By Jeff Ray

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The growing season in the Metroplex continues. The typical first freeze of the cold season occurs November 22nd at DFW, five days ago. The coldest temperature recorded at the airport so far this season is 35° which occurred Friday morning. As of Saturday, the DFW area has had a growing season that has lasted 280 days (and counting).

 

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Waiting on the 1st Freeze

Typically, the first time it hits 32° at the DFW airport the growing season is officially over. Many of the summer flowers and ornamental grasses (as well as fruits and warm season vegetables) will die off in a freeze. A hard freeze is when the temperature stays below freezing for more than four hours or dips down to 28° or lower. This almost always kills off warm season plants and puts perennials into a dormant state until next Spring.

After a chilly and wet Saturday, lows Sunday morning are expected to stay in the 40s. Sunshine on Sunday will get highs into the 60s. For the week ahead highs are expected to be well above normal, in the mid 70s by end of week.

 

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Looking at the long-range forecasts we do see some shots of cold air entering the Southern Plains during the first week of December. However, right now it appears DFW has a chance of staying ABOVE freezing for at least the next ten mornings:

Forecast Lows at DFW

 

There are some warm season flowers that will continue to show color until the first freeze so it is nice to have the winter cold delayed a bit. You can also squeeze a little more production out of some of your garden as well. All good things come to an end however, a hard freeze is inevitable. The Winter Solstice (and shortest day) is 24 days away. The latest FIRST freeze on record at DFW is January 4th (1971).

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-Jeff Ray, CBS DFW Meteorologist and Gardening101 Producer.