Freeze warning tonight – When can leave plants outside?

There is a FREEZE WARNING out tonight

Monday – 30 May 2022 – 5:45pm

*** The NWS has issued a FREEZE WARNING valid from midnight tonight to 9am Tuesday morning. Frost and freeze conditions will kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing. ***

I expect low temps tonight in our area mostly in the mid-20s to lower 30s. The cold spots could dip into the low 20s.

Here’s a popular question… When can we move our plants outside?

Pagosa Springs historical data indicates that 31 May is the final day with an average low of 32. However, the temp doesn’t just shoot up and stay there. The average low is still 33 to 35 through 14 June – that’s cutting it close! And of course, a cold low pressure system can still drop temps below average.

Two things to consider…

1. Our terrain is complicated. Most of us live between 6,500ft and 8,500ft elevation and temps vary considerably. There are cold spots and warms spots spread all over the county.

2. My forecasting crystal ball goes out about two weeks. Forecast confidence the first 5-7 days is pretty high, but then drops considerably those last 7 days.

And what do I expect? Most of us will be able to leave our plants out starting Thursday. You folks that live in a cold spot might want to wait another week.

Image below is Euro model ensemble max and min temps. The red box in the middle with the arrow on the left is expected low temps.  This model and most of the others tend to be a few degrees too warm for low temps, but I agree with this trend. Starting Thursday night for most of us, temps will stay above freezing. The cold spots will flirt with freezing through the weekend.
Euro model ensemble max and min temps – The red box in the middle with the arrow on the left is expected low temps. This model and most of the others tend to be a few degrees too warm for low temps, but I agree with this trend. Starting Thursday night for most of us, temps will stay above freezing. The cold spots will flirt with freezing through the weekend.

Winds… We hit 48mph in O’Neal Park this afternoon and the airfield hit 43mph. This is the last day of strong winds for a while. Starting tomorrow winds will drop into the “breezy” range of 20-30mph.

I’ll do a more thorough post tomorrow.

  • Shawn

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Shawn Pro

I’ve been a “weather geek” since I was young child. I joined the military out of high school and was lucky to get my dream job in weather. I have 20 years of military weather experience which includes forecasting the weather all over the world. Highlights were six years in Alaska and making life and death weather decisions during deployments. I love mountains, I love snow, and I love summertime thunderstorms. I spend a bunch of time playing outdoors and found my paradise in Pagosa Springs. I do Pagosa Weather as a community service. Hopefully you find us helpful!
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