Freezing temps are finally winding down in the Twin Cities

After another shot of cold air this week, it feels like we may never break away from our frozen temperatures. However, as cold as it has felt over the last several weeks, there are signs that this may be it for frozen temps…at least in the Twin Cities. 

That means that if this really is the final time that we're subfreezing this season, it would be pretty close to the "typical" year.

Average last freeze date

The average last day for a freeze in Minnesota.  (FOX 9)

The combination of a higher sun angle, much longer daylight, and an increase in moisture leads to a quick warming trend in low temperatures this time of year. Some chilly temperatures can obviously still happen, but they become far more rare by the latter part of April. This is when the Twin Cities metro often experiences our last freeze of the season. The 30-year climate average for reaching 32 degrees is April 24 at MSP Airport. Because of the urban heat island effect, the outer suburbs often experience a slightly later last freeze, averaging right around the first of May.

For greater Minnesota though, many areas don't experience the last freeze until sometime during the first half of May. For the coldest areas of the state near the Canadian border, like Hibbing, Ely, and even Duluth, it's often late May before the freezing temperatures are over and spring planting can begin.

Last day for a freeze

Twin Cities' last day for a freeze. 

While the average last freeze in the Twin Cities is during the last week of April, it really can vary wildly. The earliest final freeze dating back to 1872 was on April 6, 1878. The latest of all of our freezes was May 24, 1925. I do believe that is the latest we've ever seen accumulating snow as well. The last time we experienced a freeze in May was back in 2013 but in 2010, it happened all the way on May 9. That's the latest we've seen a freeze in the last 25 years.

There's certainly no guarantee we are done with freezing temperatures in the Twin Cities this season, especially considering the pattern we are currently locked in. However, with at least a few day break expected, it becomes increasingly more difficult to get those cold numbers as we get into early May. This is not an excuse to start planting, as air and ground temps are still too cool. However, if our warmer overnight lows continue for a while, then we might actually be able to start getting into the garden by Mother's Day weekend — a pretty common threshold for planting season to begin in the Twin Cities.