Oct. 12, 2016: We are starting to get into that time of year where nights in the 30’s pop back up again. We had one already this fall; we’ll get a few more after a huge tumble in temperatures (upper 70’s to upper 50’s within 2 days).
Frost Advisories have been posted for much of the Stateline, and will likely get posted again Thursday night. What do you have to worry about? While we won’t see widespread freezing weather yet, frosty can damage sensitive plants, like things you may grow in the garden. Cover them up with a breathable material overnight, then take that cover off in the morning as temperatures warm. Covering up your garden helps keep escaping heat from the cooling ground near the plants, which will keep the air around the plants just warm enough to keep frost away. Better yet, if you can move the plant inside, do so until morning!
There is a difference between a little frost and a killing freeze. Frosty will harm plants, but won’t necessarily kill them, leaving the growing season going. Our first freeze of the fall will end the growing season as the conditions kill off the growing vegetation. We haven’t seen it yet, and likely won’t this week at least in Rockford, but we’ll be close, meaning a few frosty nights are ahead.
We usually see our first killing freeze around this time of the year. We have passed the average date, but aren’t looking to set any records yet. Our latest fall freeze on record in Rockford didn’t occur until November! It’s been a warm fall so far, but we’ll see how long the warmth holds on and keep the freeze at bay.
Most of southern Wisconsin and all of Illinois and Iowa haven’t had the first freeze of the fall yet, so we have some company. The deeper we get into fall, the more chances we’ll have, though!
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