What's the difference between freeze and frost?

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Since we have been seeing much cooler temperatures in the past few weeks, we will be discussing freeze watches, freeze warnings, frost advisories, and the difference between freeze and frost.

A freeze watch is issued when there is a potentially significant and widespread occurrence of temperatures that are at freezing levels (32 degrees Fahrenheit) within 24 to 36 hours. These are issued at both the start of the growing season in the spring, and also at the end of the growing season in the fall.

A freeze warning is issued when there are significant and widespread temperatures at freezing levels. Just like a freeze watch, a freeze warning is also issued at both the start and end of the growing season, which is marked by the occurrence of the first widespread freeze.

A frost advisory is issued when the minimum temperatures are forecasted to be anywhere between 33 to 36 degrees (just above freezing), when we have clear skies and calm wind nights during the growing season. These are issued during the start and end of the growing season.

A freeze watch, freeze warning and a frost advisory all can be issued during the overall growing season every year.

Finally, let’s discuss the difference between a freeze and a frost. When there is very cold air blowing into an area, the air is colder than freezing and the humidity is very low, that is what is defined as a freeze (32 degrees Fahrenheit). Meanwhile, when you have a night that features clear skies and calm winds, that is what as defined as a frost (slightly above the freezing mark of 32 degrees).

Note: There are variating levels of a frost or freeze. Thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit is considered a light freeze. Meanwhile, a moderate freeze is anything between 29 and 32. Hard freeze is anything between 25 and 28. Finally, a severe freeze is anything of 24 degrees Fahrenheit and below.

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