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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published May 06 2013

Weather Talk: Date of last freezing temp always a gardener’s guess

Going back to 1881, the average last 32-degree temperature in Fargo-Moorhead is May 13. Over the past 30 years, the average has shifted to tomorrow’s date, May 8.

But before you plant your pansies and posies, consider how cold it has been this spring. An average is just the middle of a period of record and should only vaguely represent expectations. In the past, freezing weather has been recorded in Fargo-Moorhead as late as June 20 in 1969. Temperatures into the 30s (38) have happened as late as June 28 in 1895. In last year’s warm spring, the final frost was on April 26.

So if you are looking for a hard answer about when the weather will soften into summer, you are going to be as disappointed. Late frost (or lack thereof) is a product of very specific weather conditions that are too hard to forecast several weeks away. A gardener has to guess and hope for the best.


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