(WKBN) – Though we aren’t seeing it on the thermometers right now, hints of fall are starting to pop up. Kids are heading back to school, our amount of daylight is shortening, you can find fall decorations in stores, and pumpkin spice lattes are creeping back onto coffee shop menus.
Looking at climate records shows one of those temperature milestones has already passed with the date of the first record low in the 30s arriving. Meteorological summer comes to a close next week and we will quickly approach the autumn frost and freeze season in the Youngstown area. Here is a guide for when the colder temps usually arrive.
When do temperatures start dropping into the 30s in the Youngstown area?
We reached one of the yearly climate milestones this week, on August 22. The earliest a temperature in the 30s has been recorded in the Youngstown area heading into the fall season was August 22. In 1988, the low temperature on the 22nd dropped to 39°. That is the earliest temp in the 30s coming out of the warmest part of the year on average.
Temperatures in the 30s are unlikely anytime soon. However, statistically speaking, we are entering the time of year when our chances of seeing 30° temperatures are increasing. There are only four record low temperatures in September for the Youngstown area that are above 39°. But as records, those are indicating the extreme scenarios.
When it comes to the normal minimum temperatures falling into the 30s, we still have about two months to go. Normal low temperatures will fall out of the 40s for the first time on October 25. On that date, the normal low for the Youngstown area dips to 39° and stays at or below 39° until April 20.
When is the earliest and the average first frost in the Youngstown area?
Another climate milestone that happens at the end of August is the date of the earliest first frost in the Youngstown area. For frost to occur, you need temperatures generally between 33° – 36° and a very light wind. The date of the earliest occurrence of frost in the Youngstown area is August 29. That is also the date of the coldest temperature on record in August for the Youngstown area. That record low temperature is 32° and was set August 29, 1982.
While the earliest occurrence of frost comes in August, the average date of the first frost in the Youngstown area isn’t until October. On average, the first frost in the Youngstown area is October 1.
The longest we have gone through meteorological fall (September, October, and November) without experiencing a frost is almost two months. The date of the latest first frost occurring in the Youngstown area is October 28. That occurred in 2007. In that year, the temperature did drop into the 30s in September. The low on September 17, 2007, was 38°, not quite cold enough for a widespread frost. That remained the coldest low until October 28, 2007, when the low dropped to 29°.
When is the earliest and the average first freeze in the Youngstown area?
To be considered a freeze, the temperature has to be at or a little below the freezing mark of 32°. The earliest a freeze has occurred in the Youngstown area is also August 29, the date of the earliest occurrence of frost. The record low for that date is 32° set in 1982 so that is also the date of the earliest freeze to occur in the Youngstown area.
On average, the first freeze in the Youngstown area usually occurs by mid-October. The average first freeze in the Youngstown area is October 14.
The longest we have gone through meteorological fall (September, October, and November) without experiencing a freeze is almost the entire season! The date of the latest first freeze occurring in the Youngstown area is November 12. That occurred in 1946. The coldest temperature in September of that year was a low of 41°. Temperatures did drop into the 30s in October 1946 but only reached 35° as the coldest reading. It took until November 12, 1946, to reach the freezing mark. The low that day hit 31°, 18 days away from the end of meteorological fall.
Another term you may hear in the fall is a “hard freeze.” A hard freeze is defined as freezing conditions in which the temperature reaches or drops below 28°. Most seasonal vegetation can’t survive a hard freeze without any protection. The earliest occurrence of temperatures dropping into the 20s arrives at the end of September. The record low on September 27th is 29° in 1957. Two days later, on September 29, the record low is 27° set in 1942. That would be the date of the earliest hard freeze on record for the Youngstown area. Normal low temperatures don’t drop into the 20s until after meteorological fall (September, October, and November) in the Youngstown area. Temperatures first drop into the 20s for normal lows on December 1. The normal low on that date falls to 29°. Five days later, on December 5, the normal low drops to 28°.