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Florida winter 2023-2024


flplantguy

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For my spot it is absolutely all wind driven. Onshore flow the first night when the front moved in and all day the next day kept us at 60 +/- a few degrees. Wind died at sunset and it plummeted fast until the east wind kicked in, which doesn't seem to reach the cold spot on the west coast as easily. It stays calm there for an extended period before the east wind, that begins sooner at the Atlantic, makes it there. I bet the east coast was colder the first night in the wind than the second, probably only by a few degrees.  Even a slight breeze in any direction raises the temps by multiple degrees but a calm night is bad news.  Still calm at sunrise and the sun jumped the temp up ten or more degrees in a short time as well.  Once the breeze kicks in that drops too and the humidity goes up from the water.  Makes for more dynamic weather than Pinellas had.

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9 hours ago, D. Morrowii said:

I don’t remember having this much of a temperature difference from you guys on the West coast. It must be the way the lows have been coming through?

My low was 50.7 last night not too shabby. 57A49ABF-31F9-4F0A-8EF5-EA2006680B64.thumb.jpeg.891a899e0a2d1f5fc8f3bcc5c2cdbe8e.jpeg

 

 

Well good news! We zone pushers can relax for now at least. The way I look at it though is if I gamble I better be prepared to lose. A freeze, drought or hurricane is out there somewhere waiting to pounce! 

Night 1 of these cold spells have been getting unusually cold, but I think it’s unique to my area. It is probably a function of being further west (cold air gets here first) and not getting help from any water… I get cold in the fall, but I think it will even out some in the winter.

8 hours ago, SubTropicRay said:

The wind turned out of the NE very early keeping the east coast balmy.  50.1 F was my lowest this AM.    It could be so much worse.

I’ve technically been in the 30s twice. What a difference ~12 miles makes.

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

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11 hours ago, flplantguy said:

The cold spots in detail on wunderground.  A 26 in there, while Pinellas on the water is at 50 still.  Yet everyone here wants to plant Christmas palms for their landscaping anyway lol.

Confirmed with one of my contacts up that way that they definitely had a freeze with frost.  Do some of the Adonidia merrillii manage to tolerate these events unprotected and recover in the summer?

11 hours ago, RedRabbit said:

Another relatively cold one here.

The yard ranged from 44F-46F this time.  The DVP2 over the hill was a smidge under 43F.  KLAL appears to have bottomed off at 42F twice over night.  Downtown Lakeland and KGIF stayed a balmy 46F.

KVDF had a stretch of 41F between 2am and 5:30am.  This might coincide with your coldest reading.

9 hours ago, D. Morrowii said:

I don’t remember having this much of a temperature difference from you guys on the West coast. It must be the way the lows have been coming through?

My low was 50.7 last night not too shabby.

Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.  With the weather patterns this year, the east coast should fare pretty well compared to this side of the peninsula unless we get a major freeze event like 1985 or 1989.  If that happens, anywhere that stays above 20F gets to brag and our CFPACS Meetings will feature Sabal and Livistona collections.

9 hours ago, SubTropicRay said:

The wind turned out of the NE very early keeping the east coast balmy.  50.1 F was my lowest this AM.    It could be so much worse.

Amen to that.  Like you said earlier, it's not even winter yet.

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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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@kinzyjrOh no, the adonidia past the coast protected spots and north of any warmer locations near highway 54 all die after a winter or two.  People move in and see the ones nearby that are happy and think they can grow one too since so many people are new to the area. They may make it one year but the next one will do them in after they are stressed from cold the first winter.  In the urban heat island on the coast they are gaining popularity and lasting longer, but i think that's a short term thing unless the climate really did shift-but these past few fronts say otherwise.  However the models show Florida as one of the few colder than average areas this winter, with everyone else warmer, so maybe it's just our unlucky year.  If it is and we get cold then we can see a new benchmark maybe🤷‍♂️. The Christmas freeze last year basically did in the grouping of adonidias on 19 just north of the hernando county line, they just never grew back and slowly croaked.  A neighborhood with a protected one on a south facing wall just south of there in Briarwoods (but north of me) has one that has been there for long enough (about ten years or less) to show it's age (chill damage constriction to the trunk) so the cutoff is sharp.  If that freeze was the worst we see now I will be very happy, but I will always be nervous each cold front once my garden gets going well.  Not to jinx us, but I thought it would be worse, and these last two not so stark a contrast with Pinellas, so now IDK what to think and I need either a crazy warm or crazy cold winter to set some kind of benchmark for my yard lol. 

