Recent Freeze Event May Have Marked End To Growing Season

Overnight low temperatures the morning of October 16th reached into the low 30s (Fahrenheit), bringing an end to the growing season for a lot of vegetation across Indiana (Figure 1).  Temperatures should warm up again with overnight lows more in the mid-40s over the next weeks with temperatures dropping near freezing for the last week of the month. The most recent climate outlook for the rest of October is indicating significant probabilities for above-normal temperatures, keeping in mind that the average low temperature for the last two weeks in Indiana is typically in the low-to-mid 40s in the northern counties to the mid-to-upper 50s in the southern counties.

 

Figure 1. The date of the most recent 32°F freeze even as of October 16, 2020.

Figure 1. The date of the most recent 32°F freeze even as of October 16, 2020.

 

Precipitation is predicted to be above normal for the rest of the month, which should help relieve some of the drought stress that the state has been facing (Figure 2).  Reports around the state have indicated low pond and stream levels in addition to county burn bans and local fires.  Be sure to check if your county is under a current burn ban (https://www.in.gov/dhs/burnban/) in order to help minimize out-of-control wildfires that could strain fire control resources.

 

Figure 2. United States Drought Monitor map for Indiana representing conditions as of Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

Figure 2. United States Drought Monitor map for Indiana representing conditions as of Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

 

With the 2020 growing season ending, Figures 3 and 4 show the seasonal accumulation of modified growing degree days in addition to the 2020 comparison to recent past years.

 

Figure 3. Modified accumulated growing degree-day units for April 1 – October 15, 2020.

Figure 3. Modified accumulated growing degree-day units for April 1 – October 15, 2020.

 

Figure 4. Comparison of accumulated modified growing degree days for April 1 through October 15 for 2016 through 2020.

Figure 4. Comparison of accumulated modified growing degree days for April 1 through October 15 for 2016 through 2020.

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