2017 Spring Frost/Freeze Dates Back »

Temperature Outlook

Air temperatures are chilling down this week, just as growers are anxious to get in the field to continue spring planting and other fieldwork. Low temperatures this week were in the 20’s and 30’s, just as soils were near ready for planting.

It is not unusual to have sub-freezing temperatures in late April or May. However, for Western South Dakota, the average last hard freeze (28°F) is during the first week of May. The latest freezes have occurred as late as May 14 to 22 in this region.

The average last date for 28°F temperatures is around April 22 to 30 for most of Eastern South Dakota. The latest dates have occurred around this week through May 13. The Southeast tends to be the first to start their frost-free/growing season, and the Northwest and Black Hills are similar in their spring frost dates.

Figure 1.
Median date for last 28°F minimum temperature in spring season, years 1983-2012. Source: South Dakota Climate & Weather

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