Rockford recorded the first autumn 2016 freeze on Veterans Day, and Chicago clocked in a day later, on Nov. 12, 2016.
What that adds up to is one of the latest autumn freezes in recorded history for Chicago and a record-setting event in Rockford, according to the National Weather Service Chicago.
Just prior to midnight on Friday, Nov. 11, the official temperature at Rockford had dropped to 32 degrees — the first freezing temperature of the autumn season and the latest first freeze on record, dating back to 1905. It breaks the old record of Nov. 4, 1973, by an entire week.
The normal first freeze for Rockford is Oct. 8.
The length of time between the last spring freeze and the first autumn freeze — sometimes referred to as the growing season — was technically not a record in 2016 for Rockford. The last spring freeze took place on May 15 and was late compared to the normal of April 28. However, the low temperature on May 15 was only 31 degrees, and it was the only subfreezing low after April 12.
Even though that 31-degree low likely did not have an impact on most agriculture, this year’s growing season length for Rockford will officially go down as 179 days — much more than the normal 162 days but short of the 203-days record set in 1973.
Had April 12 been the final freeze of the spring, we would have seen a record 213 days between last and first freeze.
So, c’est la vie on the “growing season” record but say hello to the “last freeze” record in Rockford.
Any way you slice it, the Kane County area has had one of the warmest and most-comfortable autumns in many a moon.
SOURCE: National Weather Service Chicago