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Florida Freeze Watch: Jan-Feb 2021


Matthew92
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Current temp is 34F, had a low of 32.6F

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Palms - 4 S. romanzoffiana, 2 W. bifurcata, 6 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 2 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. sylvestris, 1 Butia x Jubaea, 1 Butia x Jubaea x Butia x Syagrus, 1 X Butiagrus nabonnandii, 2 L. chinensis, 1 Cocos nucifera 

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Low this morning: 48.7F

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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Mine was 38 this morning with patchy frost, and looks like we’ll match it tonight. Still consistently dropping colder than forecasted this winter.

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Nights like last night illustrate why some areas are able to pull off more marginal palms and others aren't.  Here is the range of temperatures in my area for a few selected stations on Wunderground.  I had 45F when I walked out the door this morning at 6:20AM.  It would make sense that the overall low here would be around the same as the SugarCane station and Lake Hollingsworth station since I am located between them.

image.png.a7e5211a83051194ef581f035515c303.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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A lot of sun, but looks like it will be pretty brisk for a few days:

image.png.e74bcbabcdb74dc7e9a5c0eb21438214.png

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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The forecast for this upcoming week keeps getting colder and of longer duration.

This looks like a problematic event for a good part of Florida.

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Lows falling into the 40s middle of the week.

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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4 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Lows falling into the 40s middle of the week.

I would like that forecast here, but we are forecast into the mid and upper 30s, and every model run and forecast gets increasingly bleak.

It seems as though this area is forecast to be much colder relative to other areas during this event.

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Starting to get a bad feeling about next week. Hopefully models back off.

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Palms - 4 S. romanzoffiana, 2 W. bifurcata, 6 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 2 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. sylvestris, 1 Butia x Jubaea, 1 Butia x Jubaea x Butia x Syagrus, 1 X Butiagrus nabonnandii, 2 L. chinensis, 1 Cocos nucifera 

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59 minutes ago, NickJames said:

Returning from Michigan today. Think I’ll need to cover anything tonight? Or would the coverings blow away?

I can't speak to whether or not you cover tonight, but wind chills are looking chilly for your area this evening.   What hurts the sensitive palms more - 36 degrees with 26 degree wind chill, or 31 degrees with no wind? Here's the latest wind chill forecast from the NAM.

image.thumb.png.1eba423fc179574971765d6a905841ba.png

Edited by JJPalmer
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The other major problem with this cold event is that it will last three nights, and at least in my area, each night will be colder than the previous night through Thursday A.M.

The current forecast indicates that widespread frost is inevitable, and a freeze cannot be ruled out. The mangoes are in full bloom here, so it could cause some havoc, and I have concerns about my Adonidias,  though the rest of my palms should weather it alright.

My hope is that we have been several degrees above the forecast low so far this year, and if that holds true again, it would leave me with a grumpy, though intact landscape.

Good luck to everyone in the affected areas.

 

 

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Twitter acct is Dr. Michael Ventrice- Ph.D. of Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology. Still far out enough this may not turn out as severe as it looks. Though as we are closing in on less than a week out the confidence grows stronger.

 

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We have had some bad freezes in the first half of February, 1899 and 1996 being examples.  Nothing particularly cold is showing up in the official extended forecasts for Orlando yet (that I see at least).  I suspect this will change in the next day or two.  How cold are we talking?  Since 2011, I have heard strongly worded warnings like that before and we either ended up with 60s/40s or a borderline freeze event.  In fact, I may have just not been paying attention, but the last really major event (and really one of the only ones I would actually have vivid memory of (in 1989 I was 5) that was forewarned well in advance was January of 2010.  Talk of this one began like 2 weeks in advance if I remember correctly.  December of 2010 was the last widespread hard freeze event for the Orlando area (2018 being a freeze but not a hard freeze in town).  So we are due for a bad one, it's just a matter of time.  The good news is, the lows especially will be warmer because of urbanization than they would have been if the same event happened 100 or even 30 years ago.

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1 hour ago, palmsOrl said:

We have had some bad freezes in the first half of February, 1899 and 1996 being examples.  Nothing particularly cold is showing up in the official extended forecasts for Orlando yet (that I see at least).  I suspect this will change in the next day or two.  How cold are we talking?  Since 2011, I have heard strongly worded warnings like that before and we either ended up with 60s/40s or a borderline freeze event.  In fact, I may have just not been paying attention, but the last really major event (and really one of the only ones I would actually have vivid memory of (in 1989 I was 5) that was forewarned well in advance was January of 2010.  Talk of this one began like 2 weeks in advance if I remember correctly.  December of 2010 was the last widespread hard freeze event for the Orlando area (2018 being a freeze but not a hard freeze in town).  So we are due for a bad one, it's just a matter of time.  The good news is, the lows especially will be warmer because of urbanization than they would have been if the same event happened 100 or even 30 years ago.

