What do you use for your weather forecasts?

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)April 17, 2012

I continue to get BLASTED by freezes and just don't know when to go out to cover stuff.

I try to make general observations based on the temp before I retire for the night and look at the hourly forecast.

Don't have time to bother if temps are going to be 30 or above for a few hours.

That is exactly what the forecast said 31 to 32 for just a few hours. Then I wake up and my therm. says 27 degrees (which is right next to the house and should "in theory" have a warmer temp) but then two different websites say 30 and 32 which is on par with the forecast.

I went outside and the mulch was frozen. I feel like I'm splitting hairs here but 5 degrees is a big difference here.

Either there is a phenomenon created with the temps right by the house causing it to be colder or I need to accept that I'm in a area that is colder than the station reporting temperatures.


I wish I was whining about a few plants but I now have extensive damage between deciduous and evergreen plants. I'm trying to lessen the damage with 3 more freezes expected this week. Please give up you April witch!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you might want to get a NOAA weather radio ...

my desktop.. even sends out a siren at weather alerts ..

2 summers ago .. there was a tornado alert at 2 am ... i of course.. didnt hear about that until the next morning ...

within 8 hours i had the radio ...

apparently it is a boat owners necessity if they go on the big lakes ...

anyway.. that broadcast.. usually has more detailed weather forecasts than anything else ...


ps: though i hate the rising water alarms between 11pm and 6 am ... since i am on high ground ...

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:08AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Whaas, one of our local tv stations has a smart phone app for weather which is pretty good. Ksdk 5. You can let the gps find your location or just type in your zip under the house icon.

It has an hourly forcast option and lets me check the weather in other zips like 90210 so it should work for you.

Far as pc sites I used to use wunderground.com. i bet it is still pretty good.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:43AM
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I use wunderground.com. I have the local weather station that is closest to my property bookmarked.


and can be found from these pages


    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:18AM
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It sounds to me like you are in a cool air holding microclimate. Although I live SOUTH of Fort Smith, my lows range from 3-6* below the forecasted and usually closely verified temps at the airport in Fort Smith. I live at the transition from suburban to rural and live in a valley of sorts. I am the lowest point in the area and I ALWAYS get colder than just a mile away. I have frosts at my house that are not present once I get off the road my house is on. I know you have moved into this house fairly recently.

What you might want to do (like I do) is always subtract a few degrees from the forecast low temp and work with that. I have found it doesn't really matter if I use the local CBS, ABC, or TWC for the suggested low temp. I pick the coldest forecast low and take more off of it. And it darn near always works out. I also check the temp around 10 when I retire for the night. There have been times we had already hit the forecast low or within a couple degrees at 10 already!

As for how much this would help with all your plants, I don't know if you could have covered everything even with perfect knowledge of the temps. I will just throw this out there. If you are hellbent on keeping such a large nice collection (believe me, I LOVE your pictures!), maybe a move is in order? I have paid very close attention to the frost patterns within a mile or so of my house and have considered buying some land and building at a different place.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:22AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

but what the phone and the computer.. do NOT do.. is speak to the farmers ...

when they put out a warning for farmers.. it is very different from obscure inarticulate hard data ...

that is what i was trying to say ...

e.g. the other night.. they went county by county.. with temp and potential frost freeze info .. of course my eyes glazed over after a few minutes ... but i had a better idea of what the heck was going to happen.. and where ...

and the info .. not unlike storm warnings.. the temps were in a band .. that basically went north of me ...

i didnt take action.. it doenst matter to me.. but i was surprised by the depth of the information ..

i wonder if you can stream NAOO .. hmmm.. guess you can use the computer or phone.. check out the link ... but for the immediate warnings ...


Here is a link that might be useful: go figure...

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:27AM
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grinder12000(4 now 5 I guess)

WKOW Personal Weather on your computer. WKOW has weather Central which is the largest weather forecasting operation in the world and has the best equipment, far far betetr then NOAA which is government run and has 2nd class equipment.


