The first and last freeze can have a significant impact on the economy across West Central Texas given the dependence on agricultural interests. These freezes do not cause extraordinary problems when they occur near the "normal" time frame. However, an early autumn or late spring freeze can have tremendous affects, especially when they are preceded by warm periods.
|Average First Autumn Freeze:||November 14||November 11|
|Average Last Spring Freeze:||March 22||March 25|
|Earliest Freeze on Record:||October 18, 1948||October 16, 1940|
|Latest Freeze on Record:||April 17, 1947||April 30, 1908|
|Longest Extended Cold Spell:||202 hours
3 AM Dec 15, 1983 -
1 PM Dec 26, 1983
Jan 25, 1951 -
Jan 29, 1951
What is the growing season? The local growing season is defined by both climate and elevation. It is technically described as the time during which native vegetation, ornamental plants, and crops can be grown. This is loosely defined as the period between the last hard freeze of the spring and the first hard (or killing freeze) of the fall. Based on the climatology listed above, this relates to an average growing season of approximately 7.5 months at both Abilene and San Angelo.
|Freeze Watch||Freeze Watches are issued when conditions are favorable for a freeze event in the next 12 to 48 hours during the local growing season. In other words, freezing conditions are possible.
|Freeze Warning||Freeze Warnings are issued when minimum temperatures are forecast to be 32 degrees or less during the local growing season. This means that confidence is high that freezing temperatures will occur.
|Frost Advisory||A Frost Advisory is issued when temperatures are forecast to fall to 33 to 36 degrees during the local growing season on nights with light winds and clear skies. These temperature readings are taken at 2 meters above the ground level, meaning that under strong radiational cooling conditions, freezing temperatures will be possible in the lowest few feet of the atmosphere.
page updated: March 25, 2013