Ask Storm Team 11: Late April cold snap – Will it warm up in May?


Tuesday’s Ask Storm Team 11 question is: “How unusual is it to get cold snaps this late into spring?”

A strong cold front arrived Wednesday allow temperatures to plummet. There may even be snow particularly to our northwest across the Midwest and Ohio Valley thanks to a strong trough. 

It is not uncommon to still see cold snaps this late in the season. Obviously, it’s often hard for us to muster any wintry precipitation in our neck of the woods, but it happened today especially in southwest Virginia and in the higher terrain.  

The average last freeze in the Tri-Cities is April 19, but as we’ve saying for weeks, frost can still occur in early May. These dates are a couple weeks later in the mountains so keep that in mind before you do any planting.

It starts warming up in May. However, we have had a freeze (32°) as late as May 22 in 2002. Last year, we had a freeze on May 10. 

The coldest temperature recorded in the Tri-Cities during the month of May is 30 degrees. That occurred 6 different years, most recently in 1997. It was the coldest temperature we’ve had so late in May — May 16. 

Have a question for Storm Team 11? Click here to submit!

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