Fall 2013 Frost/Freeze Information

As of October 25th, all of the NWS Topeka service area have fallen to 32°or colder (a freeze) at least once this fall.  As a result, NWS Topeka has ended our frost and freeze advisory and warning program for the year.

However, it is worth noting that some areas have not recorded a true, hard killing freeze of 28°-or-colder yet this season.

Before continuing, here are a few definitions

- 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 33-36° along with very light winds are usually needed to initiate frost formation. Minor damage is possible to some plants. One must keep in mind that a frost is not guaranteed at these temperatures if moisture in the air is lacking.

- Freeze occurs when the air temperature drops to 32° or lower. A freeze will result in significant damage to many unprotected plants, especially if the temperature remains at the freezing mark for a few hours.

- Hard Freeze occurs when the temperature reaches 28° or lower for at least a few hours. It usually means that many types of plants and most seasonal vegetation will be destroyed. 

The Midwestern Regional Climate Center produces maps that update DAILY, depicting sites across the region that have fallen to at least 32 or 28 degrees so far this fall.  Check out statewide maps of Kansas by clicking on the images below. Again, these maps automatically update daily, and originate from the  Midwest Climate Watch website.

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Kansas observed 32 degrees or below so far this fall



Kansas observed 28 degrees or below so far this fall



Median Dates of First Fall Freeze and Hard Freeze (1981-2010)
(Midwestern Regional Climate Center)

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Median Date of First 32-Degree Freeze Median Date of First 28-Degree Hard Freeze




 Average First Fall 32-Degree Dates for Kansas (courtesy the Kansas State Climatologist)

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