Skip to comments.Florida Orange Growers Brace for Possible Killing Freeze
Posted on 01/09/2010 6:38:57 PM PST by justa-hairyape
Florida orange growers are bracing for possible crop damage as an arctic blast plunges temperatures to record lows Saturday and Sunday nights.
Sleet and snow mixed with rain has been reported Saturday from the Tampa Bay area to near and north of Orlando, the first time snow or sleet has occurred in west-central Florida since Jan. 8, 1996, the National Weather Service in Tampa said.
The immediate Tampa Bay area hasn't seen snow since Dec. 23, 1989.
While citrus growers fared well on Friday night as temperatures remained above critical levels in the heart of the citrus belt, worries are intensifying as a strong high pressure system bears down on the area.
The NWS has issued a freeze warning for much of central and southern Florida from 9 p.m. EST Saturday to 9 a.m. EST on Sunday, meaning temperatures are expected to dip from 27 F to 32 F for three or more hours over a widespread area.
Citrus sustains damage when the mercury falls below 28 degrees Fahrenheit for three or more hours.
"We will undoubtedly suffer some damage to this season's crop tomorrow [Sunday] a.m. and again on Monday a.m.," said Fran Becker, president of Lakeland-based Florida Citrus Mutual and vice president of fruit procurement for Peace River Citrus Products Inc. in Arcadia, Fla.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
its 31 already in Seminole cty here, the citrus belt is just a couple counties south and stands to get hurt real big.
Good thing we’ve been sequestering all that CO2, no?
The Plague of the Cold.
What we need is for Al Gore to be there to give a global warming pep rally! Maybe if he bilks more bucks from the willing, the orange crop will be safe? sarc/off
Florida's main citrus belt lies south of the Interstate 4 corridor that runs from Tampa Bay on the gulf side of the state, through Orlando and up to Daytona Beach on the Atlantic Coast.
Well, dann it -- find all the local mercury and start heating it!!!! Gotta keep the Hg above 28F!
...this kind of freeze has been happening all my life...it’s part of being a Florida citrus farmer.
I got my ficus tree covered.
I wish Fla. orange-growers the best. I make sure that I buy their product.
What county are you located in ?
At Home Depot you could only find pictures of space heaters, telling customers they could order the product online. They had chimney cleaners, but were out of fire wood and Duraflame® logs.
It’s cold as all get-out here in St Agustine. I have had to break out all the stuff I moved from the North, combined with things that I wear in Europe in the winter.
This is bad. Our houses aren’t ready for it, and neither are we! Our poor little lizards are dying - that may sound silly, but they’re typical of this place, and seeing them frozen on the ground is very upsetting. I’d rather see Al Gore frozen into a block of ice somewhere soon.
Orange Tree Peril Bump. Maybe throw a blanket or tarp over it and light a few large candles?
FYI - Key West reported its coldest day in 112 years. 47 F. 8.3 C.
“...this kind of freeze has been happening all my life...its part of being a Florida citrus farmer.”
Up in Iowa, they are planning to take the citrus industry from you. Global warming has everyone excited about diversifying away from corn and soybeans, and into oranges.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator for most of the state, reported a winter record of 55,856 megawatts Friday between 7 and 8 a.m. to erase the previous high of 52,001 set just 12 hours previously between 7 and 8 p.m. Thursday.
Are all of them definitely dead? With a cold-blooded creature it might be more difficult to tell. Any chance some might thaw out of it?
I try to put them someplace where the sun might strike them and hope for the best. But they are literally falling off of the trees and fences here. We’ve had cold nights and mornings before, but never (in the last 10 years, at least) days this cold and with such sustained cold.
That’s okay, Al Baby has probably got his thermostat set to 90. And lizards don’t vote anyway.
We’re slightly colder than normal here in Philly, but it isn’t anything to write home about (normal high is 38). I’ve seen much worse here. What amazes me is that parts of Florida are experiencing highs that are below our normal high.
I agree. It's tough to watch.
