First freeze brings official end to the growing season


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The coldest air of the season arrived late this week, which resulted in the first freeze of the Fall. Temperatures fell below 32° for a period Friday morning, which was the first time of such occurrence since May 12.

The first freeze is typically observed between October 11th and 20th in Fort Wayne. The earliest that the first freeze was observed was September 23. That happened in 1995, 1974, and 1967.

An average growing season usually lasts around 170 days in Fort Wayne. The 2020 growing season fell short of that mark, registering only 156 days between freezing temperatures. The duration of the growing season lasted from May 12 through October 15.

Recap of the 2020 growing season in Fort Wayne.

The late last freeze in May had major impacts on the overall growing season for some area farmers. Cook’s Orchard, located in Fort Wayne, reported losing half of their apple crop as a result of the late freeze.

The growing season was also a challenge for some due to the dry conditions. Extended periods of drought setup over northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. The dry weather also had impacts on the local apple crop, as the overall size of the apples did not get as large as they could have in a year with near normal precipitation.

While the growing season was a challenge for some, others reported a good year. Local winemakers said that this the drier summer weather, combined with hot temperatures created perfect conditions for growing grapes. Many local farmers said that they had a near perfect growing season.

Now that the first freeze has been observed, the National Weather Service will no longer issue Frost Advisories or Freeze Warnings/Watches until the spring of 2021.

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