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Florida winter 2023-2024


flplantguy

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I figured with a cool down already happening and forecast to continue into the rest of October this is more relevant than October would suggest.  My forecast high next Tuesday is 72 and that's not far off from "winter".  El nino is making an appearance too, so the peninsula already has a severe weather threat with the current system.  Models are forecasting the whole eastern US as cooler than average again for the month.  My hope is that the pattern does not set up to be cold and cloudy all winter but I'll take clouds if it means no freezes this season.  What does everyone do to prepare for an El nino winter, if anything?

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The same, persistent east coast trough (negative NAO) that gave us a never-ending west wind (dry summer and severe drought) is still entrenched and now the potential mechanism (open door) that will allow front after front to reach us.  That alone is very, very bad.  One of those fronts is bound to punch us hard.  Consider also, Florida had a big cold wave in Feb 1996 and then not again until January 2010.  14 years elapsed between those major freezes.  It's now been another 14 years since 2010.   Hope I'm not coming across as a pessimist 🤣

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Tampa, Interbay Peninsula, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10A

Bokeelia, Pine Island, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10B

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With the pattern these last few winters I'm feeling the same way.  The block to the north can't last forever though, so I'm hoping it's not like the "ridiculously resilient ridge" was a few years ago in the pacific that lasts years without end.  If we get a negative NAO/AO and positive PNA together it's bad news for us here and if all three are polarized to the extreme? I don't want to think about that kind of winter.  I moved here January 3 2011 so I missed all but the last freeze in January and would rather not repeat what came before.

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The weather patterns are definitely set for a 1940/1977/2010-style long-cold winter.  If so, I should have a bit more open grass area in the yard come March 2024.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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21 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

The weather patterns are definitely set for a 1940/1977/2010-style long-cold winter.  If so, I should have a bit more open grass area in the yard come March 2024.

I'm crossing my fingers it's too early and changes, but my greenhouse also got here today so I'm not taking chances.  Ideal weather to set it up coming too, next week low 70s highs😳

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9 hours ago, SubTropicRay said:

The same, persistent east coast trough (negative NAO) that gave us a never-ending west wind (dry summer and severe drought) is still entrenched and now the potential mechanism (open door) that will allow front after front to reach us.  That alone is very, very bad.  One of those fronts is bound to punch us hard.  Consider also, Florida had a big cold wave in Feb 1996 and then not again until January 2010.  14 years elapsed between those major freezes.  It's now been another 14 years since 2010.   Hope I'm not coming across as a pessimist 🤣

I think this is the type of pattern you were referring to in this post.  Low pressure systems marching in tandem:

image.png.8d236fc46fbb9b402fc8c3b871b51a41.png

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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7 hours ago, Matthew92 said:

May be wet too

 ijo.JPG.54c28e5da56aac8f9f6fea7f640c6706.JPG

Considering we got perhaps 50% of our rainy season rainfall in SWFL from May on a “wet” winter should be a blessing - and I hope it is - as long as winter temps stay close to normal. But cold and rain made a lethal combination for sub- and tropical palms. Jan. 2010 (well, that whole winter) when rain fell and temps dropped from the 40s to the mid-30s in one day. The first and so far only time in our 30 years in Cape Coral we had rain below 50F.

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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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I'm crossing my fingers that all the weather weirdness has changed things to our benefit but it goes both ways.  And like everyone knows it only takes one weather event to ruin years of hard work. just last night one of the tornadic storms came ashore only a short distance from here and that can change everything just as much as a hard freeze or a hurricane. 

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5 hours ago, flplantguy said:

I'm crossing my fingers that all the weather weirdness has changed things to our benefit but it goes both ways.  And like everyone knows it only takes one weather event to ruin years of hard work. just last night one of the tornadic storms came ashore only a short distance from here and that can change everything just as much as a hard freeze or a hurricane. 

Yup. Years of dedication, yet fall asleep one night at the wheel and it all turns to mush.

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We have a problem Houston.  Correction....we've had a problem Houston..  Whether summer, winter or fall, the negative NAO is very, very bad for the west coast of Florida.

 

image.png.f9953ff1f139242527d4d84c832ae772.png

 

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Tampa, Interbay Peninsula, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10A

Bokeelia, Pine Island, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10B

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How long is the record for it being negative I wonder?  I thought for sure it would have to switch back but I guess not.  Glad a spring for the extra space on the greenhouse!

