Frost was predicted in Florida expecting overnight temps to reach record lows by the morning of December 14. Weather forecasters predicted temperatures to dip to 25 degrees as far as south as Jupiter, Florida and beyond.
Homeowners cover outdoor plumbing, and landscaping,and keep water taps open through the night.
Fruit growing companies are keeping the irrigation sprinklers on in order to prevent frost damage. Irrigation is an extra expense, but it would be the least case insofar as losses for this phenomenal cold spell.
The theory is that the equalizing effect of the water temperature will keep the temperature as even as possible when a frost occurs. With the water, the radical changes caused by the cold temps will be somewhat tempered.
The actual cause of frost isn’t the cold itself. Rather, it is the rapid transition of cold to warm. When the Florida sun comes out in the morning, the warmth causes the veins within the leaves to expand rapidly, bursting the capillaries. This is when the damage is done.
As it were, the threat of complete destruction has many ramifications.
In the event of widespread damage, many of the orchard workers would no longer be needed. Mass layoffs could then have a ripple effect in the local economy.
More than this, the fruit that does survive, will render higher prices. Otherwise, the imported fruit that comes into the country will be in high demand.
High demand equals higher prices.
Every little neighborhood displays the hooded look as homeowners strive to protect their native landscape plants. Bedspreads, sheets, and any protective fabric are employed to prevent loss of plantings.
Yet, the wind carries a high impact insofar as frost protection. Though it may seem a simple endeavor, the coverings also require some kind of weight to keep them stable in twenty five to thirty m.p.h. wind gusts.
Rocks in Florida aren’t a common occurrence. So, it’s a big job to keep the coverings on hibiscus, plumbago, rubber trees, and other tropical plants. Ropes tied around tree trunks help secure protective covers.
Commercial offerings include a silvery insulating material that deflects the sunlight. This, in turn, prevents radically changing temperatures within vegetative growth systems.
Twenty five degrees in Florida feels like ten degrees in the North because of the humidity from the ocean.
We can only hope that the outcomes of the frost and record cold temps aren’t as bleak as it could be for Florida’s vegetation.