Our garden has had a tough year. Between heavy spring rains, Tropical Storm Irene, powdery mildew, and our local groundhog, keeping the garden going has been a challenge (though we have been rewarded with a great deal of cucumbers). Here in East Middlebury, we narrowly avoided a frost in late September, but the end of the growing season is very close. The first hard freeze of the year is coming to Addison County.
According to the National Weather Service (see map above), temperatures in the upper 20s are likely in most of Addison County on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and a freeze warning is in effect for tonight in most of the state. Some areas very close to Lake Champlain may escape with just a light dusting of frost, but for most areas of the county this freeze will mark the end of the growing season. It is uncertain which night will be colder, but at this point it appears that temperatures will remain below freezing for several hours both nights.
Early October is not an unusual time for the first frost to hit Addison County. This National Weather Service graph (http://www.erh.noaa.gov/btv/climo/freeze/) indicates that the average frost in Cornwall, over the last 30 years, has been on October 5th. Depending on how fast the temperature drops this evening, the first freeze in Cornwall may occur exactly on schedule.
If your garden is still clinging to life like mine is, now is a good time to harvest whatever is left, and also to bring in any houseplants that have been outside for the summer. This weekend looks like it will be beautiful, with high temperatures in the 70s and low temperatures in the 40s or 50s. This week's hard freeze will probably accelerate the appearance of fall color throughout the county, and next weekend will be a great time to get out and enjoy the fall foliage. Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts. One weather model I regularly refer to indicates that next week may be relatively warm as well, with the chance of some tropical moisture drifting into the area by the end of the week, but it's hard to say that far out. Either way, as you all know, much colder weather is not far away.
Charlie Hohn has been fascinated by weather ever since he was a child, watching the coastal fog (and smog) drift through southern California. He was transplanted to Vermont in 2009 to attend the Field Naturalist graduate school program at UVM, and now lives in East Middlebury. Charlie will be blogging here on weather in Addison County, and he also blogs about water, rivers, runoff from human-influenced landscapes, and technology at slowwatermovement.blogspot.com.
If you see interesting weather where you are, share in the comments!