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HtownWxBoy

Arctic Front heading our way!

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A very strong cold front is forecast to push across the Houston area on Thursday. Temperatures will fall through the 30s on Thursday behind the front. Friday and Saturday will see lows in the teens and 20s and highs in the 30s... some areas may stay below freezing all day on Friday. Sunday morning could also be in the 20s with milder conditions by Sunday afternoon.

Don't forget about water pipes... exposed pipes could break! :doh:

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A very strong cold front is forecast to push across the Houston area on Thursday. Temperatures will fall through the 30s on Thursday behind the front. Friday and Saturday will see lows in the teens and 20s and highs in the 30s... some areas may stay below freezing all day on Friday. Sunday morning could also be in the 20s with milder conditions by Sunday afternoon.

Don't forget about water pipes... exposed pipes could break! :doh:

Dang - and here I was a total believer in Global Warming and rising sea levels that I removed the heaters from my house so that I could buy pontoons for the house to prepare for the rising seas. Now Im going to freeze to death. Oh well...gotta go some way or another.

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We're talking about a weather forecast here, not global climate trends. Let's please stick to that.

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Okay, I'm ready for spring already! My weak forced-air electric heat isn't cutting it with these cold nights. And some of my plants look like they melted.

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This winter stinks so bad. What happened to our mild winters? I was over this winter before it started.

A change in scenery isnt so bad. I've enjoyed these colder days.(for lack of a better word) Not what we usually expect in a Houston winter. And, hey, it could be worse, we could be Dallas!!ohmy.gif

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We will, no doubt, lose many tropical plants - that's what I hate. We haven't had such a hard freeze in so long that many have been flourishing and pleasing my eyes.

Super hot summer and super cold winter, go figure. Not to take this off topic, sevfiv, but I recall these trends to be, in fact, part of global warming. Either way, my body does not like it.

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This winter stinks so bad. What happened to our mild winters? I was over this winter before it started.

Dunno, seems like the usual bipolar Houston winter to me. I was in shorts and a t-shirt not so long ago. I just don't want to wake up to 60 degrees on marathon day!

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Don't forget about water pipes... exposed pipes could break! :doh:

How do you protect the pipes, cover them up? My 1938 house only has exposed pipes .....

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A change in scenery isnt so bad. I've enjoyed these colder days.(for lack of a better word) Not what we usually expect in a Houston winter. And, hey, it could be worse, we could be Dallas!!ohmy.gif

Not this change of scenery. I don't enjoy looking outside and seeing the deadness. I get depressed. Anywhere I go I have to stay indoors because I can't tolerate the cold. In order to be comfortable I almost have to be hot. I like the heat. Where's the relief? I can't take this much longer.

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We will, no doubt, lose many tropical plants - that's what I hate. We haven't had such a hard freeze in so long that many have been flourishing and pleasing my eyes.

Most of the real tropical species were hit very hard by the December 5th freeze, so I don't see that much extra damage on this event. During the mid 20s of the December event, the plants and palms especially were still really in growth mode which is why that freeze was so hard on them. By now they've slowed down and hardened off a bit.

I saw burned Royals, Majesty, Foxtails, Kings, and fishtails all over Houston after the December event. All of those palms should expect 100% defoliation unless you're real close to Galveston. I imagine a lot of the Royals for instance will die outright after this, but obviously you're pushing the limits with that stuff.

In the more subtropical species, I doubt any Canary Island or True Date Palms will die from this event, even up to say the Woodlands. I wouldn't be surprised by some light burn on those though. They're slow to recover and have large canopies so this may be an eye sore for a bit. The northwestern suburbs will lose some Queens no doubt, but inside the loop I bet you'll get only light damage. Mexican Fan palms north of 59 will get some burn. California fan palms will be entirely unaffected. Hybrids will have intermediate damage. Texas or Florida Sabals will both sail through this event unaffected. There are some beautiful Bismarckias around town that are going to get a bit fried, but established ones should survive at least from Houston proper south. Pindos, Mediterranean Fan Palms, and Brahea Armatas should be fine.

