Average First Fall Frost Dates for Selected North Carolina Locations

Revised 12/96 -- Author Reviewed 12/98 HIL-708

Katharine B. Perry, Department Extension Leader
Department of Horticultural Science

 

Average First Fall Frost Dates for Selected North Carolina Locations

Frost forms on solid objects when the water vapor in the atmosphere changes from its vapor phase to small ice crystals. Frost is not frozen dew. If you see frost than you know that the temperature of the object it is on reached 32 0F or lower. However, the air temperature, measured at five feet above ground in the vicinity of this object, is likely several degrees higher. Conversely, not every air temperature recorded at or below 32 0F means frost formed on solid objects in the area. In spite of this, the average date of the last spring air temperature of 32 0F has traditionally been called the last frost date. The dates presented in this leaflet are the average date of the last recorded air temperature at 32 0F or lower for the period 1951 - 1980. The standard deviation is an important statistic to consider along with the average date. The standard deviation tells the amount of dispersion around the average. The average date minus one standard deviation gives the date before which there is only a 16% chance of frost. A frost will occur before this date about twice in every 10 year period. For example, in Albemarle a frost will occur before October 13 (the average date of Ocotber 25 minus one standard deviation of 12 days) about twice in every 10 year period. The average date minus two standard deviations gives the date before which there is only a 2% chance of frost. A frost will occur before this date about twice in every 100 year period. For example, in Albemarle a frost will occur before October 1 (the average date of October 25 minus two standard deviations of 12 days) about twice in every 100 year period.

For information on how to protect plants from frost and freeze damage see Horticulture Information Leaflet No. 705 A, Frost/Freeze Protection for Horticultural Crops and consult the references listed below.

Below the first fall frost data are listed by Station Name (Table 1) and by County (Table 2).

There are several published references for North Carolina climate data. These references are available from the North Carolina State University Department of Communication Services, Publications, Box 7603, Raleigh, NC 27695-7603; (919) 515-2861.

Table 1. Average first fall frost date and its standard deviation for selected North Carolina locations listed by station name. Data are for the period 1951 - 1980.

Station
Name

County

Average
Date

Standard
Deviation
(days)

