Fall frost, freeze climatology in the Tennessee Valley

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Image: MGN Online

TENNESSEE VALLEY– Temperatures during fall can fluctuate significantly in north Alabama and southern Tennessee. Often early in the season, afternoon highs reach the 70s and 80s (and sometimes much warmer), while nighttime lows can be as cool as the 30s and 40s.

Freezing temperatures typically appear by the end of October for most communities, and by early November, nearly all locations will have experienced a light freeze in an average season.

Below, you’ll find dates for average first frost and freeze occurrences across north Alabama and southern Tennessee.

Average first freeze

  • Huntsville: November 1
  • Muscle Shoals: November 2
  • Belle Mina: October 29
  • Bridgeport: October 24
  • Cullman: October 24
  • Decatur: October 31
  • Fayetteville: October 17
  • Guntersville: November 10
  • Moulton: October 26
  • Russellville: October 25
  • Scottsboro: October 27
  • Valley Head: October 20
  • Winchester: October 25

Earliest ‘first’ freeze on record

  • Huntsville: October 9 (2000)
  • Muscle Shoals: October 3 (1908)
  • Belle Mina: October 2 (1984)
  • Bridgeport: September 23 (1982)
  • Cullman: October 1 (1924)
  • Decatur: October 9 (2000)
  • Fayetteville: September 29 (1967)
  • Guntersville: October 14 (1977)
  • Moulton: October 2 (1984)
  • Russellville: September 29 (1967)
  • Scottsboro: October 3 (1974)
  • Valley Head: September 22 (1983)
  • Winchester: October 7 (1991, 2001)

More: Latest ‘first’ freeze on record

Average first hard freeze (28 degrees or colder)

  • Huntsville: November 11
  • Muscle Shoals: November 11
  • Belle Mina: November 8
  • Bridgeport: November 4
  • Cullman: November 5
  • Decatur: November 8
  • Fayetteville: October 30
  • Guntersville: November 22
  • Moulton: November 9
  • Russellville: November 3
  • Scottsboro: November 7
  • Valley Head: November 2
  • Winchester: November 7

The National Climatic Data Center breaks down the chance of frost on or before certain dates.

In Huntsville, the chance of frost occurring on or before October 21 is only 10 percent. There is a 50 percent chance of frost happening on or before November 3. By November 18, the odds of frost having occurred is 90 percent.

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