDA hardiness zone 10a
4 km inland from Indian River; 27º N (equivalent to Brisbane)

Central Orlando's urban heat island may be warmer than us

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Someone around me has a Longleaf Pine planted in their yard. I have never seen it get snow damage although we don't get a ton of snow and the Pine is still pretty small (about seven feet tall). 

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PalmTreeDude

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28 minutes ago, Dave-Vero said:

The range of longleaf pine extends into a few southernmost counties of southeast Virginia, not getting as far as Norfolk.  Snow load may have been a limit, or lack of conditions suitable for grasslands with pines.  

 

Snow doesnt stick around for long here and its usually a dusting or ice storm. But as of now longleaf seem to follow live oak natural strands and distribution at this current time, still going to put a good mess of them on my property. :D

 

24 minutes ago, PalmTreeDude said:

Someone around me has a Longleaf Pine planted in their yard. I have never seen it get snow damage although we don't get a ton of snow and the Pine is still pretty small (about seven feet tall). 

 

I love how they start as a single shaft of green!

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LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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7 hours ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

 

There is a pretty significant difference in climate in PA than in MD despite bordering each other. My mother in law has a friend that lives pretty SE of Pittsburgh who has been trying for years to grow crepe myrtles to no avail, yet they are literally EVERYWHERE here in MD. Are there crepes in PA? I am sure there are some planted somewhere. As for being longleaf being native, I am just figuring it could have been possible pre mini ice age as there are stories of tidewater and eastern shore folks using Spanish moss for bedding and pillows so why wouldn't longleaf be a possibility? Both cases could be hearsay, although the moss accounts are written apparently somewhere, but interesting none the less.

That’s surprising, but then again Pittsburgh is pretty far inland with a cooler climate than Philly/NYC. Crepes are very common here, and they’re bulletproof, I’ve never seen one damaged or killed to the ground in even the harshest of winters, only delayed growth/flowering at most. I’ve also never seen any crepe murder here like they do down south, that practice makes them look hideous.

I prefer Southern Magnolias, they aren’t nearly as common here as Crepe Myrtles for whatever reason. They’re essentially bulletproof though, aside from the occasional mechanical damage from heavy snow (native evergreens go through it as well).

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1 minute ago, cm05 said:

That’s surprising, but then again Pittsburgh is pretty far inland with a cooler climate than Philly/NYC. Crepes are very common here, and they’re bulletproof, I’ve never seen one damaged or killed to the ground in even the harshest of winters, only delayed growth/flowering at most. I’ve also never seen any crepe murder here like they do down south, that practice makes them look hideous.

I prefer Southern Magnolias, they aren’t nearly as common here as Crepe Myrtles for whatever reason. They’re essentially bulletproof though, aside from the occasional mechanical damage from heavy snow (native evergreens go through it as well).

 

Magnolia grandfloria is naturalized here and never gets damaged or defoliated. Crepe murder is rampant here...almost a standard practice. I on the other hand will not be pruning anything thats not dead when I get some. My neighbor murdered his at the wrong time WAAAAAY too late and still it leafed out and flowered in early summer. I would think Long Island is a much better micro climate than Philadelphia.

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LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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20 hours ago, Yunder Wækraus said:

Nope. My family is from the Everglades, and as has been discussed many times on this forum by other locals, the climate from Clewiston to Pahokee is generally as mild as anything in Miami or the Keys. In fact, there is a pocket in Pahokee that *might* prove to be the most frost-free mainland climate in the United States.

I’m suprised the areas around Lake Okeechobee are as mild as Miami or the Keys. Im guessing that the lake is responsible for warming the region. 

15 hours ago, mdsonofthesouth said:

 

There is a pretty significant difference in climate in PA than in MD despite bordering each other. My mother in law has a friend that lives pretty SE of Pittsburgh who has been trying for years to grow crepe myrtles to no avail, yet they are literally EVERYWHERE here in MD. Are there crepes in PA? I am sure there are some planted somewhere. As for being longleaf being native, I am just figuring it could have been possible pre mini ice age as there are stories of tidewater and eastern shore folks using Spanish moss for bedding and pillows so why wouldn't longleaf be a possibility? Both cases could be hearsay, although the moss accounts are written apparently somewhere, but interesting none the less.

When I lived up in PA I tried to grow Crepe myrtles. Crepe myrtles are usually killed each year but come back up in the spring. Southeastern PA is the only place where you can grow crepe myrtles. Northern and Western Pennsylvania is way too cold for crepe myrtles. 

Longleaf pine could of definitely inhabited Maryland way back. It seems more likely that the species was extirpated from overharvesting. 

