When Oklahoma Will Get Its First Freeze
Fall has been both unpredictable and unusual for the last two years. So much so, looking up the almanac averages for first frosts and freezes seem out-of-touch with what could happen next in Oklahoma.
Winter came on in the fall of 2020 with fury, dumping plenty of ice on us ridiculously early in October. Since the trees were mostly still covered in leaves, it made quite a mess. Can you remember the massive pile of trees in Elmer Thomas Park? We didn't know it then, but it would lead to a record winter storm later in February.
We were all expecting much of the same going into the following fall of 2021, but it was the season that never went away. It cooled off to mild temperatures in late August that year, and the 70s and 80s lingered until the last day of December. My family had tacos for christmas lunch on the tropical-feeling patio only to seek shelter from a deep freeze, ice, and snow just a week later.
There's really no telling when Oklahoma's first freeze will arrive these days, but if we're to believe the almanac, it shouldn't be too far off.
Historically, the first freeze to impact our portion of Southwest Oklahoma typically happens over the cold nights in the first week or so of November... but more recent history proves it can happen anytime between mid-October thru January.
Predicting the weather has to be the hardest and most underappreciated job in the world.
Even though Farmer's Almanac has botched its seasonal forecasts as if failure were a tradition, people still love to click on headlines like Winter Will Come Early For Oklahoma. After a year of incredibly early winter came coupled with a year with an incredibly late winter, it almost feels like 2022 should fall right in the sweet spot of an average forecast.
Personally, and I'm about to nerd out on you a little bit, I think 2022 is seasonably accurate for past years we've experienced. A very cold and icy winter that turned into a very wet spring. A brutally hot summer has now flowed straight into a wonderful feeling fall, why would winter jump the gun on all of the normalcy we've seen so far this year?
Even though several weather outlets are sensationalizing keywords like "polar vortex" at the moment, the odds are these seasonably comfortable temps will hold out until mid-November when the overnights start taking the normal plunge. Hard nighttime freezes will probably start hitting SWOK in mid-November before trending to be more regular around Thanksgiving. Like always, cold nights will likely warm up to nice days in the 50s and 60s through December.
The snow and ice usually don't arrive until late January into February, but that last frost doesn't happen until mid-April. That's not to say December won't have snow... I'm no weatherman making bold projections, I've just lived here long enough to know it's feeling really normal outside this month.