Early Season Frost...
Posted September 6th, 2013 by Bill Kardas. 15 comments
It was a chilly one last night! The Adirondacks fell below freezing this morning and the outlying areas are reporting frost. Here's a look at the reports from our viewers this morning via blog, facebook, email, voicemail, and twitter:
Thank you to those that took the time to report this morning. If you didn't get on the list, feel free to post your low temperature in the comments section of our blog.
Patchy frost vs freeze
Getting patchy frost in early September isn't all that uncommon in the Adirondacks and freezer zones (Gray, Glenmore, Woodgate, Boonville, etc). However, getting a widespread freeze is rare this early in the season. What's the difference? A freeze happens when temperatures drop to or below 32° - ending the growing season. Patchy frost can occur with temperatures a few degrees above freezing. How can frost happen if the air temperature is above freezing? Simple - cold air sinks to the ground. The air temperature is measured a few feet above ground, meaning it could be 3-4 degrees colder on the surface compared to where the thermometer is reading the temperature. That's why you see frost form in ditches and low spots first.
The official low was 4 degrees shy of the all time record for today's date (36° set back in 1938). This is one of the earliest frosts many areas have seen in years. It's hard to quantify exactly what year it was worse, mainly because we keep stats at one spot (Griffiss). However, what I can say is that in general, if Griffiss drops to below 40, there's usually a frost somewhere in the area. Let's take a look at the past 10 years of the first mornings in the 30s:
Is an early frost a sign of a bad upcoming winter? Well, just for fun, let's see if the data can back up an old 'farmers almanac' style idea:
Do you see a pattern here? I don't either. If any case is to be made, it could be that later frosts have snowier years, which is a contradiction and doesn't make sense. Bottom line here is that we can't use present/past weather alone to make a weather forecast. Cold weather today doesn't necessarily mean cold weather in the future.
Recent Comments on this Entry
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