I'd try to protect bougainvillea anywhere around town with at least a blanket or frost cloth. North of town I'd put a blanket over Sagos too, otherwise it may be an ugly brown until late spring.

Jason

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Wunderground is reporting that snow and/or sleet is expected on Thursday morning...sorta. In different parts of the same page, they're calling for rain only.

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Most of the real tropical species were hit very hard by the December 5th freeze, so I don't see that much extra damage on this event. During the mid 20s of the December event, the plants and palms especially were still really in growth mode which is why that freeze was so hard on them. By now they've slowed down and hardened off a bit.

I saw burned Royals, Majesty, Foxtails, Kings, and fishtails all over Houston after the December event. All of those palms should expect 100% defoliation unless you're real close to Galveston. I imagine a lot of the Royals for instance will die outright after this, but obviously you're pushing the limits with that stuff.

In the more subtropical species, I doubt any Canary Island or True Date Palms will die from this event, even up to say the Woodlands. I wouldn't be surprised by some light burn on those though. They're slow to recover and have large canopies so this may be an eye sore for a bit. The northwestern suburbs will lose some Queens no doubt, but inside the loop I bet you'll get only light damage. Mexican Fan palms north of 59 will get some burn. California fan palms will be entirely unaffected. Hybrids will have intermediate damage. Texas or Florida Sabals will both sail through this event unaffected. There are some beautiful Bismarckias around town that are going to get a bit fried, but established ones should survive at least from Houston proper south. Pindos, Mediterranean Fan Palms, and Brahea Armatas should be fine.

I'd try to protect bougainvillea anywhere around town with at least a blanket or frost cloth. North of town I'd put a blanket over Sagos too, otherwise it may be an ugly brown until late spring.

Jason

Good post Jason. I'm going to at least give my Queen (about 15') a good wrap around her trunk and hope for the best. My Pindo should handle the freeze easily as long as we don't get into the teens.

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More cold, please. God, I love this weather.

EDIT: And if your plants die, well then it just wasn't meant to be. It just wasn't part of God's plan for them, now was it? Oh well. Let mother nature run its course.

Edited by BryanS
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I have a pygmy date palm that got burned in the Dec. freeze, but I think they have a hardiness of 20 degrees so it should be fine. I also planted a queen palm over the summer and it still looks ok. I think they also have a hardiness of about 20. They're both planted next to a fence, if that matters. Now my papaya, that should do dandy.

I'm ready for this artic front. I'm ready for it to come, do its thing and hopefully get out. I just want it to be over with. I'd so love to see next week's forecast and it be nothing but days above 65 and sunny. I'd go outside and roll around on the ground, cat poop and all. It's funny because merely months anything below 70 I considered freezing. Now 60 looks downright toasty.

Edited by KimberlySayWhat

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Word of advice to those that have plants that begin burning at 20 or so degrees... Water deeply before the freeze hits. It insulates the root system. I just finished watering everything including my St Augustine.

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Do I need to protect my pool pump gear and stuff? Maybe it is best to keep the installation running?

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Do I need to protect my pool pump gear and stuff? Maybe it is best to keep the installation running?

Keep it running. Mine has a system that starts the pump as soon as air temp hits 36 no matter what the water temp is.

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Keep it running. Mine has a system that starts the pump as soon as air temp hits 36 no matter what the water temp is.

Thanks!

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Thanks for the tips. I watered some of the more vulnerable trees/shrubs last night. I hope it was enough.

If I had a weather machine it would be a lovely 65-85 degrees in Houston year round.

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How do you protect the pipes, cover them up? My 1938 house only has exposed pipes .....

if you don't have insulation drain them as much as you can. it's usually easy to do the cold water pipes since the outside faucets are low points in the system. the hot water is another story though since most don't have hot water outside.

tonight i've also blocked the vents at the top of the roof to try and slow attic heat loss for the next few days. don't do it long term though as moisture problems could develop. according to a couple of thermometers I have inside, the temperature is higher than normal.

