May frost

May 5, 2017: Things are getting chilly again Saturday night, but don’t worry: this is normal for early May. We typically picture the warm part of spring finally arriving and staying around, but early May can bring several cold nights before they disappear for a while.

May 9th is our average last night of spring frost for the season in Rockford, so we are getting closer to our usual last night of icy weather. We already saw a frosty night this week, with May 3rd getting down to 33°, with a few places like Freeport dropping below freezing.

On average, we get 3 nights of frost- nights at or below 36°. Remember, the air temperature is measured several feet off of the ground, so the air keeps cooling all the way down to the surface, giving us 32° or colder at the grass or plant level. The most nights with frost in May on record was May 1917, when we had 13 nights at or below 36°. That’s almost half the month! Not too many years before that, we had the latest spring frost on record on June 9, 1913.

On top of frosty weather, we average one night at or below freezing each May. We got close earlier this week as mentioned earlier.

Soon, we’ll be getting away from flirting with the 30’s. While the nights will still be cold, once we are beyond the first 3rd of May we can rest a little easier knowing our plants may be ok for the rest of the spring.

-Alex

 

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Posted under weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 5, 2017

1 Comment so far

  1. protect javascript code May 16, 2017 10:00 PM

    While the nights will still be cold, once we are beyond the first 3rd of May we can rest a little easier knowing our plants may be ok for the rest of the spring

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