PORTLAND, Maine — The first freeze of the fall has come and gone, as temperatures dropped into the 20s and low 30s both Saturday and Sunday mornings.
In recent years, we've had to wait until the second half of October or even the first few days of November to hit the freezing mark in Portland.
In Maine, fall is the second fastest-warming season based on average temperature, behind winter.
But even in our warming climate, there will be outliers. We'll have cool falls and some early freezes mixed in. But the trend is overwhelmingly warmer, especially in fall.
The 30-year average first freeze is October 6, but all recent years have been later.
Averaging the low temperature in Portland for the months of September, October and November, there's been a swing upward by about 3 degrees in recent years.
The news isn't all bad; an extended growing season can be a positive for some of our crops.
However, as the time between our last freeze in the spring and first freeze in the fall grows, mosquitoes can last longer, and allergies (in the fall, ragweed) can persist.
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