Friday, November 10, 2006

when will we frost?

I think it is very late in the season for us to still be waiting for our first frost. One record I found says the average first frost date for Boston MA is November 10, another says October 30, another says October 10. October 10 is the date I remember from previous years. I think one thing going on is that maps and average dates are being adjusted to reflect recent years. For example, I read this in a Boston Globe archive:

Since 1990, the United States has had its 10 warmest years on record, according to the National Academy of Science. We ... see it in New England's longer growing season (between the last spring frost and the first fall frost), which is eight days longer on average today than in 1950, according to the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.
In 1965, most of Massachusetts was in Zone 5 (mimum winter temperatures 10-20 below zero) on the US Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map used by gardeners. Now, according to the proposed draft for a new map, most of the state is in Zone 6 (zero to minus 10) and Boston and southeastern Massachusetts are in Zone 7 (plus 10 degrees to zero).

Well, New England weather is also known to be highly variable. Still I'd like to find a list of first frost dates for my area and see how different this year is. If only I had started a gardening journal earlier .... We are having a spell of nice warm weather now, so I think our frost may be at least another week away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You'll find your answer here: UMASS Boston has an extension in Walthm that does research into this sort of thing:

I am in the Metro-West area with lots of shade and a budding (pun intended) desire to get a great vegetable garden growing.