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First Frost on Cue

min temp map

Lowest temperature of the fall as of October 16th.

The first autumn frost occurred right on cue for many locations in New England and upstate New York during the first half of October. Places like Caribou, ME; Burlington, VT; Albany, NY; and Hartford, CT reported their first frost within a few days of the historical average date.

freeze table

First frost (32°F) dates for major climate sites. Stations shaded in red normally experience frost by October 16.

Below-freezing temperatures on the morning of October 15 were responsible for 2016’s first fall frost at many locations. However, temperatures at other stations that typically see frost by mid-October remained above freezing. As a result, inland locations, as far south as Sterling, VA (Dulles Airport) and near the Great Lakes (for example Rochester, NY and Erie, PA) will see a later first frost this year compared to average. We will need to wait until the end of October and in some cases even November to see if many of the region’s coastal locations and metropolitan centers will have an earlier or later-than-normal first fall frost this year.

oct 15 in temp map

Coldest day of the fall so far at most places.

Despite the frost, so far October temperatures have been warmer than normal. Across extreme northern New England and in western and northern New York October temperatures have averaged from three to more than 4°F warmer than normal through October 16. In fact, except for just a few areas in central Pennsylvania and along the coast, temperatures through mid-October have been warmer than normal. Warmer-than-normal temperatures have characterized much of the Northeast since the end of June.

temp depart map

Temperature departures for the first half of October were mostly near or above normal.