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Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 @ 1:00 AM
— It wasn’t more than a week ago that many of us were complaining about the heat, but that conversation has shifted quickly as temperatures plummeted to more typical levels and below.
Just this past weekend temperatures fell to the 30s in spots with some areas of patchy frost.
Frost is not uncommon this time of year. According to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, most of southwest Ohio on average sees its first frost mid to late October. Dayton and Cincinnati’s average first 32 degree or lower temperature reading falls around Oct. 22.
Temperature reading may vary depending on topography, urban and rural settings and the placement of recording instruments. Official temperature readings are taken at about 5 feet above ground level, but ground-level temperatures can be lower as colder air may pool closer to the surface.
Other than topography, there are many atmospheric ingredients that can lead to frost.
If temperatures are low enough it can be considered a “hard freeze.” A “light freeze” or “light frost” refers to temperatures that are just a few degrees below freezing for a few hours. A “hard frost” or “hard freeze,” also known as a “killing freeze,” refers to temperatures that drop further, below 28 degrees. That’s cold enough for it to kill the top growth of most perennials and root crops.
Sunny days and cool nights are perfect for vibrant fall foliage. But a hard freeze is not what you want, because those types of temperatures could accelerate when trees shed their leaves.