I and others have been posting off and on Dec through now of Polar Vortex or cold events possibly impacting FL, but this most recent one I noticed showing up on models and being recognized by some meteorologists I follow a couple days ago. For reference, I've generally found that if the forecasted event is a week+, it's quite doubtful for it to happen as being shown at that time, and when you get less than a week out, you can expect it to happen in some capacity, and in the four day window, it become a lot more certain. In this case, most of the major computer models are picking up on a big cold signal starting less than a week from now. Back in January of 2019, there was a big Polar Vortex cold wave forecast to possibly make it to Florida. I was alarmed by seeing solid freezing temps all the way to Orlando on computer model runs. The event did happen (around -30 deg F for Chicago), but it didn't extend as far south as forecast and turned out to be a big "nothing burger" down here with only a light freeze for North FL and high 30's in Orlando/Lakeland area. Looking back though, I saw that some of those model runs I was looking at/posted here on PT (Thread from Jan 2019) in Jan 2019 were a week+ ahead of time: so I've learned my lesson to not get so invested that far out in advance. However I will say that sometimes an event a week+ in advance has been predicted quite accurately, but that's more of an exception.

Again- the key I see with this next potential event is the number of models that are showing it, and as time is getting closer less than a week now, the outcome is remaining consistent (or even trending colder). As I alluded to earlier, I expect FL to get some type of cold event- but it remains to be seen to what extent; as like 2019, it could turn out that it happens in some capacity, but doesn't extend into all the locations initially thought to impact significantly.

Edited by Matthew92
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I just remember in the third week of December, alarm bells started going off about the January 2010 (January 10-20th roughly) cold event and it indeed came to pass.  This was different from the contention that the polar vortex exists up north and we might get a piece of it over the next month or two.   Since the lowest the Weather Channel shows as of now is 44F for next week, I will remain cautiously optimistic, but keep an eye on the forecast for any dramatic changes.

That said, if we do end up getting a bad freeze, I can now say I was warned, Matthew.

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5 hours ago, JJPalmer said:

I can't speak to whether or not you cover tonight, but wind chills are looking chilly for your area this evening.   What hurts the sensitive palms more - 36 degrees with 26 degree wind chill, or 31 degrees with no wind? Here's the latest wind chill forecast from the NAM.

image.thumb.png.1eba423fc179574971765d6a905841ba.png

might as well just dump all of the cold air right on Brevard and Indian River counties.

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Brevard County, Fl

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I'm forecast to be at 41F for Tuesday and Wednesday morning lows. Better than several hours ago when it was 38F for Wednesday morning. 

If you enjoy the science behind our winter weather, check out the weekly blog Arctic Oscillation and Polar Vortex Analysis and Forecasts that Judah Cowen produces from AER.  He does a good job explaining the science and reasoning behind his forecast/predictions.

https://www.aer.com/science-research/climate-weather/arctic-oscillation/

 

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2 minutes ago, IHB1979 said:

I'm forecast to be at 41F for Tuesday and Wednesday morning lows. Better than several hours ago when it was 38F for Wednesday morning. 

If you enjoy the science behind our winter weather, check out the weekly blog Arctic Oscillation and Polar Vortex Analysis and Forecasts that Judah Cowen produces from AER.  He does a good job explaining the science and reasoning behind his forecast/predictions.

https://www.aer.com/science-research/climate-weather/arctic-oscillation/

 

Yep, Always excellent information from him, even if some of that info. takes doing some homework.. Far superior than anything from the Weather Channel. Been a fan since 2011.   He'll have this weeks' update later this afternoon.

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Unfortunately a 2018-equivalent event is becoming a possibility. Really watching the forecast for next week.

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Palms - 4 S. romanzoffiana, 2 W. bifurcata, 6 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 2 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. sylvestris, 1 Butia x Jubaea, 1 Butia x Jubaea x Butia x Syagrus, 1 X Butiagrus nabonnandii, 2 L. chinensis, 1 Cocos nucifera 

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Ultimate lows currently forecast: 34F(AccuWeather), 35F(Wunderground), 36F (Weather.com + NOAA).  Not my preference of weather, but still above freezing thankfully.  The wind was blowing at tropical storm force earlier, but it has since died down a good bit in my area.  Looks like that wind chill gradient is following US-98 + US-27 down through the state.