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Anyone catch the Ch. 13 newscast after the UT-Alabama game last night? During the lead-in for coverage of the Arctic Blast, Dave Ward made a crack about "witches, well-diggers, and brass monkeys". :lol:

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It's so cold that my heater cannot keep up. It has run continuously all afternoon, but the inside temperature has remained at 64. Not to mention that drafty windows feel much draftier in this weather. I just attacked several of them with duct tape. Must have worked. The thermostat now reads 65.

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It's so cold that my heater cannot keep up. It has run continuously all afternoon, but the inside temperature has remained at 64. Not to mention that drafty windows feel much draftier in this weather. I just attacked several of them with duct tape. Must have worked. The thermostat now reads 65.

I've been running mine non-stop and it still dropped to 65 overnight, which I find borderline bearable with several layers. I kinda wish I had a snuggie now.

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It's so cold that my heater cannot keep up. It has run continuously all afternoon, but the inside temperature has remained at 64. Not to mention that drafty windows feel much draftier in this weather. I just attacked several of them with duct tape. Must have worked. The thermostat now reads 65.

You gonna be ok Red? Got enough blankets and all?

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It's so cold that my heater cannot keep up. It has run continuously all afternoon, but the inside temperature has remained at 64. Not to mention that drafty windows feel much draftier in this weather. I just attacked several of them with duct tape. Must have worked. The thermostat now reads 65.

I'm in the exact opposite circumstance. The thermostat is in the coldest spot in the apartment and duct to my room is inappropriately large, so even with the vent mostly closed-off, I have to keep the window open and vent the excess heat to keep comfortable. And all I'm wearing are scrub bottoms and a cotton t-shirt.

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You gonna be ok Red? Got enough blankets and all?

Yeah, I have a somewhat similar situation to Niche. The thermostat is in a drafty cool hallway, so the heater keeps running. My bedroom and bath are actually hot. I may have just decided to stop working on my new garage in favor of replacement windows in the house, however. :)

Oh, and I just found several leftover water pipe insulation tubes. Just finished wrapping the neighbor's pipes. Heading over to the other neighbor to see if they need one.

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Just curious-- what are people setting their thermostats at? I've had ours at about 68 for days. Shows how soft I've become, living here. In upstate NY we would turn it down to 58 at night to save money. Getting up in the a.m. was tough.

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I usually keep it at 67, but lately it has been at 68. Obviously, though, it has stayed at 64 all day, and probably will be there all weekend. Frankly, now that I've knocked much of the draft out, 64 isn't that bad...as long as I wear my sweats.

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It isn't till we get frigid temperatures and wind chills like this that you realize just how energy inefficient your windows are, and how many little hidden penetrations there are in your home.

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Yeah, I have a somewhat similar situation to Niche. The thermostat is in a drafty cool hallway, so the heater keeps running. My bedroom and bath are actually hot. I may have just decided to stop working on my new garage in favor of replacement windows in the house, however. :)

Don't forget that there's a tax credit available for replacing old windows with energy efficient ones through the end of 2010.

Just curious-- what are people setting their thermostats at? I've had ours at about 68 for days. Shows how soft I've become, living here. In upstate NY we would turn it down to 58 at night to save money. Getting up in the a.m. was tough.

I was keeping mine at 66 at day and 58 at night (with a space heater in the bedroom at night), but I raised it to 68 ahead of the cold snap and have left it there since. I'm afraid that if I lower it, the heater will never catch back up due to the colder temps. I am dreading my next electrical bill though.

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I blew-in R-30 cellulose in the summer. Kept the house cool then, and warm now. Nothing beats a gas furnace. I feel sorry for anyone who has heat pumps or electrical resistance heating.

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Just curious-- what are people setting their thermostats at? I've had ours at about 68 for days. Shows how soft I've become, living here. In upstate NY we would turn it down to 58 at night to save money. Getting up in the a.m. was tough.

