The first frost, and in some cases freezing temperatures in south central Nebraska and north central Kansas occurred on Sunday morning, October 3. The coldest temperatures settled at locations where the wind became calm or nearly calm for a time overnight. The frosty weather was expected, both in terms of the near-term forecast and climatologically. Roughly speaking for the entire region, the 1st week of October is the climatological average for our first foray into freezing or near freezing temperatures.  More specific climatological information is included later in this article.

Morning low temperatures in the area ranged from the upper 20s to middle 30s. Here is a list of morning low temperatures at various sites in south central Nebraska and north central Kansas as of 7:00 am Sunday, October 3. Sites that reached 32 or below are in darker blue.

Location

(Kansas sites at bottom)

Morning Low (10/3/10)
Aurora Airport 33
Fairmont (NWS Observer) 35
Franklin (NWS Observer) 29
Grand Island Airport 36
Greeley (NWS Observer) 26
Hastings Airport 34
Hebron Airport 31
Holdrege Airport 34
Kearney Airport 30
Kearney (NWS Observer)
31
Lexington Airport 33
Loup City  (NWS Observer) 31
Ord Airport 28
Osceola  (NWS Observer) 36
Oxford 6NNW  (NWS Observer) 33
Superior 4E  (NWS Observer) 30
York  (NWS Observer) 30
Alton KS  (NWS Observer) 28
Beloit, KS Airport 31
Burr Oak KS (NWS Observer)
29
Phillipsburg, KS Airport 32
Smith Center, KS Airport 35

 

You can check out a statewide map of freezing temperatures of Kansas and Nebraska by clicking on the images below. The map is updated daily and provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center on their Midwest Climate Watch website.

 

Kansas                                                Nebraska

 

 

Climatological Frost/Freeze Information

With the onset of Fall, the growing season eventually comes to an end with a return to cooler weather and the occurrence of frost, and freezing temperatures. 

When you look at historical freeze data (32 degrees or lower), there is a tremendous variation from year-to-year and between any given location in south central Nebraska and north central Kansas. Last year, the fall of 2009 saw fairly normal first freeze dates beginning on September 29, 2009 across portions of south central Nebraska, to October 10, 2009 in north central Kansas.  Average freeze dates for the 30 year period (1980-2009) range from September 27 in the Greeley, Nebraska area to October 16th in the Beloit and Plainville, KS locations. 

Here are the definitions of frost, freeze, and hard freeze:

Frost occurs when there is a solid deposition of water vapor from the air. Frost will form when solid surfaces are cooled below the dew point. An air temperature range of 33 to 36 degrees is needed for frost formation. Minor damage is possible to some plants.  
 
A Freeze occurs when the air temperature drops to 32 degrees. A freeze will result in significant damage to many unprotected plants, especially if the temperature remains at the freezing mark for a few hours.
 
A Hard Freeze occurs when the air temperature reaches 28 degrees. The growing season is considered to have all but ended when the temperatures drops to 28 degrees.  The range of dates for a hard freeze is from the 1st through the 3rd week of October (on average) for south central Nebraska and north central Kansas.

Fall Freeze Information for South Central Nebraska

(30-year average 1980-2009)

Location Average Date of 36 Degrees Average Date of 32 Degrees Average Date of 28 Degrees 2009 First Fall Freeze (32 degrees or lower) Earliest Freeze on Record Latest Freeze on Record
Cambridge  Sept. 25  Oct. 2
 Oct. 12  Sep. 29 Sept 3, 1974
 Oct. 28, 1963
Genoa  Sept. 24  Oct. 2  Oct. 8  Sep. 29
Sept 3, 1974
Oct. 29, 1973
Gothenburg  Sept. 25  Sept. 30  Oct. 12  Oct. 3
Sept. 3, 1974
Oct. 28, 1963
Grand Island  Sept. 28  Oct. 8  Oct. 15  Sep. 29 Sept. 12, 1902
 Nov. 3, 1944
Greeley  Sept. 22  Sept. 27  Oct. 7  Sep. 29  Sept. 3, 1974
 Oct. 29, 1963
Hastings  Sept. 29  Oct. 9  Oct. 19
 Oct. 9
Sept. 20, 1983 and 1991
Nov. 5, 1947
Hebron  Sept. 30  Oct. 11  Oct. 20
 Oct. 5
Sept. 11, 1940
Nov. 1 in 1927 and 1931
Holdrege  Oct. 3
 Oct. 10  Oct. 21  Oct. 9
Sept. 11, 1902
Nov. 5, 1940
Kearney  Sept. 27  Oct. 5  Oct. 15  Oct. 4
 Sept. 13, 1974
Nov. 5, 1947
York  Oct. 3
 Oct. 12  Oct. 21  Sep. 29
Sept. 11, 1940
Nov. 4, 1998

 

Fall Freeze Information for North Central Kansas

(30-year average 1980-2009)

Location Average Date of 36 Degrees Average Date of 32 Degrees Average Date of 28 Degrees 2009 First Fall Freeze (32 degrees or lower) Earliest Freeze on Record Latest Freeze on Record
Alton

 Sept. 25

 Oct. 3

 Oct. 14

 Oct. 9

Sept 3, 1974

 Oct. 28, 1963

Beloit

 Oct. 5

 Oct. 16

 Oct. 25

 Oct. 10

Sept 3, 1974

Oct. 29, 1973

Plainville

 Oct. 7

 Oct. 16

 Oct. 27

 Oct. 9

Sept. 3, 1974

Oct. 28, 1963

Smith Center

 Oct. 3

 Oct. 13

 Oct. 19

 Oct. 9

Sept. 12, 1902

 Nov. 3, 1944

 

 

 

 

 


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