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Freeze Information for Western North Carolina

Note: Frost can occur even when the recorded low temperature is a few degrees above freezing. Thus, the earliest/average/latest date of the last frost is roughly 14 days later then the spring dates below, and the earliest/average/latest date of the first frost is about 12 days before the fall dates below. Also, deeper valleys will tend to have frost/freezing conditions later in the spring and earlier in the fall than surrounding terrain.

Last Spring Temperature at or below 32 Degrees

City
Earliest
Average
Latest
Asheville
March 20
April 10
May 8
Banner Elk
March 31
May 9
June 11
Boone
April 3
April 30
May 27
Lenoir
March 21
April 14
May 18
Hickory
February 26
April 7
May 8
Jefferson
April 21
May 11
June 6
North Wilkesboro
April 1
April 23
May 18

First Fall/Summer Temperature at or below 32 Degrees

City
Earliest
Average
Latest
Asheville
October 3
October 25
December 2
Banner Elk
September 5
October 3
October 27
Boone
September 11
October 8
November 7
Lenoir
September 30
October 23
November 14
Hickory
October 3
October 30
December 2
Jefferson
September 5
October 5
December 1
North Wilkesboro
September 24
October 17
November 14

Freeze-Free Period

City
Average Number of Days Between Freezes
Mowing Misery Index (MMI)* :-)
Asheville
198
33.3
Banner Elk
147
26.0
Boone
161
28.0
Lenoir
192
32.4
Hickory
206
34.4
Jefferson
147
26.0
North Wilkesboro
177
30.3

*Mowing Misery Index (MMI): (Freeze-Free Days / 7) + 5. The average number of times you can expect to mow your lawn (assuming you mow once every week and allowing for 2.5 mowings on either side of the freezing season).

The data above is the Ray's Weather Center analysis of NWS Co-Op Weather Station SOD data through 2003 available from the National Climatic Data Center. Results here are similar to but independent of Frost Freeze Data available at www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/documentlibrary/freezefrost/freezefrost.pdf published in 1988.