CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Hold off on planting and the gardens for at least one more week as morning low temperatures are about to get frozen in the Mountain State.

Temperatures to kick off our latter half of the week in north-central West Virginia’s lowlands will be in the 30s and 20s.

Morning low temperatures for the next seven days in Clarksburg (WBOY)
Morning low temperatures for the next seven days in Clarksburg (WBOY)

Morning temperatures in the mountains will be even colder Wednesday through Saturday. Model projections are spitting out the potential for teens and 20s.

However, we may still have to wait a little bit longer for Mother Nature’s last breath of winter in north-central West Virginia

AVERAGE FROST AND FREEZE

The average date for the last 32-degree temperature in the lowlands of north-central West Virginia is from May 1-10; the first day of May is this upcoming Monday.

The above image shows the date on or after which the last 32 degree temperature will occur in 50 percent of the years. In other words, this map represents the average date of the start of the growing season. This date ranges from late May in the extreme northern West Virginia mountain counties, to early and mid May across the rest of eastern and north central West Virginia. The last freezing temperature usually occurs by late April across southwest West Virginia, southeast Ohio, and extreme southwest Virginia. (NWS Charleston)
The above image shows the date on or after which the last 32 degree temperature will occur in 50 percent of the years. In other words, this map represents the average date of the start of the growing season. This date ranges from late May in the extreme northern West Virginia mountain counties, to early and mid May across the rest of eastern and north central West Virginia. The last freezing temperature usually occurs by late April across southwest West Virginia, southeast Ohio, and extreme southwest Virginia. (NWS Charleston)

According to the National Weather Service in Charleston, the average last day for a freezing temperature in the higher elevations is from May 11 through the end of the month.

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Different climate patterns have a hand in this from year to year – however, frost is not solely dependent on temperature at the surface. Other factors of weather that could impact frost include wind (has to be light or calm), sky cover (the clearer the sky, the more potential for frost), and dewpoint depression (the drier the air, the more potential for frost).

LONG-TERM

Heading into May, you may want to hold off a little bit longer or plant vegetables better susceptible for a light frost; those vegetables may include root vegetables and greens such as carrots, kale, and collards.

Temperature trend from May 3-9 (WBOY)
Temperature trend from May 3-9 (WBOY)

According to the Climate Prediction Center, much of the Ohio Valley has the potential to see colder-than-average temperatures for the first third of May.

This could prevent some gardens to kick off and more buds to bloom. However even with the April chills and showers, May flowers are surely on their way.


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