Oct 052013

With winter approaching, now is the proper time to take a look at when frost has arrived at Bracken House since records began in October 2009.

Frost patterns 2

Frost patterns (Photo credit: Vito De Lucia)

There are two types of frosts that are mentioned in weather forecasts, air frost and ground frost. An air frost is when the temperature at a height of about four feet from the ground level falls below 0°C. A ground frost is when the temperature at ground level reaches 0°C. In some cases, a ground frost is recorded when the air temperature is 5°C.

In the table below, I have assumed that ground frost occurs at 3°C. The number of frost days refers to air frosts.

[table width=”100%” align=”center” colalign=”center|center|center|center|center|center”]

Winter,First ground frost,First air frost,Last air frost,Last ground frost,Frost days

2009/10,7th November,1st December,21st April,13th May,55

2010/11,17th October,20th October,19th March,14th May,51

2011/12,19th October, 10th December,16th April,16th May,28

2012/13,14th October,18th November,7th April,16th May,68


As can be seen, the winter just gone (2012-2013) was the worst so far recorded, with 68 days of air frosts. Ground frosts usually occur well into the middle of May, so anyone putting out bedding plants should wait until the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May. If you’re tempted to put delicate plants out before then, you must be ready to cover them at night.

Based on these figures, readers living locally should be prepared for frosts from the middle of October, and lasting for seven months. Not a pleasant prospect.

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