I don't have central heating (or AC, for that matter) so there's no thermostat to set. :mellow:

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OK, I'm in a bit of a panic this morning. The water coming out of the taps is brown. I can't see evidence of a burst pipe anywhere, but I don't know what this means. Is it a city water problem, or is it our house? My husband is away, I'm alone with the kids and I'm kind of freaking out...

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If a pipe has burst, chances are the water would not be running at all.

It's a cool 10 degrees here in Bastrop at this moment. I have shut off the east wing of the house to save electricity. The west wing is one bedroom and bathroom which I am heating with two space heaters. I went to the kitchen earlier to get a bowl of cereal and thought my hands would get frostbitten.

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Thanks H2B. I'm not in a panic anymore... I ran the water for a while and it's running clear. I think it's a reminder of what bad shape our pipes are in, though. It's a matter of time.

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I went by the San Felipe Target on my way home last night to pick up an additional space heater, and they were completely sold out. Every item was picked clean.

I'd hate to see the gun section at the Academy in the event of a zombie attack.

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We're keeping the thermostat around 68 (70 if it's shower time) and it runs intermittently (central air/gas furnace). It still feels colder than that in here, though. Also letting the faucets drip overnight.

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...all of you that have your thermostats set below 70... what's wrong with you guys? I thought you loved the Houston heat? Hot, hot, hot... You'd think you'd have your thermostats set on 80 or higher. The hotter, the better, right? But apparently not... which makes one wonder if you're secretly living in the closet, yearning - and LOVING - the cool temps...

I see how it is.

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I'm too much of a cheapskate to have it running constantly. I'll live with wearing a hoodie in the house for a couple weeks.

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I spent Friday night on my boat, woke to see a thin sheet of ice covering a pretty big portion of the marina. I don't remember that happening at any time over the last 20 years.

Tell me again why global warning is a bad thing?

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Made it through the weekend with no busted pipes and my two palms intact. The philodendron, however, is not a fan of the cold.

PlantDamage002.jpg

Not a problem, though. I've been meaning to take a machete to that thing, and heavy trash day is this coming Monday. Worked out perfectly.

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Been living in the bedroom for most of the past month because our heater isn't strong enough to push heat all the way to the front of the house.

It doesn't matter what we set it on.. 72 at night..76 when we wake up.. doesn't matter. It has to constantly be on to even keep the bedroom in the mid to high 60s.

Living room.. We get home, it's in the 40s. We have a space heater... but we'll run it for hours at max and it's still hovering in the high 50s.

It's also fun when we start the microwave, forgetting the space heater is on, and trip the circuit for half our unit.

Just got my Dec elec bill... I'll be so glad when winter is behind us.. I've about had it up to here ( my nose ) with living in an older place.

My wife and i wanted a rental with character.. with hardwood floors.. Well, we got what we wanted, a place that is half uninhabitable for 2 months.

Go Away Winter.

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Geez, that sucks! I have lived in rentals of all ages (though mostly 1 bed / bath sized) and never had that kind of heating failure (central, space, you name it). Have you talked to your landlord about better heating/insulation? Does he/she even care?

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Geez, that sucks! I have lived in rentals of all ages (though mostly 1 bed / bath sized) and never had that kind of heating failure (central, space, you name it). Have you talked to your landlord about better heating/insulation? Does he/she even care?

Our hardwood floor has been freezing in the front of the house for the past month. Well, not freezing, but considerable colder than the bedroom.... the place was built in the 30s. Half the heat is escaping from the 80 yr old windows and half is escaping strait down to the crawl space.

I emailed her today after i saw my elec bill.. I'm not sure what can be done. I don't think its just the inadequate heating unit size.. i think its also a duct and vent size issue.

I may try the suggested duct tape at the window seams solution to see if that helps.

Our last rental was equally as old, and only had two a/c only window units. Big difference though.. it was on the 2nd floor and about 100 sf smaller. We only had the one space heater that we switched from living room to bedroom throughout the day and we were reasonably comfortable all winter. Our current place is just a lemon.. a beautiful lemon.

Edited by Highway6

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