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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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9 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

Ultimate lows currently forecast: 34F(AccuWeather), 35F(Wunderground), 36F (Weather.com + NOAA).  Not my preference of weather, but still above freezing thankfully.  The wind was blowing at tropical storm force earlier, but it has since died down a good bit in my area.  Looks like that wind chill gradient is following US-98 + US-27 down through the state.

As long as we stay above freezing, this is preferable to me - I have a bad radiational cooling problem in my neighborhood! I’m really worried about tomorrow night and the next....

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3 nights in a row with lows in the mid 40s in South Florida. The wind is especially annoying....it makes it harder to keep ultra tropicals above 50. I hope the forecast trends warmer for the rest of the month. I think I will leave the frost cloth on the ultra tropicals during the daytime for the next few days too as the hights will struggle to get past 60.

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4 minutes ago, NickJames said:

As long as we stay above freezing, this is preferable to me - I have a bad radiational cooling problem in my neighborhood! I’m really worried about tomorrow night and the next....

Is there any possibility of introducing more stone/concrete to the landscape?  I have had more issues with cooling this year in some areas of the yard after removing about 900 sq. ft. of solid concrete with pavers embedded.  I was thinking in your case, coral rocks or something?

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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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The winds and clouds kept temps up last night and this morning. It looks like tonight and tomorrow night will be the truly bad temps with calmer winds and clear skies along with continued cold air advection off a large snowpack deep into the US. Fingers crossed...

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41 minutes ago, Jimbean said:

45F as of 7:10AM.  Not as bad as predicted. 

We have 47F here, about 7 degrees warmer than predicted.

The models seem to have nudged up a bit, though the NWS morning forecast is not encouraging.

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Another bit of good news: models for early next week are also trending warmer.   Obviously it's still a ways out and things could change with the 12z and newer runs, but it's still good news!  It'll be interesting to see what the next few days bring.  Once we get the 12z runs I'll post models for this evening. 

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NWS already predicting 29F for my low on Sunday night. They dont usually drop forecasted lows below 30 until at least 2 days before the event. 

Edited by JLM
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Palms - 4 S. romanzoffiana, 2 W. bifurcata, 6 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 2 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. sylvestris, 1 Butia x Jubaea, 1 Butia x Jubaea x Butia x Syagrus, 1 X Butiagrus nabonnandii, 2 L. chinensis, 1 Cocos nucifera 

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Temp was 59.9F when I went to bed last night. At 3 a.m. low was 55.6F but went no lower the rest of the night. High may soar to 59F later today, then plummet down to a predicted 40F overnight. And the winds are howling.

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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The GFS really backed off from the arctic air, which makes me feel a little better about next week. We will see how the forecasts trend over the next few days.

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Palms - 4 S. romanzoffiana, 2 W. bifurcata, 6 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 2 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. sylvestris, 1 Butia x Jubaea, 1 Butia x Jubaea x Butia x Syagrus, 1 X Butiagrus nabonnandii, 2 L. chinensis, 1 Cocos nucifera 

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Getting harsh wind from the West here on the SE coast so the warm Gulf Stream waters aren't helping keep us warm like it normally does.  Low 60's today which is cold for us and the wind makes it feel colder.

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2 hours ago, JLM said:

The GFS really backed off from the arctic air, which makes me feel a little better about next week. We will see how the forecasts trend over the next few days.

Yeah, we're still far enough out in time that I'm not putting too much investment in the individual model runs. Even though some backed off on a hard freeze making it to FL, we're still going to get the cold in some capacity with a chilly period.

Even before this "warming trend" on some models in the last 12 hours, it really was primarily North FL that was going to get the hard freeze (was almost showing a Jan 2014 scenario where the hard freezing temps were only confined to North FL). The trend now is that the arctic cold is more broad and not digging as far south (similar to Jan 2019). Again, we're far enough out still that it's possible for it to switch back. Regardless, we won't be getting a "February Torch" and it will be below average at the least with highs in the 50's quite a few days for us in North FL. Could possibly be like this past December with chilly temps but not a big freeze wiping anyone out.

While not getting the worst of the cold anomalies, the Euro still shows considerable chill down here

2137476170_Eurocold.thumb.JPG.44a554ecc0fa6a514b24f5bd2e8d806d.JPG

And even some snow quite far south

1901632620_pv4.thumb.JPG.2ad23fa474bafa7e0671d06cdf520866.JPG

As seen here, we are in a complete opposite pattern vs. February of last year's mild winter.

Going to take a break from being glued to the model runs/guidance.... and wait to see what happens as we get closer.

 

Edited by Matthew92
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