MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Coming off of a warm September, warmer falls are becoming a trend across the U.S. as well as right here in the Mid-South.
Our earliest first fall freeze (32° or below) happened on October 16, 1952. The latest first fall freeze (32° or below) happened on December 11, 1994. The first average freeze is around November 12.
The trend over the last few decades has been later than usual. In fact, our first fall frost is happening almost 10 days later on average than it was in 1970.
This trend is not limited to one area of the country. The first freeze is coming a full month (31 days) later in Boise, Idaho, 27 days later in Las Vegas, Nevada, and 24 days later in Tupelo, Mississippi.
Between the last freeze happening earlier and the first freeze coming later, the growing season — or the frost-free season — is extending on both ends.
An extended frost-free season also means a longer allergy season, as well as a longer season for mosquitoes and ticks, potentially creating public health problems.
As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, this frost-free trend will likely contribute even more detrimental health and agricultural effects across the U.S.