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Are we done with frost this year?

Some of you might be wondering if we are past the last frost of the year. The answer, of course, depends on where you are as well as the vagaries of the weather. I pulled out my crystal ball (just kidding, I use weather maps) to see if I could determine the chance of a late frost this year. The weather models run out to about 2 weeks, although accuracy more than 7 days out is not very high. Looking forward ahead in time, it looks to me like most areas of Georgia should not see another frost this year. The only exception might be the far northeastern part of Georgia in the mountains, where the mornings of April 12 and 13 could reach near freezing at some locations. Of course these large-scale models are not good at capturing the microclimates that are tucked into the hills and hollows of the mountains, so if you know you are in a cold spot, you should be especially vigilant for freezing conditions.

Climatology (as well as the weather maps) suggests that for most of the region, the average last frost date is past except in the far northeast, and frost will only occur in one out of ten years in northern Georgia during the second half of April. But it is also important to note that the years on which the climatology is based were generally colder than our current climate is now due to the upward creep of temperatures, especially minimum temperatures, that we are seeing across the region and country over time. On the other hand, frosts are caused by weather events, not by climate, so even in a warmer climate we could still see late frosts if the conditions are right (or wrong, depending on your perception).

If you are really into looking for frost information, here are some previous blog posts I published on aspects of freeze climatology and forecasting that you might find useful.

Time to Think About Last Freezes (spring frost climatology)

Where to Get Frost and Freeze Forecasts

Fall Freeze Climatologies (you can get spring ones too)