Freeze Warning vs. Frost Advisory

Freeze Warning vs. Frost Advisory

Useful information regarding the difference in cold weather alerts and how to access the information on our web site!
What's the difference between a freeze warning and a frost advisory? In short the freeze warning is for colder temperatures and harsher effects for vegetation. Frost advisory is for an impact still, but slightly warmer temperatures that would impose slightly lesser damage to vegetation.

There's a reason you won't hear these freeze warnings and frost advisories all year round, even when the temperature routinely stays below 32 degrees. That's because these weather alerts will only be issued at the beginning and end of the growing season. Once the growing season has started, freezing temperatures put the sensitive vegetation at risk. Frost or a hard freeze can kill buds or damage the youthful blossoms of crops. Toward the end of the season vegetation/crops that still remain outside and uncovered can experience damage too, with these late season colder temperatures.

So what you should do is either cover up the crops/vegetation/flowers/etc with a light sheet, bring them inside, or even get big fans to keep the wind circulating around that area. That will help from frost developing.

The growing season ends in the Adirondacks and far Northeast Kingdom/New Hampshire in the first to second week of September. The first 32 degree reading, on average, for those places is between about September 7-14. In north central Vermont the date averages around the third or fourth week of September. The Champlain Valley doesn't get its first 32F until about Oct 7 (of course, on average given year to year differences). So you may hear a freeze warning in the Champlain Valley on Sept 25 due to freezing temperatures there, though colder New York Adirondacks won't have it because the growing season would have ended by then.

We have a new web site now, if you haven't noticed yet :) It may be a little confusing on how to access the weather alerts. From the homepage click on the text of the weather alert. That will open a new page with lots of town names. You can hit CTRL and F on your keyboard simultaneously. That will bring up a search and you can type in your town. Also, click on the text of the weather alert on that page too because that will bring you more information for timing and impacts.

-Meteorologist Steve Glazier
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