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Cold night ahead, killing freeze for mosquitoes, pollen and plants

Posted by David Epstein  October 12, 2012 01:35 PM

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The morning of October 13th should end up in the record books as the end of the growing season for many here in southern New England. Thinking back on the year, the length of the growing season will be slightly longer than average. It would have been much longer had we not had a late freeze in late April after the buds had opened. Another way to look at this year's growing season is that for the past 8 months things have been actively growing and that is MUCH longer than usual. This afternoon you will notice temperatures steady or falling into the 40s. Roads will be dry for the commute home. Tonight will be the coldest night since that freeze last April. Tonight temperatures will fall to the upper 20s in the coldest spots to lower 30s elsewhere. There is a freeze warning and frost advisory for the area.

freezewarning.bmp
Freeze and frost overnight
Depending on where you are will dictate just how bad the cold is tonight. The bottom line is that growing season is going to end for many. Even if you don't care about the plants there is reason to be happy about the cold. Temperatures under 30F will get rid of any remaining grass pollen and also kill the mosquitoes. For 2012, the threat of mosquito diseases should come to end for many cities and towns by morning.

The weekend.
Saturday looks cold to start and stays that way all day. Temperatures will make it into the 50s for high but that won't happen until after noon. Much of the day will feel very cold in spite of sunshine. Sunday will be significantly milder with highs well into the 60s. If we get a few hours of sunshine some spots could hit 70F. Clouds will be the rule and there could be a passing shower or two, but the day is not a washout by any means.

Next week, Indian summer.
Much of next week looks dry and mild with highs in the lower 60s and overnight lows in the 40s. I would call it Indian summer since that is usually defined as a period of mild weather after the frost and freeze.


Foliage
The leaves are rapidly changing and far northern areas are now past peak. Saturday will be a great day for foliage viewing as the colors are strong in many parts of southern New England and the sunshine will be bright. October 11th Foliage.gif Leave drop is high to the north and still low in southern areas. I don't see any major wind storms on the horizon so the leaves should come down a bit slower this year.
Gardening tip this week
Leaves are falling and it's time to begin to close down gardens for the season. I am actually starting seeds inside now to plant in my cold frame for the late fall and early winter. You might be surprised how easy it is to continue to grow your own food right through Christmas will just a bit of cover and no electricity. If you want to learn about growing a vegetable garden Mass Hort has a great program called Garden To Table. You can learn about that program and other tips on setting up a garden in the video. This is a great time of year to get your garden ready for spring planting. Don't wait till spring.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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