The problem with forecasting lows is that it depends on your elevation! Lower is colder.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 11:20AM
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None of them are every spot on, because it's not perfect by any means. I try to check out the local NWS forecast for my ZIP Code, the one on intellicast.com, and the one on weatherunderground.com. The truth tends to lie in between, generally. When it comes to low temps, I find that generally the NWS and weatherunderground tend to be a bit too low, the intellicast a bit too high. Usually it falls somewhere in the middle between what these different organizations prediction.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 1:14PM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

I use my local tv station's website, WGRZ Buffalo, and I use weather.com because they say that they get my temperature as close as 1/4 mile from where I live.

However, if any of them say 32 degrees, we cover the trees no matter what, just because of microclimate issues and just because anything can happen, temp wise, overnight on a clear night.

I really want to stress that blankets are the best way to go for freezes that come along. We use 2 blankets over each tree, and as of today and having dealt with a month of frosts/mostly freezes down as low as to the mid 20's, I have zero foliage damage whatsoever. This is not a brag, this is me sitting here stunned realizing that what I thought was me going overboard in protecting these trees, was not overprotecting at all; it was doing exactly what they needed, having just been planted 1 month ago.

So anyone out there, if you are protecting trees 4 feet and under like I am, using tomato cages ($2 a piece) and a couple of fleece blankets over them, will likely protect your plants 100%. They did mine.

They're calling for 32 here tonight, and possibly down to mid 20's in certain areas, so we just went out and covered them a little bit ago, before my husband went to work. It's a pain because it takes about 45 minutes to cover all of them, but seeing the leaves bright green and not having any effects whatsoever, has been worth these weeks of aggravation.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 3:17PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I good idea of where the temp can be going is to take a look at the NAM (this is the newest run 18z/14hrs out)...

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 5:01PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Cold air can really settle on calm clear nights. There are climatologically favored locations in any particular area where temperatures are lower.

For example, sometimes here we are forecast to drop to 31 degrees but b/c the wind never calmed pretty much everyone within a 100mi radius had an overnight low of 31 degrees. Another night we were forecast to drop to 31 degrees and b/c the wind stayed calm, the climatologically favored regions of our viewing area dropped to 28 degrees.

I use weather.gov
I also follow a website called http://www.americanwx.com/bb/ . It's full of weather experts and enthusiasts.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 1:15AM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

I get mine from Joe Bastardi. ;)

It would be nice if Underground Weather had chosen different name. The name always pops in my mind as the other Underground weather led by Bill Ayers that used to bomb some places and killed people. It's good one if you want latest information over hurricane/tropical storms.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 9:23AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

All, thanks for all the suggestions. Looking at multiple sources might help make the call.

Tonight the low forecast ranges from 27 to 31. Damn this is getting old!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 8:56PM
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jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

I agree with weather.gov - the national weather service. They are usually pretty accurate. I've gotten used to just assuming the temperature's going to be 5 degrees cooler than predicted. It usually is.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 5:51PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Jim, I think you make a good point.

I've been watching this very closely now.

Last Saturday it was forecasted to be low of 36. No worries right. Well I woke up to a very heavy frost...walk over to the therm and its 28 degrees!

So I go to 4 different sites to check the temp. right away and all of them said 35 to 37. WTF?? Even NWS said 37 degrees. I even looked at the tabulated data in case they where getting east sun sooner and the low was exactly what it read at that time.

A few days later I check the "recorded" low and it was in deed 28 degrees!

I just don't get it.

April you stupid witch, go away! She still might close out the month with a few more freezes.

Offficaly there were more freezes in April than March.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 12:43PM
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I really don't think it matters anymore... they call for sunny skys, it rains... they call for rain it's sunny... they call highs in the 40's, highs hit 28... etc....

I would have better luck flipping a coin and calling it in the air for precipitation OR picking a number out of the a hat for the highs/lows.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:25PM
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lol Rick, there was not even a 10% chance of rain today on any local weather forecast and we had a line of storms gather and move through the river valley this morning. Not even a mention of a slight chance of rain and we had thunderstorms...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:39PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Next week they are going to call for thunderstorms and you won't even get a sprinkle.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:59PM
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