Be prepared: Average first freeze falls on Dec. 5
BEEVILLE – The arrival of the first cold front of the season last week answers the question “When is it going to get cool?”
Sunday’s low temperature dropped down into the mid 30s.
But with the Christmas season just over the proverbial horizon, the eventual question is “When will it freeze?”
Meteorologists cannot specifically answer such a question, so they fall back on statistics.
The average date for the first freeze, based on records kept from 1950, is Dec. 5.
The influence of being a few miles farther south and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico delay that first freeze in Corpus Christi by 16 days, to Dec. 21.
John Metz, chief warning meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Corpus Christi, compiled the figures for 16 South Texas communities.
The Dec. 5 average first freeze for Beeville is shared with the Aransas Wildlife Refuge.
Goliad’s average first freeze date is Nov. 29; Sinton’s is Dec. 9; and for Mathis, Dec. 19.
The earliest freeze on record for Beeville was Oct. 27, 1913. For Mathis, the earliest freeze occurred Nov. 1, 1993; Goliad’s was Oct. 20, 1989; and Sinton’s was Oct. 31, 1993.
Beeville’s average date for the last freeze of the season is Feb. 17, although in 1920 the last freeze was April 5.
Average date for the last freeze for Mathis is Feb. 5, although it was March 21 in 1965. For Goliad, the average last date for a freeze is Feb. 23, although in 1980 it was as late as April 14.
Sinton’s average last freeze date is Feb. 3, although in 1971 it recorded a 32-degree temperature on April 7.
Of the 16 communities, the earliest freeze date ever recorded was shared by Fowlerton and Goliad: Oct. 20. The latest freeze on record was Goliad on April 14, 1980.
A rule of thumb about the approaching winter, Metz says, is that from October to December, the average temperature drops about 10 degrees to month: October, mid-80s; November, mid-70s, December, mid-60s.
Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5222, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.