ELMIRA N.Y. (WETM)– As we near the end of the growing season, the National Weather Service is making adjustments to the way farmers and garden enthusiasts receive frost and freeze alerts.

In the past, under the Frost/Freeze Program, an area stopped receiving frost/freeze alerts after the first frost or freeze of that fall, and it varied by county. Then any counties that had not seen a frost or freeze by October 25th would stop receiving them by that point. However, this method would leave multiple counties with the same forecast, but only a select few with frost alerts.

To clear up the confusion this method caused, the NWS has switched to regional drop dates, based on the history of the climate for each area. They will issue the frost/freeze alerts until that region’s drop date, in which the growing season is presumed to have ended. This method unifies the growing seasons between areas and bases those seasons off of years of recorded data, rather than waiting to see how the season will play out.

For the Finger Lakes region, the drop date is October 21st. For the rest of central NY including the Twin Tiers, the drop dat is October 11th. After these dates, the growing season is considered over and frost/freeze alerts will no longer be issued until the start of the next growing season.

With these changes, farmers and gardeners are urged to monitor local forecasts and take protective actions to their crops if they intend to wait on harvesting.

You can find more information on the Frost/Freeze Program in each region here.