After a noisy Saturday, we ended up with an amazing Sunday and are going into a pretty tame week. Thanks for all the Click2Pins, including the cover above with that big Wolf Moon illuminating the canals of Bayou Vista! Here’s another from the storms over the weekend:
And I received an insightful email from a viewer, Robin H., regarding my blog about ”The Plant Rant” -- everyone’s plants doing so much worse after the December freeze versus the February 2021 freeze. I had mentioned the wind and Robin expounded on that:
Frank, The failure of plant tenting a couple of weeks back must surely have been due to the higher winds in the first 24 hours after the cold air mass descended on us. Tenting works when the weak heat flow coming up through the soil warms the air immediately above it and that air gets captured within the tent to keep the plant above freezing. There is probably also an element of infrared (IR) radiation being reflected or at least contained within the tents the same way a halo area below trees or balconies can stay frost free on freezing nights. With the freezing wind we had the other week, the strong drafts ran into the tents at their base, through the thin fabric along their length, spoiling the delicate soil-air heating that was going on and I suggest also wicked away heat from the tent surfaces by continually stripping away any intermediate temperature “micro layers” from the outer surface and replaced them with 24degs air - blast chilling. This is also intuitive for those from northern climes. If you ever walk out of a bar or restaurant late night, underdressed for the sub-freezing temps, it is MUCH easier to tolerate if the wind is still. As windy as it was a couple of weeks ago, you would think you are going to perish before you ever found your car.
There you go -- a nice explanation and thanks, Robin!
I have been hearing on social media about another cold snap toward the end of the month, but that appears to be an East Coast issue (and maybe as far south as Florida), rather than a Texas one. The American model goes out to Jan. 25, and if you just follow the blue colors, you’ll see they stay away from us! So no huge cooldown:
The European model doesn’t go out quite as far, only through Jan. 19, and on this model, follow the red and pink colors to see where the freezing air is:
Of course, there is February to get through and a reminder not to prune any plants or trim away the dead areas as that would make them vulnerable to another cold snap.
In the meantime, enjoy the tranquil spell this week!
Email me with ideas, comments or questions!