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Spring freeze: Why you should wait till Memorial Day to plant flowers

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Posted at 11:21 AM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 13:21:35-04

Every year, when we get into late April, the weather starts to get warmer and people get the itch to plant vegetables and flowers!

While you can certainly take the risk, here's a couple of reasons why you should wait until Memorial Day.

Spring Freeze Data
Freeze dates for Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Historically, southern Colorado can easily see at or below freezing temperatures well into the month of May.

The average last date for freezing temperatures in Colorado Springs is May 8th, and April 29th in Pueblo.

Last year, both cities saw the last freeze of the season in the second half of May!

Spring Freeze Temperature Thresholds

One of the reasons we say wait until Memorial Day is that the chances of a freeze are so low.

The picture above shows the percent chance of seeing the listed temperature at a certain date.

In Colorado Springs, for instance, there's a 90 percent chance we could see freezing (32°) temperatures on April 24th, but only a 50 percent chance on May 4th.

That means, in the first week of May, our chances of seeing freezing temperatures are as good as a coin flip!

If we wait until Memorial Day, May 25th, the chances get even lower of seeing freezing temperatures.

Do we see any freezing weather in the next two weeks?

ECMWF Long-term Temp Forecast

In our current long range forecasts, no, we do not see any freezing weather.

It's pretty tough and unreliable to trust any forecast numbers past 7 days, but most modeling shows above freezing low temperatures out through at least May 10th.

It's always a risk, but if you really want to plant, go for it! Just remember that we had freezing weather last year on May 19th in Pueblo and May 22nd in Colorado Springs.