Sunday, October 13, 2013

First Frost Possible Across the QCA.

Sunday featured mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid and upper 60s...a typical Fall afternoon here in the Quad Cities.  With skies staying clear Sunday night and winds becoming calm, temperatures are dropping rather quickly and frost is a possibility, especially northeast of the QCA.
Frost Advisory in effect from 3am to 8am Monday 10/14
So how does frost form?  A common misconception about frost is that it can only form when the air temperature is below freezing (32°F).  This is not the case.  Frost can form when the surface temperature of an object (grass, top of car, rooftop, etc.) falls below the dewpoint (measurement of water vapor available in the air) temperature of the surrounding air and the temperature of the surface is at/below freezing.  With all the moisture condensed on the cold surface, frost occurs.
If the object's surface temperature is still below the dew point but its temperature is above freezing, you would have dew.

While frost can do damage to sensitive plants, it doesn't necessarily kill them.  A hard freeze, however, can.  A hard freeze occurs when the air temperature drops to 28° or below.  Here in the Quad Cities, our 30 year average first hard freeze date occurs sometime during the last 10 days of October!
Courtesy Midwest Regional Climate Center
 Stay warm!

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