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Some people at the National Weather Service predict a strong El Nino for 23/24 winter, similar to 1998/1999 and 2015/2016.  Warmer across the Northern tier of the US and cool but wet across the south from Southern California to Florida.  We will be watching.

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Weird model runs are starting up.  A -6.4 sigma low sounds a bit much, but could be a sign of the pattern for winter.  Maybe we get lucky and it flips before late December to a positive NAO.

F8Xh37zWwAAM-86.png

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On 10/11/2023 at 9:36 AM, SubTropicRay said:

The same, persistent east coast trough (negative NAO) that gave us a never-ending west wind (dry summer and severe drought) is still entrenched and now the potential mechanism (open door) that will allow front after front to reach us.  That alone is very, very bad.  One of those fronts is bound to punch us hard.  Consider also, Florida had a big cold wave in Feb 1996 and then not again until January 2010.  14 years elapsed between those major freezes.  It's now been another 14 years since 2010.   Hope I'm not coming across as a pessimist 🤣

You say this every winter. 😛

My money is on a winter low between 28-34f here, like usual. We'll see though, maybe this will finally be the reset year. 

Edited by RedRabbit

Westchase | 9b 10a  ◆  Nokomis | 10a  ◆  St. Petersburg | 10a 10b 

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13 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

You say this every winter. 😛

My money is on a winter low between 28-34f here, like usual. We'll see though, maybe this will finally be the reset year. 

Scary thing is, I'm bound to be right one of these days.

Tampa, Interbay Peninsula, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10A

Bokeelia, Pine Island, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10B

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It was 62 this morning and it felt like winter lol.  So not used to cool air but I'm happy for the change.  Back to upper 70s to 80 by Wednesday after two winter-like beautiful days barely reaching 70. I'm hoping winter is badly timed to our advantage with cold but all the plants are in the sheltered area by the house anyway.  Greenhouse going up next before it gets too chilly out for ideal growing.

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On 10/15/2023 at 5:10 PM, RedRabbit said:

My money is on a winter low between 28-34f here, like usual. We'll see though, maybe this will finally be the reset year. 

I'll go with somewhere between 20F and 40F. 😄

11 hours ago, SubTropicRay said:

Scary thing is, I'm bound to be right one of these days.

Unfortunately, yes.  Hopefully sometime after 2100 A.D. - long after my time is up. 🥶

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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4 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

I'll go with somewhere between 20F and 40F. 😄

Unfortunately, yes.  Hopefully sometime after 2100 A.D. - long after my time is up. 🥶

Ha, if you want a 3 standard deviation range, why not!

Regarding a big freeze… I recently traveled somewhere that used to support some massive glaciers, but they were mostly gone. It was about 85f and the remaining glaciers looked a bit like melting ice cubes. It was somewhat unsettling to be honest, but gave me a different perspective on climate change.

My guess is @SubTropicRay will be right a few more times and we’ll get a few more freezes in. However, I’m not 100% sure anymore… I’m just like 97% sure. 🤣

Edited by RedRabbit
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Westchase | 9b 10a  ◆  Nokomis | 10a  ◆  St. Petersburg | 10a 10b 

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Low this morning was 59.4, the coolest since March. Opened up the house.

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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It was 52.5 this morning at 215 and 53 at sunup with an odd bump in the middle. Inland in shady hills a steady plunge to 44 in the coldest spots about 6 miles inland and due east of me.  Last year those same areas had a late October drop to almost freezing when it was 39 at the shore, and we know what happened at Christmas.  I'm loving the cooler weather though, I got a lot done with minimal issues this weekend.

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Forgot to mention the really low temps were personal weather stations in very low dry cold spots that get very cold on radiational nights.  Most were warmer like today too.  It's like each parameter steps up warmer in lockstep with each other, the summer was hotter so the front isn't as cold in return. Will that hold with a cold pattern like 2010 if it returns? I don't think so myself.

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A couple of weeks ago any kind of chill in the air seemed impossible to me. This morning is a good reminder that winter is on the way. Central Floridas version anyway. The low at my house in MI at 7 this morning was 57 F. 

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On 10/15/2023 at 7:52 AM, flplantguy said:

Weird model runs are starting up.  A -6.4 sigma low sounds a bit much, but could be a sign of the pattern for winter.  Maybe we get lucky and it flips before late December to a positive NAO.

F8Xh37zWwAAM-86.png

Let's hope not. The standard deviation here is 7F°. That would drop the ATL to -13.8°F.

