bell32ndst's WunderBlog

The big freeze is over

By: bell32ndst, 6:39 PM GMT on January 16, 2013

Yesterday morning was the coldest of the period, with a low of 17. This morning was 25. Yesterday it got to 52, and that extra warmth from the day before when it only reached 45 really made the difference.

Now we're getting back to regularly scheduled weather. Today should be in the 60s, and in a few days we'll be in the high 60s and this will be only a bad memory. Well, except for the plants which were damaged. I might lose some young carobs and yellow bird of paradise shrubs. And the young valencia is looking very ragged. It could lose all its leaves, and might die.

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Cooler yet

By: bell32ndst, 8:01 PM GMT on January 14, 2013

This morning was 18 degrees, and it doesn't seem to be warming up like the last two days. At least it is clear and sunny, but it is struggling to get to the mid 40s, and there is a cold wind that seems to be counteracting any warming from the sun.

The forecast is for it to be colder tomorrow morning than this morning, and if something doesn't change I believe it.

The citrus is already showing damage to foliage after the last three days, this last one will probably just aggravate it.

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Unusually cool

By: bell32ndst, 5:09 PM GMT on January 13, 2013

It has been cooler than normal in Phoenix the last couple of days, and is forecast to remain so for the next two. The low here yesterday morning and this morning was 19 degrees. The coldest is supposed to be tomorrow morning. Might get down to the lowest temperature I've seen here, 15 degrees.

This morning when I picked a tangelo and ate it, the flesh was like a slurpee. Orange slush. This is the heavy bearing year for the minneola, wonder if I'll lose the crop. Frosts like this have caused some die back in the past, but the fruit hasn't been destroyed.

I used to go through winters without any covering on exposed water spigots in the yard. Until one winter it froze so hard I lost several ball valves when the water in them froze hard enough to split the brass casing. Since then I cover everything starting in early December.

Too bad we can't save this cold for use next summer. Maybe someone will come up with a heat storage device so we can save the heat in the summer for use in winter, and vice versa. I can imagine how wonderful it would be to have a July day in the house right now, and a January day in August.

I have a capulin (catalina?) cherry, and it has begun setting fruit. Must be getting the required chilling with the winters getting colder, especially in the overnight lows. Peaches and apricots already do great here, my trees used to be loaded with fruit. But the woodpeckers would put a single peck in all the fruits as they started ripening on the ripest spot and ruin the fruit, so I removed them. Curse those people that have saguaros in their yards (the woodpeckers live in the saguaros). Technically they aren't woodpeckers but sapsuckers. They attack the citrus also, but there they just put a hole in the fruit so the fruit flies will colonize it, and then they eat the flies. So they spoil about a quarter of the fruit on the tree. And they rarely touch grapefruit. I suspect the bitter oils in the rind must cling to their beak.

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