Now that spring has sprung across our region, many plants have emerged from their winter dormancy. Gardeners and backyard farmers turn their attention to their annual planting rituals. When are we "safe" from the last freeze and the last snow of winter?
Dates of the last measurable snow:
At Evansville, the average date of the last measurable snowfall is March 7. However, there have been several snows in April. The latest measurable snow on record was April 18 in 1953 and 1983. About one-half inch fell on April 17-18, 1983. The total on April 18, 1953 was 1.8 inches. (Snowfall records: 1948-present).
At Paducah, the average date of the last measurable snowfall is February 22. There has been snow at Paducah in April. On April 18, 1983, there was one-half inch of snowfall at Paducah. (Snowfall records: 1937-present).
Dates of the last freeze:
At Evansville, the average date of the last freezing temperature (32 or lower) is April 7. However, there have been freezes as late as May. On May 4, 1976 and May 10, 1966, the temperature fell to 32 and 31, respectively. (Temperature records: 1897-present).
At Paducah, the average date of the last freezing temperature is April 6. Freezing temperatures have occurred as late as May. On May 7, 1944, the temperature fell to 32 degrees. That was the latest freeze on record at Paducah, where records date back to 1937.
One of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history was a series of hard freezes on April 6-9, 2007. This was a billion-dollar weather disaster nationally. (See related article). The low temperature at Paducah fell to 21 degrees on April 8, 2007. This was the lowest temperature recorded on any day in any April at Paducah, and it followed one of the ten warmest Marches on record. Evansville fell to 26 on April 7 and 9, 2007.
Photo of snow-covered redbud tree and grade-school students in Hopkinsville, KY on April 13, 2004. Photo courtesy of teacher Sharon Lancaster