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** PLEASE NOTE:  NWS Hastings will issue Freeze Warnings/Frost Advisories for local counties this fall until those counties experienced at least one hard freeze (around 28º-or-colder). After that point, additional Warnings/Advisories are generally considered unnecessary because the growing season has effectively ended. ** 

It may seem hard to believe given our recent/ongoing warmth, but according to longer-term averages, the NWS Hastings coverage area of south central Nebraska and north central Kansas is now into the HEART OF THE PERIOD THAT FEATURES THE AVERAGE DATE OF THE FIRST FALL FREEZE!

Of course, as outlined extensively in the data presented below, the first fall freeze dates can vary tremendously from one year to the next, and just within the past 30 years have ranged anywhere from mid-September to early-November. Last year in 2018, most of our coverage area had its first fall freeze on Oct. 11th. 

Please refer to the wealth of information within the tabs below (including tables and maps of average frost/freeze/hard freeze dates) to "stay on top" of the frost/freeze situation across the local area this fall. This includes the "Looking Ahead" section just below, as it will highlight any nights within the next 7-10 days that appear to hold frost/freeze potential (if any). Finally, check out the last tab for a glance back at the RECORD EARLIEST frost/freeze that parts of our area experienced on Sep. 3, 1974 (no, that date is not a typo)!

Looking Ahead: ** Fall 2019 Potential-For-Frost/Freeze Forecast ** (valid through Oct. 13):

  • Oct. 11-12 (Friday-Saturday): WIDESPREAD FREEZING TEMPERATURES mainly in the 24-31º range will occur Thurs night-Fri AM, and then again Fri night-Sat AM, effectively ending the 2019 growing season. Despite these sub-freezing temps, actual frost formation is doubtful (especially on Friday) given the likelihood of strong winds. 

Looking Back: Recap of frost/freeze that ALREADY OCCURRED this fall:

  • - Oct. 7
    Although not a true, "hard freeze" of 28º-or-colder, this Monday morning featured a few of the first "slightly freezing" temperatures of the season within mainly northern parts of the NWS Hastings coverage area, including official lows of 30º at Ord airport and Greeley, and 32º at Loup City and Ravenna. Based on unofficial mesonet stations, similar readings occurred on an isolated basis as far south as Phillips County KS. In addition to the slightly-freezing temps, fairly widespread lows as cold as 36º occurred within several counties mainly north/west of a Phillipsburg KS-Kearney-Osceola line, promoting areas of frost. However, widespread frost did not occur within the Tri Cities (Grand Island/Hastings/Kearney). 

  • - Oct. 3
    Although not a widespread/killing frost, the very first frost of the 2019 fall season occurred on this Thursday morning, as roughly the northwest half of the NWS Hastings coverage area dropped into the mid-upper 30s, including as cold as 33º at Ord airport. Actual, ground-truth reports of frost were limited, but the majority of frost likely focused within Greeley/Valley/Sherman/Dawson counties. There were no official sub-freezing temperatures reported.

Looking Back to Last Fall (2018): 

  • All in all, the first freeze/hard freeze of Fall 2018 was fairly typical and "on schedule", and did not deviate far from 30-year averages. For the majority of the area, the first widespread freeze and/or hard freeze of the season occurred on Oct. 11. Several locations also notched their first "hard freeze" of 28º-or-colder on that same morning. However, even the limited locations that managed to stay above 28º on the 11th only had to wait a few more days until the 15th before their first hard freeze arrived. Interestingly, much of the area also received an unusually-early coating of snow on Oct. 14th, serving as a definitive "visual cue" that the growing season had ended! Backing up in time to the first signs of frost last fall, primarily parts of Valley/Greeley/Howard/Sherman/Dawson counties saw limited frost as early as Sep. 26 (also very typical based on 30-year averages). 
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