Two years ago today, Oklahoma City had a low temperature of 37 degrees (a look back at that story from 2010)
OKC low temperature undoes 1891 record
By Bryan Painter
|Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Edition: CITY, Section: NEWS, Page 1A
CONTRIBUTING: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Monday’s low temperature in Oklahoma City broke a record for Oct. 4 set in 1891.
At 6:47 a.m. Monday a temperature of 37 degrees was recorded at Will Rogers World Airport, breaking the date’s record for low temperature of 40 degrees set in 1891.
But it’s probably not time to put away your mowers just yet, even if you live in an area of the state that has had lows at or below freezing this week.
Although much of the state has yet to dip to freezing temperatures, some Oklahoma Mesonet weather stations have been at or below 32 degrees. Oilton, in eastern Oklahoma, had a low of 31 degrees Sunday and followed with 29 degrees Monday.
Also Monday, the Lake Carl Blackwell Mesonet Station west of Stillwater had a low of 31 degrees while Breckinridge east of Enid, Bristow and Wister in eastern Oklahoma each had a low of 32 degrees.
But that may not mean an end to mowing even for those areas.
“The first frost shuts down crab grass for the rest of the season, but if no additional frosts occur for the next few weeks, the Bermuda grass will resume growth over the next 10 days to two weeks,” said Dennis Martin, Oklahoma State University Extension turf grass specialist. “Generally, you can get almost three more weeks of very slow Bermuda grass growth following the killing of crab grass after the firstfrost.”
Maybe only one or two more mowings will be needed, depending on whether there is enough moisture for Bermuda grass growth during this dry fall period. He said crab grass normally begins dying out because of short day length. Throw in a frost, and that hastens its death.
Martin also said a lawn in an area that experienced a light frost might have varying frost patterns, having a “leopard-like appearance” depending on the hours the temperature was at or below freezing, the topography and other factors.
Dr. Warren Filley of the Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic said ragweed will usually take some dips below 31 degrees and still continue to pollinate. However, a prolonged hard freezeof 28 degrees or less will result in death of the plant in most cases and an ending to its pollination for that season.
This autumn’s first freeze at Oilton on Sunday was certainly not the earliest the state has experienced. The state record for the earliest first freezeis Sept. 15, shared by Freedom with 28 degrees and Hammon with 30 degrees on Sept. 15, 1993, and Kenton with 31 degrees on Sept. 15, 1947.
The average first freeze date for Oklahoma City is a month from today, according to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. The earliest freeze date in Oklahoma City is Oct. 7, 1952, and the latest freezedate is Dec. 8, 1998.
While it has been cool at night and in the 60s and 70s in the day, it also has been dry. There does not appear to be much chance for rain for most of the week, according to the National Weather Service’s Norman Forecast Office. A disturbance may approach the Southern Plains by late weekend bringing the next chance for thunderstorms.
Drought conditions that affected eastern Oklahoma in late summer have eased, but climatologists say western Oklahoma is dry just as wheat is being planted.
The U.S. Drought Monitor shows the western third of the state abnormally dry with areas of moderate drought. The region is a part of the nation’s wheat belt, where farmers are starting to plant their winter crop. Gary McManus, of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, says rain is needed within the next two weeks, or the region will fall into a moderate drought.
The remnants of a tropical storm brought rain to eastern Oklahoma in September — but western Oklahoma missed out.
CONTRIBUTING: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS