Outskirts of Phoenix is seeing some crazy chill numbers this year

El Nino has brought Phoenix some really unique conditions this winter. Overcast conditions frequently in the last month and quite cold. Ive been monitoring chill on this property for the last 4 years and this year is going to be a whopper of a chill total The last 2 years have been rather warmer than usual.

Total for the 2014-2015 season:

Below 45 Model: 674 chill hours
Between 45 and 32 Model: 586 chill hours
Utah Model: 50 chill units
Positive Utah Model: 983 chill units
Dynamic Model: 17 chill portions

Total so far on the 2015-2016 season:

Below 45 Model: 506 chill hours
Between 45 and 32 Model: 413 chill hours
Utah Model: 267 chill units
Positive Utah Model: 583 chill units
Dynamic Model: 17 chill portions

Note that the models that deduct for temperatures above 65 degrees(utah and dynamic) have us at or above what we had last year total, and we still have 3 months of chill accumulation to go.

One of the issues we frequently have here in winter is that our humidity is so low that we can be in the 30-40’s at night yet swing up in the high 70’s during the day. Many believe that those high temperatures counteract any chill accumulated overnight, and from what ive seen they are quite right. Last year didnt look so bad if you look at the below 45 model or the between 45-32 model, but I can tell you that most all our trees that needed above 400 chill hours suffered typical symptoms of lack of chill.

From what I can see in my old neighborhood in Central Phoenix, 150 hours is more typical; as a kid, though, I remember Santa Rosa plum (300 hours) doing well.


Winter (El Nino) is Coming:

The meterologist says El Nino is now officially here in S. California, pointing out we have “fronts backed up all the way back to China”. Somewhat daunting forecast I would say. Maybe better I invest in an ark, and not more fruit trees. Just wished it was a teensy tiny bit colder. We’d have some significant chill hours, then. :scream:

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There are no more arks left to invest in. They are all totally occupied on this side of the country (especially SC) and Great Britain.

This strong El Nino has already been behind so much devastation around the world that you are actually fortunate to have escaped its more powerful effects so far.

I hope your “showers” wind up being exactly that, and don’t wind up coming down at a rate over 2" an hour like the ones here have been doing. It’s about time that monster did something beneficial instead of destructive.

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Patty, I’m gonna have call you out here. :stuck_out_tongue:

“El Nino” has been here since last year. It’s effects are being felt only now.

I know, bleeding :slight_smile: Just referring to the rains finally making their way down to S. California. Everyone else in the country was feeling significant affects of El Nino but us. And Muddy, we would rarely see 2" of rain per hour here. We’re not set up for that, and I would truly be looking for an ark if that were the case, lol! To have a week of showers is almost unheard of. And, it appears we may have a set up for this pattern now, for some time. Remember - we had about 2" of rain total for the entire last year here, so to see this much potential rain in one week is pretty shocking for us, here :slight_smile:

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We’re not set up for it either! We’ve had flood after flooding after flood ever since our drought broke at the end of September. It’s been at least 7 times we’ve flooded since then, though thankfully none as bad right here as at the beginning of October. I’ve had crops rot and trees fall over when the ground stayed too saturated to hold their roots. The ground hasn’t been dry in months.

I know you’re happy. I just hope that your rains are moderate. Too much rain in SoCal leads to mud and rock slides, death from flash floods, and later to increased forest fires, especially with the forest trees already weakened from sustained drought. The benefits of the rain can come at very high cost. This has already been an extremely damage causing El Nino around the globe.

Please excuse me if I sound grumpy. I’m looking at continuously increasing prospects of losing most of my fruit this year because of the distorted weather patterns.

I sure know this, Muddy. Remember - I’m native born S. Californian who’s in her 60th decade. Been through several “El Nino” seasons and have seen the mudslides, and subsequent forest fires. I am very, very acutely aware. I’m sorry you’ve lost trees, but it’s nothing compared to losing your house. While you’ve sleeping in your bed. It was 1965, and we lived in the hills of Fullerton. My father ran into my bedroom and scooped me up, while my mother grabbed my sister. We had to run out of the house because the house’s foundation had cracked in half, and gas was leaking - you could hear it hissing all over the place. Our home slid down on top of our neighbor’s home on the lot below us. My parents fought to try to save that house, dumping tens of thousands of dollars into it, only having to walk away, as the lot was not properly graded, and it was a loss. I remember when I was about to graduate from high school about 10 years later, walking into my dad’s office one evening. He was crying. I had never, ever seen my very stoic Italian-American father ever cry. I got very upset and asked him what was wrong. He told me, “I just paid off the last bill from the house on Nancy Lane.” My father didn’t believe in declaring bankruptcy. It took him all that tine to pay off all the outstanding bills. It left a permanent impression on me as an almost adult. So, no lectures, please, I can write the book, I lived it. I’m glad our drought is over, but dreading the possibility that we may face destructive rain.

Kudos to your father. Not many have that attitude of responsibility. That’s a memory you won’t lose.

I didn’t lose the trees. My youngest son helped me to right them, replant, and securely tie them. It’s the coming year’s crops and fruiting wood on just about everything that are out of kilter and in danger.

Incredibly moving story Patty. Thank you for sharing. Gosh I hate seeing that generation leave us. Integrity in action.

That’s impressive to say the least!!:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Muddy, glad you were able to save your trees, and hoping you can avoid any further rainy destruction. Thank you both Eric & Fruitnut, for different reasons :slight_smile: Eric, I always respected (and idolized) my father. He was a WWII Ace fighter pilot, serving in the Pacific Arena. He was an incredible person, and I strive to be as good, intelligent and have the kind of integrity he had. He was a wonderful role model, and I credit him for being able to find a husband as wonderful as he was.

Those were some very tough times those 10 years, for our family trying to recover from that. My father and several other affected homeowners after those rains of 1965, tried to sue the company that was responsible for grading the lots in our development, as well as a couple of other developments that had the same horrible outcome. The cases were thrown out of court, ruled, an “act of God”. Many, many years later there was a successful class action lawsuit, but by then, the company had declared bankruptcy. I asked my father why he didn’t participate. He said, “For what? $20 and opening an old wound? No thanks, that chapter in my life is closed.”

And yes, fruitnut, I’m pretty happy to be in my 60th decade in excellent health, enjoying my orchard and my property. And getting ready to be grandmother for the first time. My dad was the original “glass half full” person, so I count my blessings every night, just like he did. Oh, and he (and my mom) were an incredible gardeners, too!



60th decade, isn’t that like 600 yrs?


Today’s world seems to say to all that the individual deserves a trouble free life. And when we dont get it, when trials present themselves a “woe is me” attitude is common. A man of your fathers generation generally expected that life wasnt going to be fair. That many many things would go wrong in the course of their lives. Trials were treated as a test of character and manhood not as a opportunity to complain and whine about it. They took it on the chin with grace.

I sure wish we had more of them walking the planet today. We could use a whole heaping bunch of them, especially in our leadership.

I agree completely, Eric. My parents were immigrants to the USA. Their parents were immigrants to Canada. My parents were raised “old school”. So was I, so were my children. My oldest daughter, who is 35, is in management, and having to manage the Millennial generation, of whom many feel they are deserving of many things they have not yet earned. She just shakes her head in amazement. And then proceeds to teach some of those folks what it takes to “earn respect, a raise, etc.” My parents grew up during the Great Depression and WWII. It most certainly left them resilient and very grateful for every good thing that came their way. It is hard for us to imagine not having meat at every meal if we so choose. Simple stuff like that. My parents and grandparents had fruit bearing trees and vegetable gardens because they had to. We get to have them because we choose to. Every time I plant a fruit tree, I think about that. It is rather profound for me.

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I’m in emotionally super charged mode and inspired after reading your family’s experiences.

I am a man, a bread winner for the family and I am an immigrant and my family is currently going through some tough time. I felt I am repeating the heart-broken, mind numbing spells of reaching up, got cut down, reaching up, got cut down… and still not giving up!


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I’m glad my story can provide inspiration for you, Tom. My father was an incredibly strong person, and never doubted his self-worth or ability. Even during some very, very difficult times. He had his own business, and there were some very tough times, where we could only make payroll for others working for my dad, and we didn’t bring home a paycheck. I remember distinctly one very early Saturday morning, hearing what I thought was a car rolling down our gravel driveway - my bedroom faced the front of the house and driveway. I was half-asleep and didn’t really give it much of a thought, that my dad wouldn’t have been going to work that day, since it was a Saturday, nor the fact that the engine wasn’t running. I woke up a little later, went to the kitchen to see my dad standing in the kitchen. I ran to the garage and saw our car wasn’t in the garage. I ran back in to tell my mom and dad someone stole our car right out of our garage, and I had heard it roll down the driveway really early in the morning. My mom burst into tears. My dad got on the phone right away, and I was ushered out of the kitchen. Only many years later did my mom tell me the car was repossessed. Tough times, but my parents never let that show with us. Many, many lessons learned from my tough parents. Hang in there. Make 2016 YOUR YEAR. Grab it by the horns and take control. We will all be pulling for you!

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Alaska and Washington are fealing El Niño as well. When I left Anchorage 6 weeks ago, it was -9 and blowing snow at 30mph. My brother still there posted photos a couple of days ago. It warmed up, melted the snow and refroze. People are literally ice skating down the streets. Meanwhile, my brother in Tacoma has fresh snow in his back yard.

I understand what you went thru. My family lost our house in the 1964 earthquake. We cleaned it up and rebuilt. We were lucky that nobody was home at the time.


Read that about 10 times and eventually you’ll see what I found humorous!!

Your Dad sounds like one of the best of the greatest generation!!