Very cold air coming to the midwest

franktank232(z5 WI)December 11, 2010

Just taking a look at the wx model here and tonite its pumping out a RECORD BREAKING -29F for Tuesday morning. (Record is -23F)...

I have a lot of trees that are going to be tested if we get much below -20F. Sweet cherries, peaches, apricots>>>?

Just a heads up...

Also looking at up to 20 inches of snow (more?) plenty of insulation.

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Ouch! They're not saying anything nearly that bad here -- highs around 20, lows like 5-10 for mon-tues-wed. Probably they think we'll avoid the worst of it because lakes are still relatively warm and will moderate the air mass plus generate a lot of lake effect cloud cover to help trap the heat.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 6:34AM
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A bit more 'moderate' over here near Madison. Single digit below zero lows and a meager 10" of snow. Most of today's precip will be the dreaded 'wintery mix'.

Hope your trees pull through OK.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 8:32AM
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alan haigh

Frank, I sure hope that didn't come to pass. I don't think your trees are adequately hardened off yet to take that kind of extreme. Even many varieties of apples could suffer damage. Others, especially peaches could be killed from the snow line up, and peaches don't tend to regenerate from old wood.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 8:58AM
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It's supposed to be 90 here Sunday.
Sorry, that was mean; couldn't resist.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 10:34AM
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Wow applenut we are only expecting 80 on Monday.

I feel for you guys though. I don't know what temperatures like that feel like and don't even want to think about what it could do to my trees. Best of luck to all of you.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 11:56AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


That's mighty cold. The front must not be pushing down to the lower Midwest. Our projected low for the next week is 10F (tonight).

I think Hman is right. With those kinds of temps coming this early, I suspect this is going to be the worst winter you've seen for your fruit trees.

I wonder if you could protect the trunks and some of the scaffolds of the peaches and cherries by wrapping them w/ Christmas lights and blankets. Even if you could raise the temps inside the blankets 15 degrees, it might make the difference b/t life and death.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 12:20PM
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alan haigh

Good thinking OP, or you could use a yard of fresh manure at the base and make a frame if there was time and throw the tarp over the frame. Remove the tarp as soon as front passed so tree isn't tricked further out of dormancy.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 12:36PM
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OK, you wiseguys from warm climates with your 80's and 90's in December. I'll be thinking of you when I'm hauling buckets of water out the birds in the subzero wind chills next week. I just wont' say what I'll be thinking :-)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 12:51PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Frank, in the 3-day NWS CONUS forecast its now showing -13F or so as the lowest in Wisconsin so maybe you will be OK.

The current 3-month forecast is showing above normal temps for much of the US now as well, and below normal in only a small chunk in the NW part. See link below for that (upper picture is temperature, bottom is precip).


Here is a link that might be useful: 3-month forecast

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 1:55PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

We're too warm and no rain for three months. Last winter it was 1-2 days warm and 5-6 days cold almost like clockwork all winter long. This winter is just the opposite. Apparently the jet stream is running well north this winter.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 2:25PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Frank, my cherries, peaches and apricots have survived -20.

The only problem I've had is with a very cold freeze in early December that split the bark on a Stella cherry. Stella isn't the most cold hardy cherry. My apricots and peach trees weren't harmed. The Stella just keeps motoring on and ignoring the split bark.

I have 2 Stellas. One split, the other didn't. The one that split is the first to get the oncoming edge of cold winds.

My peaches and apricots are the first to go to sleep; perhaps a month before the apples, so they are pretty well dormant by now. The apples seem to be able to take the cold.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 2:27PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I'm looking at raw data put out by the weather models.

The NWS usually massages these numbers to meet climatic norms.

Just looking at the model from this afternoon...lows for early next week.

La Crosse, WI -26F
Madison, WI -13F
Minneapolis, MN -22F
Detroit, MI 8F
Miami, FL 34F

I haven't seen a temp like that in some time.

It really doesn't matter what gets killed. I shouldn't be growing some of this stuff anyways!

Already 10 inches of new snow with another 6 to 10 still coming.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 4:14PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Just checked the forecast again, and National Weather Service adjusted it downward for our area.

Now they're saying 6F for the low tonight and 3F for tomorrow night.

Blowing like a banshee out there now.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 4:47PM
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I bet 34 in Miami would be a record low for this early in the season. Last winter during Florida's record freeze, I believe it hit 32 or 33 in Miami, but that was in what, January I believe. Seems rather early for it to get that cold -- you would think there would still be a lot of latent heat in the soil, buildings, etc. at this early point in the season. But, I guess if the air mass is cold enough, anything is possible.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 5:34PM
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A few days ago the weather for monday low, in savannah ga, was going to be 12 degrees but i'm happy that they changed the low to 21 degree which means it will get about 25-30 for the low. I also looked at the high and its only going to be 39 degrees! I'm not too sure what we are going to do since it is going to be below 32 degrees most of the day! Miami low for that day is 33 i'm not too sure they will get that low but 2 things for sure is that oranges and strawberries are going to be higher in the coming months!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 7:23PM
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