First freeze of the season expected overnight in central Ohio

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The first freeze of the season is forecast to hit the area tonight. Freeze Warnings and Frost Advisories are slated to go into effect overnight which means that sensitive plants will be killed or damaged if not cared for properly.

Freeze Warnings will be in effect in Madison, Clark, Champaign, Logan, Hardin, Union, Delaware, Marion, Morrow, Wyandot, Crawford, Fairfield, Licking, Knox, Richland, Perry, Muskingum and Coshocton counties.

Frost Advisories will be in effect in Franklin, Pickaway, Fayette, Highland, Ross, Vinton, Hocking, Athens, Morgan, Noble and Guernsey counties.

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Temperatures tonight are forecast to drop into the low and mid-30s tonight. If you’re wondering how we can have frost with temperatures above freezing you need to take into account how the temperature readings are taken.

Temperatures are typically taken five feet above the ground (sensors are to be placed four to six feet above the ground). That means the air just off the surface of the Earth could be dropping into the mid-30s.

At the surface, the temperature can drop a little further, especially when the winds are light. So even though the thermometer may read the mid-30s it’s actually into the low-30s at the surface where plants live and where frost forms.

If you want to protect your sensitive plants bring them inside or cover them with a sheet or newspaper, do not use plastic. Try to do this before the sun sets in order to retain as much heat as possible.