chicago_palmDecember 16, 2011

Wow what a change this year so far over the last four winters. Temps way above normal and no snow. Last year we we had 6 inches of snow on the ground and temps stayed below 32 F until mid January.

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I agree, things have been looking and feeling much more like early spring here than winter. Heavy spring-like rains, only 1 night so far down to 20, and most nights much milder. We did get about an inch of snow last week, but it melted by the middle of the afternoon. Daytime highs are forecast around 40 and nighttime lows around 30 or warmer. Pretty mild for Michigan in December. Hopefully this mild trend continues. Almost makes me wish I hadn't covered my palms up yet. They would have been fine looks like into January. The ground has even thawed out again.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 1:51AM
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Grass is still lush green, my camellias were blooming last weekend. This past week we had sun showers with highs into the low 60's. Nights below 32 F are infrequent (so far) this December. Much colder today (closer to 'normal') and tomorrow will not get out of the 30's. Then, another warm up (to low 50's). Still, will be bringing the Mexican fan palms, Dates and cycads into their winter shelter. Only downside is that if this continues, I'll have to be watering the sheltered plants much more regularly.--When it's cold, I water very infrequently. Locally, towns have STILL not picked up the massive amounts of tree debris from the freak Halloween snowstorm!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 11:50AM
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I also agree, the weather has been good so far here! Its cooling down now, but still not bad at all. Some of the frost tender plants are still doing well here!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 3:54PM
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Its been colder than average over here in the west. Already seen a few frost days. Although they are light and short lived... :(

- US_Marine

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 11:47AM
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50 in Detroit yesterday, we have had only a coating of snow once or twice and it has not lasted. November and December have been great so far. Seems like we've had more sun than usueal for this time of year.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 2:31PM
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50 again today in Southeast Michigan. The lowest temp in the 7 day forecast is 28, and that's only once. Everything else is warmer. We've been having a lot more sun this year than usual too. If this keeps up, we'll have flowers popping up out of the ground in January again. A few winters ago, we had our warmest winter ever, and there were daffodils and daylillies coming up in January. I can only hope for another winter like that.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 8:33PM
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That was the winter of 2006-2007 it did not start getting
cold here until mid Jan and even then it only lasted a few weeks.
Almost everything was in bloom but over a 2 day period in early
April(around the 6th)we dropped below freezing for 2 days
and went as low as 18F I believe.

Everything was wiped out,no blossoms/fruit either.

I looked up Lansing Mich in that period and it was below
freezing there about 4 days.

One(maybe?) good thing about the last 3 cold winters...(cool or warm)
we have had good spring weather with no killing freezes.

Here is a link that might be useful: You can see they had 70s right befor it git cold.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 1:00PM
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brooklyngreg(7a NYC coastal plain)


    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 4:25PM
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I am in the southern suburbs of Detroit, and I did look up the same time period for Detroit, which is almost always warmer than Lansing in the colder months, and we were below freezing for 3 days. Lansing is a zone 5, and Detroit is a zone 6b, due to proximity to the water and Lansing being located in the center of the state. That was some serious whacky weather now that I look back at it. April 1st was about 70 for a high, then the cold hit, then by April 22nd, we were back to about 80f. Sounds like perfect tornado weather...

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 11:41PM
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I figured it might be colder but I forgot where you live (-:

What was a little odd about that cold was the wind just blew
out of the N/NW for like a week instead of a cold windless
radiation freeze like we normally get,this was an advection freeze.

That was a weird period of weather,it also was the beginning of
the AO going negative(for long periods) on us like we have seen the past 3 winters.
You could almost say the AO ran mostly negative for 3 years.

I won't mind at all if it is missing this winter(AO deserves a break!),
as long as we don't get zapped next spring...I have a bad habit of planting to early!

Click for weather forecast

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 10:01AM
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neonrider(USDA 8A ^ Sunset 31 ^ Mid-SC)

Here in the mid SC temps stayed 64F at night and about 75-77F. So far this winter we had one night of 28F for a couple hours and a couple with 29-31F weather. Zone 8A but the weather has been Zone 9B so far, almost 10A. My Washingtonia Robusta are still growing in December. The West has been colder than average I believe such disbalance in the climate due to chemtrail spraying in the sky. They are trying to cool down the climate (why not enjoy warms temps?) but what they achieve is one big mess with some areas warming up and some cooling down. That is a dangerous game what those geo-engineer9ing people are doing with their chemtrails. If you have no idea what those are, take a look at the sky more often and see all the mess.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 12:21PM
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No heavy frost yet. I spent the day putting down lime and fertilizing the lawn before the heavy rains arrived this afternoon and evening. Still, a fairly mild forecast into the extended. Happy New Year!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 8:50PM
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Yeah, the west is having colder than average temps. So far the average for my area is below freezing.... :( ......... I never seen so many frost days. The day time highs are running above, but the night time lows are much below average. Also to note: we have not been getting much rain, this is normally our wettest season. Mostly clear skies so far.

