Thursday, December 21, 2017

Brrrrr, 26°F predicted for tonight

At this time of year, one of my daily rituals is checking the weather, especially the night-time lows. I don't worry too much as long as temperatures don't drop below 30°F. I woke up this morning to an unpleasant surprise: Tonight's low is forecast to be 26° or 27°F, depending on what weather service you look at. The only dissenter is my favorite weather app, Morecast, which is forecasting 37°F. Hmmm, a 10°F difference? I don't think I've ever seen that. Clearly, somebody will be wrong.


Not wanting to tempt fate, I scrambled in the late afternoon to move my most sensitive potted plants up against the house and covered them with frost cloth. A tray full of aloe seedlings and a few prized plants (Euphorbia horrida 'Snowflake', Agave albopilosa, and Aloe ferox 'Mediopicta') were quickly shoved into the garage where they'll spend Christmas.

Here are some quick snapshots of my hurried preparations:

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire', Euphorbia pseudocactus, and Aloidendron dichotomum next to the front door

...and covered

Aloe vaombe, Aloidendron ramosissimumAlluaudia proceraAgave 'Desert Diamond', ×Mangave 'Lavender Lady', a few Huernia and Euphorbia, and some aloe seedlings on the front porch

...and covered

And finally my beloved Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue' and another Aloidendron ramosissimum. They live on the edge of the front porch, but I don't want their leaves to blemished in any way so...

...they got covered, too

Of course now that I've gone to all this trouble, Morecast will probably be right and night-time lows won't be anywhere near 26°F. But it's better to be prepared.

Can you tell that winter is not my favorite season?


UPDATE, FRIDAY, 6:50 AM: Fortunately, 26°F didn't materialize, and neither did 27°F. Most weather services said the night-time low was 30° or 31°F. It was 34°F in the backyard when I got up at 6:30 am. And the rest of the year looks like clear sailing. WHEW.


14 comments:

  1. Many years ago when Los Angeles County was one of the leading agricultural producers in the county KFI, a radio station, used to broadcast Fruit Frost Warnings at 8 o'clock each evening. On nights when heavy frosts were predicted, the reporter used to conclude with "Good night and good luck". So my wish for you, Gerhard, is "Good night and good luck."
    And, of course, you don't have to fire up the smudge pots at 2 am, or do you?

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    1. Jane, I remember driving through the Midwest years ago and hearing the prices of wheat and corn on the radio! I think those days are gone.

      No smudge pot, but I've often thought that would be a good idea!

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  2. I hate having to move the big plants, especially those with spiky parts, or those that can snap off. It seems early for those temps for you, doesn't it?

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    1. We often have the low of the year in late December. It looks like the rest of the year will be above freezing. And once January rolls around, spring isn't far away.

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  3. Yikes! I didn't know that it ever got that cold where you live. Keep warm!

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    1. Thank goodness it didn't get down to 26°F. That would have been quite cold. Usually we get a few nights of 28°F, but that's about it.

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  4. I've been covering things for many days--we have been in the 30 to 32 degree range for a couple weeks. I have frost cloth all over the place ! It's 37 now at 8pm. Not a good sign !

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    1. How low did it go in Napa? 34°F in our backyard at 6:30am.

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    2. When I left for the office at around 6 it was 28 in my back yard.

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  5. Wow, 26 is even colder than we’ve been thus far. Hoping it doesn’t happen...you don’t need that!

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    1. It didn't happen. Whew. But at least the plants are covered now when I head on my trip to Southern California on Tuesday.

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  6. I saw 38 F here in my garden in Concord at 7AM, not as cold as was predicted either. Only frost beyond the roof was on the wet garden waste bin when I brought it in after they picked it up this morning.

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  7. It doesn't hurt to be prepared. It would be tragic for those great specimens to be damaged or killed.

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  8. Well, all your plants are safe, which is the most important thing. There are no lows like that to worry about down this way and next week is expected to have some highs in the mid-70s range.

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