Member Since: 09/29/2010

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Re: Frost and the Fall Garden

We live at 2000 ft. in elevation and it often does not frost until mid-late November, but in the local lowlands, which is where the local TV forecasts focus, it will frost in early-mid October. There is a website that gives very specific forecasts from the National Weather Service and helps us prepare the garden for a frost (and the hose bibs for a freeze). The link to the main site is: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php
Enter your city and State or your Zip Code and you will get the general forecast for your area. Zoom in on the map until you see the named road system and see how close the location is to your home (or if you know the GPS coordinates you can enter them). Place the mouse pointer on the map and hold the left mouse button down and drag the map to where you want to locate. Place the pointer where you want it and double click and you will place the + with the red shaded square close to your home (the map will zoom out to the default setting automatically). Zoom in again to check the location. If you are close but want to get closer repeat the process. If the location that you want is within the shaded red square it will not relocate. If that happens locate the mouse pointer somewhere a little bit away from where you want to be and double click to move the red square. Then zoom in again and place the pointer where you want to locate and double click and it should put the + as close to the desired location as the system will allow.
I find that the 24 hour forecast is very accurate, and the 48 hour forecast about 80% accurate. After that things can change significantly. The system usually predicts the nighttime low to within a degree of the readings from our outdoor digital thermometers. The snowfall depth predictions are generally very accurate as well, which helps us protect the plants that can be crushed by a heavy snowfall.
Save the link in your "Favorites" folder and you can return as often as you like to check the coming forecast and any changes that develop.