Publication Date November 7, 2016 | The Weather Channel

Records Are In Jeopardy For Latest First Freeze in the Midwest

United States
Image: The Weather Channel
Image: The Weather Channel

Another side effect of the record warmth that has dominated much of the U.S. since October is the lacking of freezing temperatures. Many cities in the Midwest have yet to see the thermometer drop to the 32-degree mark and now records are in jeopardy.

A persistent upper-level ridge of high pressure has brought warmer-than-average temperatures to the Plains, Midwest, South, and at times the Northeast. There does not appear to be a pattern change until mid-November at the earliest. 

Numerous daily record highs were set at the end of October and beginning of November and a few monthly record highs were even broken for November. More record highs were set over the weekend, including in Minneapolis which hit 73 degrees Saturday, and in Milwaukee which hit 70 degrees Sunday. This trend now has its sights set on breaking records for latest first freeze.


Temperatures below freezing have been hard to come by lately in the contiguous U.S. You need to head towards northern New England and some of the higher elevations of the inter-mountain West to find freezing conditions. Consequently, locations that would have normally seen their first freeze of the season are still waiting.

In addition, Minneapolis may also break the record for longest streak of days above freezing. Through Nov. 6 the current streak is at 208 days and the record is 215 days set in 2010.

It is also interesting to note that Minneapolis has only seen their first freeze in November seven times since 1873; the last this occurred was in 1958.

La Crosse, Wisconsin, will also likely see its latest first freeze if the temperature stays above 32 degrees through Nov. 7. That record could be extended right through late this week before temperatures flirt with the freezing mark this coming weekend.