Break out the coats. Killing freeze returns Wednesday night.

Published 1:05 am Tuesday, October 31, 2023

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It might be time to finally break out those fall sweaters and winter coats as a killing freeze is expected to hit this area on Wednesday night.

According to the National Weather Service, a killing freeze is when temperatures get below 32 degrees. At this temperature, most plants can survive if it’s brief, but after the temperature gets below 28 degrees it’s not likely the plants will make it. The temperature Wednesday, Nov. 1, night and into Thursday, Nov. 2, morning is expected to get into the low 20s. 

To save any outdoor plants from this freeze the best practices are to cover them in a sheet or blanket to keep off the frost and lock in some of the warmth from the ground. 

“This is likely the end of growing season,” said Alec Butner with the Wakefield National Weather Service. “This is right on track or a little later for what we expect for fall. Nothing too out of the ordinary.”

According to Butner, a cold front is coming in and as of Monday is crossing the West Virginia and Virginia border. The cold weather could come sooner depending on how fast the cold front comes in but it is still expected on Wednesday. 

What to expect from killing freeze

The next few days are expected to be cooler, cloudy and rainy as the cold front passes through. The end of the week and into the weekend will be warmer with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. 

Looking ahead, this year could have another warm winter but not quite like last year. Last year, there was a La Niña, meaning that there was a change in the jet stream bringing a warm and dry winter. This year there is an El Niño. While the warmer temperatures are still expected, so is more precipitation. This means more rain and a greater possibility for snow to be a part of that. 

“It could be a warmer winter but all it takes is one storm system to come through and change that,” said Butner.