Zone 8a Greenville, NC 

Zone 8b/9a Bluffton, SC

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@NC_Palms You hit the nail on the head there.  In West-Central PA, I lived at ~2800ft. in the Appalachians.  It actually got down to -40F once up there while everyone in the lower elevations was around -20F or -25F.  Definitely not crepe myrtle weather in either case.  North of I-80 is even worse at points.  Bradford, PA is outright frigid in the winter.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone (2012): 9b | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (1985, 1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a | 30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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1 hour ago, kinzyjr said:

@NC_Palms You hit the nail on the head there.  In West-Central PA, I lived at ~2800ft. in the Appalachians.  It actually got down to -40F once up there while everyone in the lower elevations was around -20F or -25F.  Definitely not crepe myrtle weather in either case.  North of I-80 is even worse at points.  Bradford, PA is outright frigid in the winter.

I think Southeastern Pennsylvania is the only place in the state with hot summers. Places like Johnstown or Scranton aren’t ever as humid and oppressive when compared to Harrisburg or Philadelphia. 

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Zone 8a Greenville, NC 

Zone 8b/9a Bluffton, SC

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2 hours ago, NC_Palms said:

I’m suprised the areas around Lake Okeechobee are as mild as Miami or the Keys. Im guessing that the lake is responsible for warming the region. 

 

Check this thread for a discussion of the Okeechobee shadow: http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/51215-best-micro-climate-in-all-of-florida/&page=1

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21 hours ago, NC_Palms said:

I’m suprised the areas around Lake Okeechobee are as mild as Miami or the Keys. Im guessing that the lake is responsible for warming the region. 

When I lived up in PA I tried to grow Crepe myrtles. Crepe myrtles are usually killed each year but come back up in the spring. Southeastern PA is the only place where you can grow crepe myrtles. Northern and Western Pennsylvania is way too cold for crepe myrtles. 

Longleaf pine could of definitely inhabited Maryland way back. It seems more likely that the species was extirpated from overharvesting. 

 

Yeah I don’t think I have ever seen a crepe die here unless its mistreated. Even Bad murder doesn’t seem to stop them lol. That’s the difference of 1-3 hours south can do, heck half way through my drive home is a small pocket of SOLID 6b that is downright frigid compared to east and west (where I live). When we reached our low in 16/17 of 12F they were 5-7F. Maryland and Virginia seem to have a lot of pockets in the piedmont region where stark differences happen. My wife’s parents house has a spot about 3 minutes down the road that’s even more stark, but its a deep holler with a really thick canopy. 

LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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On 7/24/2018, 6:45:42, Yunder Wækraus said:

It’s actually pretty cool and dry during winter here in the true tropics (latitude: 17.78° S). The only difference between winter here and winter in our former USDA 10a home in FL is the occasional extreme cold snaps from the north FL would get off and on for a few weeks. We’ve had lows here in the 50s and highs of about 68-70 on several days, and there is nothing more tropical than lowland rainforest within the true tropics! South Florida (minus the occasional freeze) is pretty much exactly the same climate as the wet tropics of Australia.

It's just those specific cold snaps preventing the Southern US from exhibiting the climate that you'd expect.

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37 minutes ago, AnTonY said:

It's just those specific cold snaps preventing the Southern US from exhibiting the climate that you'd expect.

 

If only Canada was a body of water and not frozen tundra and the appalachians were taller we might be on par with or at least closer to the same latitude elsewhere.

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LOWS 16/17 12F, 17/18 3F, 18/19 7F, 19/20 20F

Palms growing in my garden: Trachycarpus Fortunei, Chamaerops Humilis, Chamaerops Humilis var. Cerifera, Rhapidophyllum Hystrix, Sabal Palmetto 

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1 hour ago, AnTonY said:

It's just those specific cold snaps preventing the Southern US from exhibiting the climate that you'd expect.

South Florida is already pretty close to perfect. I reckon a low range a mountains between Jacksonville and the Gulf would do the trick :-) 

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Re-watering the St. Johns River marshes seems to have benefitted the climate in Brevard and Indian River counties, Florida.  

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Fla. climate center: 100-119 days>85 F
USDA 1990 hardiness zone 9B
Current USDA hardiness zone 10a
4 km inland from Indian River; 27º N (equivalent to Brisbane)

Central Orlando's urban heat island may be warmer than us

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On 26/7/2018 20:35:50, AnTonY said:

It's just those specific cold snaps preventing the Southern US from exhibiting the climate that you'd expect.

I think the southeast has an expectable climate for its latitude. Unlike other subtropical regions like Southern California or the Mediterranean, we have no barrier to protect us from cold Canadian air. 

Edited by NC_Palms
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Zone 8a Greenville, NC 

Zone 8b/9a Bluffton, SC

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