Average first frost about 2 weeks away in northern Missouri

(Photo courtesy of University of Missouri Extension.)

Missouri’s northernmost counties could soon see the first frost of fall, says University of Missouri Extension state climatologist Zack Leasor.

Although near-freezing temperatures are not currently in the forecast, daily temperature normals are dropping about one-half degree daily, and daylight is dwindling at a rate of 2 to 3 minutes less per day.

The median dates of frost-freeze probabilities vary by region in Missouri. Based on historical data, northern counties would experience their first frost in about two weeks, Leasor says. Central Missourians usually see the first freeze around Oct. 20 while the first freeze occurs around Nov. 1 in the southern part of the state. Frosts are more likely to come earlier over the Ozarks compared to central Missouri due to the Ozarks’ higher elevation and lower temperatures.

The Missouri Frost/Freeze Probabilities Guide at ipm.missouri.edu/frostfreezeguide makes it easier to estimate first and last frost dates for your area. The website provides frost/freeze maps using data from the National Center for Environmental Information and county-level probability tables based on Missouri Mesonet weather station data.

The guide provides a general representation of frost or freeze probabilities in each region, but users also need to consider local factors that may affect temperature, such as terrain, elevation and urbanization, Leasor said.

(Graphic courtesy of University of Missouri Extension.)
(Graphic courtesy of University of Missouri Extension.)