The lingering warmth that graced Monday and Tuesday is likely to poof overnight on Tuesday, Oct. 8, with forecasts calling for a wintry cold front to move in.
Lows are expected to drop into the mid-30s on Tuesday and the mid-20s on Wednesday night. Thursday and Friday will be colder yet, with the lows in the lower 20s.
“The whole state will experience a hard freeze,” said meteorologist Zack Hargrove said. “Williston will probably see that hard freeze definitely Wednesday and into Thursday, and possibly even Tuesday night.”
Here’s what you need to know about the impending cold smackdown:
1. A hard freeze spells doom for any tender vegetables.
“In general, blankets and tarps provide about 2 to 3 degrees of protection,” said horticulturist Dr. Tom Kalb. “If a hard freeze is expected, gardeners should go out and harvest their tender vegetables.”
That means tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash and the like will likely not benefit from covering up. It will be too cold for too long to save them this time.
Brussel sprouts and other brassicas, however, could benefit. They will survive temperatures in the high 20s, and actually get sweeter as a result.
2. The forecasted temperatures are about 30 degrees or so below normal. This colder than average trend is expected to last at least through Thursday.
3. Snow is in the forecast, but Williston won’t get as much.
“There’s more chance for snow for the rest of the state,” Hargrove said. “But it looks like just that initial push is all you guys will see.”
4. Precipitation in the Williston region is well above average year to date. The normal for Jan. 1 through this time period is 12.38 inches. We’ve had 20.23 inches, however, which is 7.85 inches more than normal. The soggy ground sets the stage for potential flooding issues next spring, depending on what precipitation falls during the winter.
5. Warmer temperatures are forecast to start returning Saturday with a gradual warm up to the more usual 50s and 60s expected next week.