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Plants could still be in jeopardy

May 8, 2012

Warm temperatures in March and April kick started the farming/gardening season across western and north central Nebraska. However, the National Weather Service in North Platte reminds us that typically we still have the potential for freezing temperatures into the month of May. Many plants are sensitive to frosting and/or freezing conditions. Frost can develop when the temperature reaches or drops below 36 degrees, while a freeze will occur when temperatures reach or fall below 32 degrees. The Weather Service has put together statistics on the probability of a frost or freeze in different locations across the state, based on reports from airport and cooperative observations. The probability is based on the chance a freeze/frost will occur after the date.
According to the reporot, the probability of the last freeze in Broken Bow occurring after April 29 is 90 percent; after May 22, 50 percent, and after June 7 is only 10 percent. The probability of a late frost in Broken Bow after May 6 is 90 percent; after May 22, 50 percent, and after June 7, 10 percent.
The NWS has also compiled this list of freeze/frost dates for Broken Bow over the past 10 years:
2002 - 32º, May 25
2003 - 30º, May 21
2004 - 28º, May 14
2005 - 29º, May 15; 35º, May 28
2006 - 25º, April 26; 36º, May 17
2007 - 28º, April 15; 34º, April 24
2008 - 29º, May 11; 33º, May 14
2009 - 32º, May 16; 32º, May 16
2010 - 31º, May 14; 36º, May 18
2011 - 28º, May 16
With overnight low temperatures this week dipping down into the mid and upper 30s, this report serves as a good reminder that we aren’t out of the woods quite yet with our outdoor plants. If you have tomatoes and other garden vegetables planted already, it might be a good idea to cover them on these cool evenings.

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