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Last Spring Freeze Climatology

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Source/Author: Natalie Umphlett - High Plains Regional Climate Center 03/27/12

The High Plains Region has been unseasonably warm this March, with average temperature departures up to 15 F above normal.  In addition, over 1,500 daily records have been set over the past two weeks in the High Plains Region alone!  The warm weather we have been experiencing has caused the flowers and trees to come out quite early.  All the warm weather has many people in the southern areas of the Region thinking, "Will we have another freeze?"

The High Plains Regional Climate Center has compiled a table that shows the earliest, average, and latest date of the last spring freeze for many locations across the Region.  If the average last spring freeze date is any indicator, the answer to, "Will we have another freeze?" is, "YES!"  Fortunately, a brief amount of time at or below freezing will not necessarily be detrimental to the tender vegetation that has come out.

Many people may remember the Easter Freeze of April 2007.  That spring started off very warm but, a prolonged cold snap in April caused freeze damage to numerous crops, including wheat, alfalfa, and fruit trees.  Disaster declarations extended from Colorado to the southeast US and the total loss due to the freeze was estimated at over 2 billion dollars.  To learn more about the Easter freeze of 2007, click here.

 

Location

Earliest Last Spring Freeze (32F)

Average Last Spring Freeze (32F)

Latest Spring Freeze (32F)

Last Freeze so far (32F)

Period of Record

Alamosa, CO

May 6

June 8

July 2

March 29

1932-2012

Colorado Springs, CO

April 6

May 8

June 18

March 22

1894-2012

Denver, CO

April 5

May 5

June 8

March 27

1872-2012

Grand Junction, CO

March 21

April 21

May 15

March 27

1893-2012

Pueblo, CO

March 31

April 30

June 2

March 24

1888-2012

Concordia, KS

March 21

April 19

May 29

March 10

1885-2012

Dodge City, KS

March 28

April 21

May 27

March 10

1874-2012

Goodland, KS

April 9

May 5

June 2

March 23

1895-2012

Salina, KS

March 21

April 16

May 14

March 10

1948-2012

Topeka, KS

March 10

April 15

May 19

March 9

1887-2012

Wichita, KS

March 10

April 9

May 13

March 10

1888-2012

Grand Island, NE

April 5

April 28

May 29

March 9

1895-2012

Lincoln, NE

March 27

April 22

May 29

March 13

1887-2012

Norfolk, NE

April 6

May 2

May 29

March 9

1893-2012

North Platte, NE

April 3

May 6

June 6

March 28

1874-2012

Omaha, NE

March 21

April 18

May 13

March 9

1871-2012

Scottsbluff, NE

April 5

May 11

June 14

March 22

1893-2012

Valentine, NE

April 9

May 11

June 21

March 28

1889-2012

Bismarck, ND

April 20

May 14

July 6

March 28

1874-2012

Fargo, ND

April 17

May 13

June 20

March 25

1881-2012

Grand Forks, ND

April 16

May 18

July 3

March 26

1893-2012

Williston, ND

April 16

May 17

June 24

March 29

1894-2012

Aberdeen, SD

April 17

May 12

June 21

March 28

1893-2012

Huron, SD

April 14

May 9

June 21

March 28

1881-2012

Rapid City, SD

April 5

May 10

June 14

March 28

1942-2012

Sioux Falls, SD

April 6

May 6

June 7

March 15

1893-2012

Casper, WY

April 25

May 21

July 4

March 25

1939-2012

Cheyenne, WY

April 21

May 18

June 19

March 28

1872-2012

Lander, WY

April 21

May 22

July 3

March 28

1891-2012

Sheridan, WY

April 23

May 19

June 24

March 28

1907-2012

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