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It looks like that despite the negative NAO in December, with the couple bouts of cooler air, that overall, the CONUS looks to be flooded with mild Pacific air through the the New Year.  

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18 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Confirmed with one of my contacts up that way that they definitely had a freeze with frost.  Do some of the Adonidia merrillii manage to tolerate these events unprotected and recover in the summer?

The yard ranged from 44F-46F this time.  The DVP2 over the hill was a smidge under 43F.  KLAL appears to have bottomed off at 42F twice over night.  Downtown Lakeland and KGIF stayed a balmy 46F.

KVDF had a stretch of 41F between 2am and 5:30am.  This might coincide with your coldest reading.

Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.  With the weather patterns this year, the east coast should fare pretty well compared to this side of the peninsula unless we get a major freeze event like 1985 or 1989.  If that happens, anywhere that stays above 20F gets to brag and our CFPACS Meetings will feature Sabal and Livistona collections.

Amen to that.  Like you said earlier, it's not even winter yet.

Hey Jeremy, why do you say the east coast should fair well this season?  I also noticed the inland west coast being favored for cooler readings during the past couple rounds of cold air, where in our area, we have been as warm at Metro Orlando, but at the higher latitude. 

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15 minutes ago, ChristianStAug said:

Hey Jeremy, why do you say the east coast should fair well this season?  I also noticed the inland west coast being favored for cooler readings during the past couple rounds of cold air, where in our area, we have been as warm at Metro Orlando, but at the higher latitude. 

Mostly using 2010 and 2018 as benchmarks.  Seemed like the east side of the state did a little better in 2010, plus the east coast is further away from continental air masses.

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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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The NWS Records for 12/06/2023-12/08/2023 are attached in ZIP format if you want to peruse them.  There are a few added pages as well for the small airports at Lake Wales, Quincy, Perry, and Keystone.

 

20231206-20231208_NWS.zip

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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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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 🤣

Ray you never .... some of the trees harden off as they get bigger --- some stuff that got burned frequently does burn for some strange reason if ye get too down remember I will take all your plants offa you fer a small fee.

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Another weather system (baroclinic low) will bring rain to us this coming week, meaning my rainfall pattern this year has been wet winter and dry summer.  I hope that is not the new normal in the future and it's just a blip, last summer was too much for me.  This front was like the others, chilly but not too bad.  That I will take all year lol

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Loving this.  No persistent east coast troughs for at least a few weeks.

image.png.2ecf15bbf99c691c69efc7d4b054e25e.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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15 hours ago, D. Morrowii said:

@Jimbean Is that sarcasm or do you need more rain? 😃 

This is the one time of year where moisture actually sticks around here.   Short days, angled sun, and lukewarm temps keep things wetter than usual, for those sparse winter rains….  But it looks like they are calling for 5+ inches the next few days.    That’s weird for this time of year.   That will push us to 114+ inches for the year here.  Looks like we are “going out with a splash” for 2023.  

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1 hour ago, Looking Glass said:

This is the one time of year where moisture actually sticks around here.   Short days, angled sun, and lukewarm temps keep things wetter than usual, for those sparse winter rains….  But it looks like they are calling for 5+ inches the next few days.    That’s weird for this time of year.   That will push us to 114+ inches for the year here.  Looks like we are “going out with a splash” for 2023.  