Interestingly I noticed other things, I am not sure if its always like this here,but I really havnt paid much attention until now. I still see honey bees, lady bugs,mosquitos and a few other bugs. I do not think I have seen them out this late ever. I also noticed geese flying North???? Not a few times, but many times. I have never seen this so early.

Weird weather.....hmmmm

- US_Marine

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 11:49AM
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I have also noticed a lot of bugs around here still. There was a bee that flew into my house about a week ago and there are definitely flies around outside. Usually we have snow by now and the bugs dont stick around for that kind of weather, but so far we havent had any snow this month and even our nights below 30F have been very limited. There are some cold days ahead in the forecast, but Im hoping that a warmup will follow!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 12:10PM
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In warmer climates, plant pests do become more of an issue. I remember my palm friend from Florida being surprised that I do not regularly have to apply pesticides on my plants. (So I have noticed fewer "stink bugs" trying to get into the house to overwinter in warmth. There were thousands of winged ants outside last month (did not know they swarmed like this in November).

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 1:35PM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Even here in the mountains of Northern VA our winter has been pretty mild. Many days in the 50/60s still, though today its in the upper 30s with 25-40 MPH gusting NW winds and a few snow showers. We have had very heavy frosts quite a few times though, and have gone down in the teens at night a few times. Sadly, I think I may have fried both of my Pigmy Date Palms. The windmill and sagos are fine, but the sagos have some minor damage on one side. They were all packed up against the south side of the house, but the fronds that were more than 12" away did suffer a bit. We shall see if the Pigmy Dates recover. I would hate to lose my big 8 footer which has bloomed 3 times for me now, but it is what it is. Both of them are now more brown than green. The spears are still nice and snug though. They were brought in the day after the unexpected freeze.

We did have 1 snow storm already. Got about 5" the day before halloween, and a few other light dustings since then, but nothing major.

I knew it was going to be colder here, but the climate change in the 50 miles we moved (north and west of the city) has been fairly dramatic and this is a MILD winter. We have had TONS of rain, but usually this probably would have been several rather substantial snows by now in a normal winter. Oh and to top it off, we now have some elevation. Were now 600 feet, with 2,000 foot mountains just a couple miles up the road from town to the west, so that also accounts for some big differences. Not the greatest palm climate I suppose, but what can I say. I wanted country, and to save lots of money, and love mountains. Well, I'm getting all that now, but it looks like I may have to scale back my palm collecting. =o( I suppose its a good thing I also have a similar addiction to conifers! =o)

Anyway, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Yule, and Happy holidays (or anything else anyone might celebrate) to everyone here! Happy New Year as well!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 1:56PM
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Ken, that is a big zone change for a move within the greater DC metro area. I used to live in Alexandria before moving down to the Delaware beaches. I was always amazed by the colder temps and the amount of snow the western counties of NVa got each year compared to the city. Good luck out there.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 2:39PM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Yeah, you're telling me! Its absolutely BEAUTIFUL out here, but man its a very different climate, esp in winter. I suppose I was not expecting that deep of a freeze to happen so soon. Oh well, live and learn. We had a few more snow showers this morning. The other factor in play are mountains, and elevation. We moved from Old Town Alexandria right along the Potomac River at 24 feet, to Western Loudoun at 600 feet and in the few months we have been here I can tell you that with the iffy storms, or storms in a mild winter elevation is everything. The 10/29 storm that gave us 5" of snow here in town, produced almost a foot above 1,200 feet on the mountains a couple miles to our west. All the while Leesburg (8 miles east) got 1/2" and our old place got 30 minutes of wet flakes at the end with 0 accumulation. I think elevation makes the biggest difference in creating such dramatic climate changes in such a short distance. The mountaintops just to our west are probably more like a 5b or 6A above 1000'. So long to the protection of the water and hello to the strong gusty winds and snow! Summers here though are roughly the same. Its Winter where there is a bigger difference.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 2:57PM
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I'm not sure what the lowest temp so far has been, says low 20f's, weatherunderground says mid 20f's. I am leaning more to mid 20f's because the damage I see on z9b palms are not as bad as the last time it dropped to the low 20f's. Many palms are in open areas, so it suggests warmer actual lows. Majesty's are not damaged, neither are any queens etc.

- US_Marine

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 3:23PM
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