Monday, March 15, 2010

When will Memphis get its last freeze of the spring?

The last freeze at Memphis International Airport was March 5, 2010, when the temperature briefly touched 32 degrees. It's now March 15th. Our typical "last freeze" date in the city is March 22nd, though in the suburbs and outlying areas it averages a few days later. (The last freeze for most suburban areas was March 6th, when the airport bottomed out at 33.) Of course, a frost is likely even later than these dates as temps in the 30s are still possible until the first of April on average.

Over the last decade, the lastest occurrence of 32 degrees or less (and hence, the start of the agricultural "growing season") was:

2009: March 3 (25 deg.)
2008: March 9 (30 deg.)
2007: April 8 (28 deg.) (remember that Easter Sunday morning?)
2006: March 26 (30 deg.)
2005: March 2 (28 deg.)
2004: March 10 (32 deg.)
2003: March 10 (30 deg.)
2002: March 23 (28 deg.)
2001: March 29 (31 deg.)
2000: April 9 (32 deg.)

This averages out to March 19th , slightly earlier than the 30-year climatological average.

So, are freezing temps over for the Memphis area until later this fall? The latest MWN Forecast does not show any freezing temps through March 29, however a system this weekend could pack a cold punch behind it. Depending on the exact track of the system and the strength of the cold air behind it, cold temperatures are not out of the question Sunday or Monday morning.

Here's a chance for you to be the forecaster! Vote in MWN's unscientific webpoll! When will we have our last freeze?

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