I have a pair of herons who stay near my pond here in NC year-round. Our low temps have been in the mid-teens several days running. Two or three days of lows like that per year is normal -- but six or seven nights in a row is something I've never seen. The herons can survive the cold -- I think -- but I'm afraid they may starve, as the fish have gone to the bottom of the pond, out of the herons' reach.
Amtrak train traffic between Chicago and Denver through Nebraska continues to be disrupted by drifting snow, especially between Hastings and Holdrege.
"There are heavy drifts as tall as the train," said spokesman Marc Magliari of Amtrak's Chicago office.
"When we go through areas where there's a cut through a hill and it fills with snow, a train is not going to punch through that."
Very interesting! I will say I wouldn’t miss the iguana, a major drug-dealer pet, but it’s disturbing that this cold weather has affected fish and other genuinely “wild” wildlife.
I have retreated to my attic, which is where all the heat goes in my poorly insulated Florida house. Fortunately, my PC is up here with me.
Take a pillow case... fill it with frozen oranges... then wait for Al Bore to walk off his Lear.
The cold weather is expected to continue into next week, at least here in Florida. It’s the length of this stretch of cold that is the problem, in addition to the fact that the sun seems to have no effect on it and doesn’t warm things up at all during the day, so there’s no time to recover before night falls.
Very strange. An older lady was telling me that it hasn’t been like this in North Florida since about 1950.
Was in the same boat earlier this season when So Cal was cold. Live in an industrial loft within my business. No central heat. Been building an Igloo in the loft made out of thick Polyurethane insulation sheets. Now have two space heaters. Just bought a small Halogen shop light for the office ($16 at Lowes). Gives off good light and also excess heat. So Cal has been warm the past few weeks due to the High Pressure Blocking factors that are now freezing Florida.
Do you happen to know why they would wait so late in the season to harvest corn?
I got 31..on the water in S. Tampa. No wind and dropping.
The fish are starting to float up in Tampa Bay..Snook and Grouper, big ones. They are laying belly up and barely moving.
Ya gotta figure if ALgore says we are gonna fry. A New Ice Age. God is not happy with Algore.
I think it was because of the heavy rains. Cannot harvest when it is raining. The mud messes up the harvesters, but I am not a corn farmer.
Resourcefulness! I’m huddling next to my desk lamp right now. It’s also amazing how much heat a monitor gives off.
Should clarify that. The humidity metric that is reported for various locations, really does not seem to apply to coastal areas. The humidity here can feel very thick, but I think that is not the proper metric to use. Perhaps water vapor density would be better ? Any meteorologists want to clarify ?
Exactly. Here in the Charlotte area, the low temps for the last week, plus the predicted lows for tonight and tomorrow night: 21º, 15º, 17º, 18º, 20º, 19º, 20º, 17º, 17º.
Nothing at all unusual to have a cold front sweep through, and drop the nighttime temperatures into the teens -- happens two or three times a winter. Even into the single digits once in a great while. But only for a night or two, usually followed by a quick warmup. I don't think I've ever seen nine straight nights with temps like that in Charlotte before.
[Cold in Texas also.]
I’m in South central Texas, about 25 miles from the coast, and it was 17* last night. Supposed to be about that tonight too.
Everything in my flowerbeds is brown and dead.
There is no question that this is the coldest winter in Florida since I moved here 25 years ago.
15°F here right now
- and dropping I am told!
That’s interesting that it’s humid there even in winter. A coworker moved up here from Fort Walton Beach and he would always complain about how the air here was so bone-dry in winter that his skin would crack and bleed. (yup, it afflicts all of us here)
I have been told and I believe it to be true, that there is a difference between ‘dry cold’ and ‘damp cold’. When my aunts used to visit from Pennsylvania in the winter, they said the damp cold here was sharper and felt colder.
When I visited Pa one winter, and it was snowing, it was a ‘dry cold’ and I walked around with my coat open.
Just reading your post and I posted something similar below. Most people don’t realize this is true.
I have seen 30 below in Michigan, 20 below in Kansas, e.g.
But I have never been so uncomfortable as in 40 degree weather in Central Alabama. Bone-chilling.
FYI - That link takes us to this page.