Yeah pots and the ground are still moist 2,3,4 days after I water. Not so in the summer of course. I guess the El Nino conditions in the Pacific pave the way for a wetter winter here.. 114” sounds like rainforest numbers! I’m at 54” now which is just slightly over normal at least from what I’ve seen over the last 5 years I’ve been watching. This storm may be somewhat cyclonic from what I was reading. Lots of wind in the forecast. I think I hate the wind most of all. 

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3 hours ago, D. Morrowii said:

Yeah pots and the ground are still moist 2,3,4 days after I water. Not so in the summer of course. I guess the El Nino conditions in the Pacific pave the way for a wetter winter here.. 114” sounds like rainforest numbers! I’m at 54” now which is just slightly over normal at least from what I’ve seen over the last 5 years I’ve been watching. This storm may be somewhat cyclonic from what I was reading. Lots of wind in the forecast. I think I hate the wind most of all. 

I agree on the wind. I hated it in New Mexico too.  Hopefully this is just breezy and isn't a monster but I'm actually a bit nervous it will be on the strong side.

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41 minutes ago, flplantguy said:

I agree on the wind. I hated it in New Mexico too.  Hopefully this is just breezy and isn't a monster but I'm actually a bit nervous it will be on the strong side.

It cleans out the Sabals at least but so many of the others especially if they are young get whipped. Broken leaflets, brown tips, snapped petioles etc. Then when you add in the 1-2 punch of a cold front the garden tends to look rough for a good while. At least with this one there doesn't seem to be any major temperature drop. Well lets hope its not too bad. 

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A rare, super positive AO 👍.  Me like.

image.thumb.png.0f76e51bcda126d9912571a8cbafb8ad.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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16 hours ago, SubTropicRay said:

A rare, super positive AO 👍.  Me like.

image.thumb.png.0f76e51bcda126d9912571a8cbafb8ad.png

The backside won't be so fun.  If it comes together there is a change in the pattern after Christmas.  I'm hoping not and there is some uncertainty still but Judah Cohen's blog about it is mentioning a sudden stratospheric warming then.  Those can be fun🙄

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On 12/9/2023 at 9:30 AM, kinzyjr said:

The NWS Records for 12/06/2023-12/08/2023 are attached in ZIP format if you want to peruse them.  There are a few added pages as well for the small airports at Lake Wales, Quincy, Perry, and Keystone.

 

20231206-20231208_NWS.zip 360.31 kB · 5 downloads

wow Jeremy ye shure can crunch de numbres

 

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51 minutes ago, flplantguy said:

The backside won't be so fun.  If it comes together there is a change in the pattern after Christmas.  I'm hoping not and there is some uncertainty still but Judah Cohen's blog about it is mentioning a sudden stratospheric warming then.  Those can be fun🙄

Ahh one must look for any glimmer of hope from Dr. Cohen's weekly dissertations.

"So regardless of what else might be occurring, El Niño, MJO, I see little support for any meaningful and/or persistent cold in the Eastern US for the foreseeable future. "

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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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1 hour ago, SubTropicRay said:

Ahh one must look for any glimmer of hope from Dr. Cohen's weekly dissertations.

"So regardless of what else might be occurring, El Niño, MJO, I see little support for any meaningful and/or persistent cold in the Eastern US for the foreseeable future. "

True but foreseeable is so short lol. I think once the event happens we will know which winter we will have.  And if it doesn't happen I guess we keep watching the oscillation outlook.  I'm glad we have them to watch at least, winter must have been much more stressful without any forecasting.  Like this storm coming this weekend, I can move my plants but in advance-not the day the wind and rain starts cuz we had no clue😳.  Wet January projected too, so frost maybe?  I'm planting more live oaks in my forest for that, for some reason I don't have any here but they are all around.  Lots of "mutt" oaks though.

 

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Next Wednesday morning according the blasted Euro

image.png.dac0d208dacd0db88534390da5b91671.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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On 12/19/2023 at 11:52 PM, Jimbean said:

Just before midnight

 

Untitled.png

Yep, NE wind makes a big difference for the east coast.  The NW wind has the opposite effect.

