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Frost hits northwest KS





With a Wednesday morning low of 31.7 degrees in Hays and even colder temperatures elsewhere in the region, the growing season in much of northwest Kansas is officially finished.

"It froze from about 4 o'clock until about 7:30 or so," Joe Becker said Wednesday morning. He's the weather observer at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center at the south edge of Hays.

That's no record. The record low is 22 degrees set in 1966.

The temperature dropped to 29 degrees at the Northwest Kansas Research-Extension Service in Colby. Goodland hit 30 degrees just before midnight Tuesday.

"It looked like it was about 7:30," he said of when the temperature bumped back above freezing. "There was light frost on everything."

Wednesday's first fall frost comes just two days later than the Oct. 14 normal. That's little more than a week past the Oct. 7 fall frost of a year ago.

The earliest fall frost came Sept. 17, 1901, while the latest came Nov. 10, 1998.

With the last spring frost of the year recorded May 4, that makes for a 2013 growing season of 164 days -- six days shorter than normal. Frost records are based on 112 years of records maintained at the research center.