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Observed spatio-temporal variation of frost events across the contiguous United States

Authors: Yao Xue*, Southern Illinois University
Topics: United States
Keywords: frost events, frost-free growing season
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Frost events are one of the most impacting weather hazards for fruit production, accounting for greater losses than other low temperature stresses. The extent of crop damage resulting from cold temperature extremes is mainly determined by the minimum temperature, as well as the duration of freezing conditions. Moreover, frost risk is also related to the daily temperature variability. The aim of this study is to investigate historical frost variability across the contiguous US using a high resolution, homogenized, gridded historical temperature dataset (TopoWx). Our goal is to improve understanding of frost risk by quantifying temporal variability and trends in several frost-related metrics including the dates and temperatures associated with last spring frost and the penultimate spring frost, as well as the length of the interval separating these two events. We define a frost event as a single day with daily minimum temperature below 0°C. In order to minimize the noise in the daily series, we compute frost probabilities based on moving pentads, resulting in 365 moving pentads for each calendar year. The results presented will provide an updated perspective on the US frost climatology as well as novel analyses related to variations and trends in the timing of the penultimate spring frost event relative to the last spring frost event.

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