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Mild October Keeping the Frost Away From New England...For Now

October has generally been off to a mild start for New England. While daytime high temperatures have trended generally near average for much of the month (except for the summer-like warmth for a couple days at the beginning), its been the overnight low temperatures that have stayed mild.

A vast majority of New England typically sees their first frost by October 21st. Only southernmost Connecticut, most of Rhode Island and the Massachusetts coast typically stay above frost levels until after this date. This fall has been a different story. Areas in orange on the map below have not yet dropped below 36° this season. This is quite a large area compared to the map showing areas that typically fall to this temperature by now.

The National Weather Service's frost/freeze program ends by October 21st for a majority of New England. When this program ends, frost advisories and freeze warnings are no longer issued when the temperature is forecast to drop to frost or freeze levels.

This means much of southern and even central New England will not be seeing a single frost advisory, let alone a freeze warning this season. Southern Connecticut, Rhode Island and the Massachusetts coastal plain from the Boston Metro area south have until November 1st before frost advisories and freeze warnings end.

The map below was published by New England Storm Center on October 9th, showing alerts for the morning of October 10th. This was the most widespread frost advisory this season. Not a single freeze warning has been issued anywhere in New England so far this fall.

Some parts of northern New England are beginning to approach record territory when it comes to the latest first freeze. Burlington, Vermont's current all-time record is November 1st, which occurred back in 1920. This was measured near Lake Champlain, where temperatures tend to be a bit warmer. In 1941, the observation site moved to Burlington International Airport. Since the move, the record is October 26th, occurring in 2018.

Burlington's lowest temperature recorded so far this month is 39°. So far, 16 of 20 nights have been above average for the city, including one night (October 5-6) that did not drop below the average daytime high. Earlier this month, Burlington experienced the hottest day ever to be observed in Vermont in the month of October (86° on October 4th).

Burlington will be coming close to the airport record when it comes to freezing temperatures. The city is unlikely to drop to the freezing mark anytime next week as ridging builds in after a tough to start the week. Monday night will likely be Burlington's coldest night of the week; it is currently forecast to drop to the upper 30s to low 40s. The city might just be able to get a frost, but a freeze is currently out of the picture for next week.

Concord, New Hampshire is closing in on their latest first freeze ever. The record currently stands at October 25th, which occurred in 1921. Records for Concord date back to 1868. Concord will have a chance to see a freeze on Tuesday morning (October 24th). Lows are currently forecast in the low to mid 30s. If Concord fails to drop to 32° on October 24th, the record for latest freeze will likely be shattered as warmer temperatures return for the remainder of the week.

Boston and Hartford are both in zones where the typical first freeze can happen as late as November 1st. The lowest temperature recorded in both cities combined this month is 44°, so the cities have not come remotely close to frost development. Hartford could drop into the 30s Monday night.

While most of next week will likely be above average temperature-wise, there are hints of a cool down to below average temperatures coming at the very end of October and early November.



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