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Topper's Blog: No Flowers Yet, Average Last Frost,record highs

9:50 PM, Apr 8, 2013   |    comments
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No Flowers Yet

Highs temperatures will be really warming up the rest of the week. We have a good chance of hitting eighty five Wednesday and stringing three consecutive days together in the eighties. We must resist the temptation to plant flowers, except for pansies. You can plant them because contrary to grade school insults pansies are very tough and frost resistant. I do not see any record highs the rest of the week with the exception of the record high of 78 at Dulles Wednesday the tenth. That will go by the wayside. The records of 89 at Dulles on Tuesday should be safe. Downtown or at National the records for Tuesday and Wednesday are 90 and 89 respectively. They should be safe as well.

The average last frost Downtown is still two weeks away. The average means just that the average. A frost can and has occurred after that date. I am reminded of a story when it comes to spring frosts and freezes. My meteorology professor at the University of Tennessee was called out to the University of Illinois when their crops were destroyed by a late frost. Before he left he compiled his own average last frost date. My professor used one hundred years of data. The University of Illinois used the average from the National Weather Service which is calculated from the last thirty years of data. The last frost date that my professor came up with was a full week later than the one they had used. He recommended they use the latter date next year, collected his fee and flew back home. There are two lessons here. One, the more data you can get your hands on the better off you'll be and two, to be safe you should always plant at least a week after the date of the last frost date. Mother's Day is usually a good (safe) time for the Metro Area.

 

Area Last Frost/Freeze Dates: (remember last frosts can occur two weeks either side of date below)

 

Washington (Downtown):    4/23

Hagerstown/Winchester:      5/3

Frederick, Maryland:            5/2

Fredericksburg, Virginia:     4/28