Michigan meteorologists have sure had their work cut out for them this year! Between the wet spring and dry summer, which forced statewide burn bans to be put into effect right before the 4th of July holiday; to the recent flooding in Detroit and the 7 tornadoes that were just confirmed from last Thursday's storms-- it's been a busy weather season to say the least!

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With recent cooler temperatures in West Michigan, you'd never know a heat wave was headed our way next week. However, the days are getting shorter and soon the leaves will start to fall. When can we expect to see the first cold snap here in West Michigan?

Believe it not, residents "Up North" have already recorded their first below-freezing temperature of the season! That prestigious award went to Atlanta, MI in the early hours of August 27 when the small community about 37 miles east of Gaylord hit 31 °F-- and don't even ask about the U.P. You already know it's cold up there!

So what does that mean for us in West Michigan?

Well, if you ask the Famers Almanac we could see our first frost as early as October 12, depending on where you live in the state. Says the Almanac,

Frost is predicted when air temperatures reach 32°F (0°C), but also a frost may occur even when air temperatures are just above freezing due to open exposure to the clear night sky, which exposes surfaces to radiative cooling. Always keep an eye on your local weather forecast and plan to protect tender plants accordingly.

Midwestern Regional Climate Center via Weather.gov
Midwestern Regional Climate Center via Weather.gov

According to the Farmers Almanac a "light freeze" between 29° to 32°F may kill tender plants while a "moderate freeze" between 25° to 28°F is widely destructive to most plants.

On the upside, we're expected to get a longer, more colorful fall foliage season so at least we have that to look forward to! In fact, I've already started to notice the first trees changing colors here in Southwest Michigan along Gull Road in Kalamazoo:

Lauren G/TSM
Lauren G/TSM

Sweater weather will be here soon enough!

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