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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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The NWS airport readings for the last cool-off are attached.  Thus far, lowest has been between 43F-44F on my sensors and 42F-43F at the nearest DVP2.  The numbers appear to coalesce around 43F, so close enough for me. :)

Made a trip to the area around Old Town and Chiefland yesterday.  Definitely a lot cooler there than down here in the friendly confines of the I-4 corridor. 

 

20231218-20231221_NWS.zip

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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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Models are getting more bullish about a sudden stratospheric warming in January. With December being warm and El nino present it has to flip sometime. More clouds and rain through February also.  It's been consistent enough I think it holds weight but it all depends on specifics if we get a freeze or not.  After this past summer cool and wet is fine by me.

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1 minute ago, kinzyjr said:

The NWS airport readings for the last cool-off are attached.  Thus far, lowest has been between 43F-44F on my sensors and 42F-43F at the nearest DVP2.  The numbers appear to coalesce around 43F, so close enough for me. :)

Made a trip to the area around Old Town and Chiefland yesterday.  Definitely a lot cooler there than down here in the friendly confines of the I-4 corridor. 

 

20231218-20231221_NWS.zip 354.34 kB · 0 downloads

With the rain my numbers were almost the same.  I thought it would be colder but it must have warmed the sand some with the extra capacity.  Nice to see it so clearly played out.

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The GFS is leaning more towards a stretched PV than an SSW.  With a positive or neutral AO and NAO, not sure how any of that cold gets here.

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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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4 hours ago, SubTropicRay said:

The GFS is leaning more towards a stretched PV than an SSW.  With a positive or neutral AO and NAO, not sure how any of that cold gets here.

Agree w/ the potential for some " stretching, vs. a SSW " ahead.. That said / regardless.. I'd keep a close eye on both the NAO / AO .." Neutral " may not be the bottom after the start of the year..

Screenshot2023-12-21at16-29-01ao_gefs.sprd2.png(PNGImage12001400pixels).thumb.png.f522e350dc46b3870b16a1f911ce80c8.png

Screenshot2023-12-21at16-28-26nao_gefs.sprd2.png(PNGImage12001400pixels).thumb.png.1286e0be122d659cba062d978e884cfe.png

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Subject to change drastically with or without notice, but it does look like a lot of wet and chilly weather going into 2024.

image.png.7fe8b5820e87268a5dc0d3a82bd8fc1b.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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I haven't had time/energy to deal with statistics and alphabet soup. I've been getting my info from observations and I worry I will jinx FL winter weather prospects if I reveal them. But here goes. So far this fall/winter it has been unusually cloudy/gloomy daily, with brief glimpses of sunshine in the afternoon. Highs have been in the 60sF with occasionally forays into the low 70s. Going into January our "average" temps are 55/75. January 10 is the statistical depth of winter in Cape Coral. So this winter is definitely not usual. But the positive news is that the clouds/fog have kept our nightly lows relatively benign. Our lowest temp so far is 51.8F with quick rebound into the 60sF. By now I'd have seen multiple lows in the 40sF, occasionally 30sF. As I haven't been able to work in the yard for the past 3 months I feel blessed and hope this trend continues until March 1. Not likely. 

I am also aware the dreaded Polar Vortex may raise its head. I will be counting the days until March. After weeks of drought this past summer I am seeing more rain - not a lot more - than usual this winter. And the gloomy weather reduces evaporation. My gardens are going to rack and ruin from neglect so it will be interesting to see what makes it until spring.

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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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Hope things improve for you and your husband, @PalmatierMeg.  My fingers are crossed until spring as well.

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 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

Hope things improve for you and your husband, @PalmatierMeg.  My fingers are crossed until spring as well.

thank you

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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Lucky us! Weather made especially for you and me 👎

IMG_2936.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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@RedRabbit

We might get evicted from Zone 10a after New Year's :hmm:

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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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