It is well-documented that the United States (US), along with other mid-latitude land locations, has experienced warming in recent decades in response to changes in atmospheric composition. Among other changes, Easterling (2002) reported that the frost-free period is now longer across much of the US with the first frost in fall occurring later and the last freeze in spring occurring earlier. In this investigation, we explore spatial and temporal variations in all freeze warnings issued by the US National Weather Service. Freeze warning counts are highest in the southeastern US peaking overall in the spring and fall months. Freeze warnings tend to occur more toward summer moving northward and westward into more northerly states. Consistent with the warming in recent decades, we find statistically significant northward movements in freeze warning centroids in some months (December, February) across the study period (2005–2018). Detection of spatial and temporal trends in freeze warnings may be of interest to any number of scientists with applied climatological interests.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science