How Likely is an Early Frost?

12:02PM Aug 05, 2019
Frost Seeding, OSU
“But now that we're losing some of the El Nino influence and I think the risk of that early frost [is diminished],” he said. 

( Farm Journal )

Given the late start most crops got this year, many producers are worried about the possibility of an early frost. However, Ed Vallee of Empire Weather says the atmosphere is indicating the first frost will most likely be normal for the Corn Belt. 

“El Nino and La Nina are the biggest indicators,” he told AgriTalk host Chip Flory. “From a research perspective, we can look at some past years, and then see what we're looking at, but the big thing we're seeing right now is we're losing El Nino.”

El Nino’s typically offer a very early frost risk, particularly across the northern Corn Belt, according to Vallee. 

“But now that we're losing some of the El Nino influence and I think the risk of that early frost [is diminished],” he said. 

Average frost dates vary across the Corn Belt. The first frost can occur anywhere from early to mid-September in the far north, to late October in the southern belt, he explains. 

“So, it's very variable, obviously. But just looking at El Nino and some of that data that we're watching that data moving forward, we're losing the influence of El Nino,” he explained. “And generally, that tends to be a positive thing when it comes to less frost risk.”