Albemarle 4 N

Stanly

October 25

12

Andrews 2 E

Cherokee

October 10

10

Asheboro 2 W

Randolph

October 31

12

Asheville

Buncombe

October 23

11

Banner Elk

Avery

October 2

11

Bent Creek

Buncombe

October 9

11

Black Mountain

Buncombe

October 17

10

Blowing Rock

Watauga

October 11

9

Brevard

Transylvania

October 8

9

Burlington

Alamance

November 1

11

Canton 1 SW

Haywood

October 10

9

Celo 2 S

Yancey

September 27

18

Chapel Hill 2 W

Orange

October 23

10

Charlotte WSO AP

Mecklenburg

November 5

13

Clinton

Sampson

October 29

11

Concord

Cabarrus

November 2

12

Coweeta Exp Station

Macon

October 7

8

Cullowhee

Jackson

October 11

9

Durham

Durham

October 24

10

Edenton

Chowan

November 11

12

Elizabeth City FAA AP

Pasquotank

November 7

12

Enka

Buncombe

October 20

10

Fayetteville

Cumberland

October 31

9

Franklin 1 SSW

Macon

October 12

8

Gastonia

Gaston

November 1

14

Goldsboro 1 SSW

Wayne

October 30

9

Greensboro Pump Station

Guilford

October 28

10

Greensboro WSO AP

Guilford

October 27

10

Greenville

Pitt

October 30

10

Hamlet

Richmond

October 24

8

Hatteras

Dare

December 11

15

Henderson 2 NNW

Vance

October 23

9

Hendersonville 1 NE

Henderson

October 12

9

Hickory

Burke

October 30

11

Highlands 2 S

Macon

October 22

12

High Point

Guilford

October 30

12

Hot Springs 2

Madison

October 21

10

Jackson

Northampton

October 26

8

Kinston 5 E

Lenoir

October 29

13

Laurinburg

Scotland

November 1

11

Lenoir

Caldwell

October 21

11

Lexington

Davidson

October 31

12

Lumberton 6 NW

Robeson

October 28

12

Marion

McDowell

October 31

13

Marshall

Madison

October 15

10

Maysville 6 W

Jones

October 24

13

Monroe 4 SE

Union

October 25

10

Morehead City 2 WNW

Carteret

November 19

13

Morganton

Burke

October 18

9

Mount Airy

Surry

October 15

9

Nashville

Nash

October 30

11

New Bern FAA AP

Craven

November 9

13

New Holland

Hyde

November 11

11

Oxford 2 SW

Granville

October 28

12

Pisgah Forest 1 N

Transvylvania

October 10

7

Plymouth 5 E

Washington

October 25

11

Raleigh-Durham WSO AP

Wake

October 27

9

Raleigh 4 SW

Wake

November 1

14

Raleigh NCSU

Wake

Noember 5

13

Reidsville 2 NW

Rockingham

October 27

11

Rocky Mount 8 ESE

Edgecombe

October 25

10

Rowan Research Station

Rowan

October 20

8

Salisbury

Rowan

October 26

10

Sanford 8 NE

Lee

October 22

10

Shelby 2 NNE

Cleveland

October 25

9

Siler City 2 NW

Chatham

October 15

10

Smithfield

Johnston

October 25

10

Southport 5 N

Brunswick

November 12

14

Statesville 2 NNE

Iredell

October 19

12

Tarboro 1 S

Edgecombe

October 28

11

Transou

Ashe

October 1

10

Tryon

Polk

October 29

11

Wadesboro

Anson

November 4

12

Waterville 2

Haywood

October 26

12

Waynesville 1 E

Haywood

October 8

10

Whiteville 7 NW

Columbus

October 31

11

Willard 4 SW

Pender

November 1

12

Williamston 1 ENE

Martin

November 3

12

Wilmington 7 N

New Hanover

November 3

12

Wilmington WSO AP

New Hanover

November 14

13

Wilson 3 SW

Wilson

October 29

10

.

.

.

.

Table 2. Average first fall frost date and its standard deviation for selected North Carolina locations listed by county . Data are for the period 1951 - 1980.

County

Station
Name

Average
Date

Standard
Deviation
(days)

Alamance

Burlington

November 1

11

Anson

Wadesboro

November 4

12

Ashe

Transou

October 1

10

Avery

Banner Elk

October 2

11

Brunswick

Southport 5 N

November 12

14

Buncombe

Asheville

October 23

11

.

Black Mountain

October 17

10

.

Bent Creek

October 9

11

.

Enka

October 20

10

Burke

Morganton

October 18

9

.

Hickory

October 30

11

Cabarrus

Concord

November 2

12

Caldwell

Lenoir

October 21

11

Carteret

Morehead City 2 WNW

November 19

13

Chatham

Siler City 2 NW

October 15

10

Cherokee

Andrews 2 E

October 10

10

Chowan

Edenton

November 11

12

Cleveland

Shelby 2 NNE

October 25

9

Columbus

Whiteville 7 NW

October 31

11

Craven

New Bern FAA AP

November 9

13

Cumberland

Fayetteville

October 31

9

Dare

Hatteras

December 11

15

Davidson

Lexington

October 31

12

Durham

Durham

October 24

10

Edgecombe

Rocky Mount 8 ESE

October 25

10

.

Tarboro 1 S

October 28

11

Gaston

Gastonia

November 1

14

Granville

Oxford 2 SW

October 28

12

Guilford

High Point

October 30

12

.

Greensboro Pump Station

October 28

10

.

Greensboro WSO AP

October 27

10

Haywood

Canton 1 SW

October 10

9

.

Waynesville 1 E

October 8

10

.

Waterville 2

October 26

12

Henderson

Hendersonville 1 NE

October 12

9

Hyde

New Holland

November 11

11

Iredell

Statesville 2 NNE

October 19

12

Jackson

Cullowhee

October 11

9

Johnston

Smithfield

October 25

10

Jones

Maysville 6 W

October 24

13

Lee

Sanford 8 NE

October 22

10

Lenoir

Kinston 5 E

October 29

13

Macon

Coweeta Exp Station

October 7

8

.

Highlands 2 S

October 22

12

.

Franklin 1 SSW

October 12

8

Madison

Marshall

October 15

10

.

Hot Springs 2

October 21

10

Martin

Williamston 1 ENE

November 3

12

McDowell

Marion

October 31

13

Mecklenburg

Charlotte WSO AP

November 5

13

Nash

Nashville

October 30

11

New Hanover

Wilmington WSO AP

November 14

13

.

Wilmington 7 N

November 3

12

Northampton

Jackson

October 26

8

Orange

Chapel Hill 2 W

October 23

10

Pasquotank

Elizabeth City FAA AP

November 7

12

Pender

Willard 4 SW

November 1

12

Pitt

Greenville

October 30

10

Polk

Tryon

October 29

11

Randolph

Asheboro 2 W

October 31

12

Richmond

Hamlet

October 24

8

Robeson

Lumberton 6 NW

October 28

12

Rockingham

Reidsville 2 NW

October 27

11

Rowan

Salisbury

October 26

10

.

Rowan Research Station

October 20

8

Sampson

Clinton

October 29

11

Scotland

Laurinburg

November 1

11

Stanly

Albemarle 4 N

October 25

12

Surry

Mount Airy

October 15

9

Transvylvania

Pisgah Forest 1 N

October 10

7

.

Brevard

October 8

9

Union

Monroe 4 SE

October 25

10

Vance

Henderson 2 NNW

October 23

9

Wake

Raleigh NCSU

Noember 5

13

.

Raleigh 4 SW

November 1

14

.

Raleigh-Durham WSO AP

October 27

9

Washington

Plymouth 5 E

October 25

11

Watauga

Blowing Rock

October 11

9

Wayne

Goldsboro 1 SSW

October 30

9

Wilson

Wilson 3 SW

October 29

10

Yancey

Celo 2 S

September 27

18

.

.

.

.


Published by

North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service


Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Employment and program opportunities are offered to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. North Carolina State University at Raleigh, North Carolina A & T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.