Edited by SeanK
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9 hours ago, flplantguy said:

It was 52.5 this morning at 215 and 53 at sunup with an odd bump in the middle. Inland in shady hills a steady plunge to 44 in the coldest spots about 6 miles inland and due east of me.  Last year those same areas had a late October drop to almost freezing when it was 39 at the shore, and we know what happened at Christmas.  I'm loving the cooler weather though, I got a lot done with minimal issues this weekend.

Lows for two of my stations came around 2:15 too, then rose 3f by sunrise which is a little unusual. Not sure what happened, perhaps the wind shifted from the gulf.

IMG_2178.thumb.png.8b0baee1259b666fbc2850a99181a506.png

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Westchase | 9b 10a  ◆  Nokomis | 10a  ◆  St. Petersburg | 10a 10b 

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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51 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

That's what I was seeing looking around the area; the difference from largo to here is almost always 4 to 6 degrees on calmer nights, so if it's warmer here in the future they would be quite warm.  I don't think it will ever be such a solid warm spot here, even with the newest RV parking lot going in down little rd adding urban heat and removing more trees 🙄.

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58F out front and thermometer 2 in the back garden did not register :hmm:.  I ran drip irrigation all throughout the back garden yesterday.  I was curious to see if the wetter soil had any influence on the surrounding air temperature.   Guess I'll have to check this next time.

Tampa, Interbay Peninsula, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10A

Bokeelia, Pine Island, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10B

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1 hour ago, SubTropicRay said:

58F out front and thermometer 2 in the back garden did not register :hmm:.  I ran drip irrigation all throughout the back garden yesterday.  I was curious to see if the wetter soil had any influence on the surrounding air temperature.   Guess I'll have to check this next time.

I was wondering the same thing. My yard is dry sand and I think the colder spots on radiational nights are because of that.  My temp dropped lower than expected especially compared to developed and irrigated neighborhoods. None of the homes in shady hills irrigate, and it's notoriously cold there with that same candler fine sand.  I'll have to make significant changes to add those degrees of warmth. 45 to your 58 is HUGE and concerning.

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  • 1 month later...

I'll take the rain, but could do without the chilly, brisk air.

image.png.3181ec56f339452e6b189d8ac0db10d6.png

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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2 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

I'll take the rain, but could do without the chilly, brisk air.

image.png.3181ec56f339452e6b189d8ac0db10d6.png

Temporary reprieve here at the moment. Lowest temp so far this year was around 58f  I think. So far the forecast is to stay above 51 for this next front fingers and toes crossed. I have a lot of bananas that are 10-15 days from being ready!

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42 here and dropping for the low forecast Tuesday night.  Was 43 so maybe they are expecting more chilly air than before.  Nothing crazy yet and hopefully the hot summer translates to a warmer winter too.

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It’s *that* time of year again. Yay. Just wonderful. 
 

I’ve already been down to 34F so far, but I expect that there’s at least a 25%-40% chance of actually getting a freeze with this blast.

7C79D8F1-4916-40DC-A539-A1368A394F0C.jpeg

Palms - 4 S. romanzoffiana, 1 W. bifurcata, 4 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 4 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. canariensis, 1 BxJ, 1 BxJxBxS, 1 BxS, 3 P. roebelenii, 1 H. lagenicaulis, 1 H. verschaffeltii, 9 T. fortunei, 1 C. humilis, 2 C. macrocarpa, 1 L. chinensis, 1 R. excelsa

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21 hours ago, JLM said:

It’s *that* time of year again. Yay. Just wonderful. 
 

I’ve already been down to 34F so far, but I expect that there’s at least a 25%-40% chance of actually getting a freeze with this blast.

7C79D8F1-4916-40DC-A539-A1368A394F0C.jpeg

 

Crowning cold Crestview, at triple the elevation and slightly to the north, Florida's coldest city that also went below 0 in 1899 but didn't have a station yet,

isn't forecast to fall below 30,

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Well this isn't good.  Freezing temps across central Florida are extra possible the second week of December.  

image.png.cc5e748c66e474326ca02f8508bb7f5d.png

image.png.debd1cb3f272cab103390e7bbdde9b61.png

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Tampa, Interbay Peninsula, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10A

Bokeelia, Pine Island, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10B

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Freeze watch up for most of the panhandle and lows have dropped to upper 30s here Tuesday and Wednesday night.  Not out of the norm at all yet.

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