Temperatures are looking to cool into the mid to lower 20's throughout all of Mid-Missouri the next two nights leading to a freeze warning being issued by the National Weather Service offices throughout Missouri.
A freeze warning typically only occurs once during the fall due to below freezing temperatures for a prolonged amount of time. Local NWS offices coordinate watches typically about 24 hours ahead of a freezing event. As confidence increases getting closer to the event, a warning will be issued. A freeze warning marks the end of the growing season in an area, providing the reasoning for only one event typically seeing a freeze warning each fall.
A growing season is usually determined by partners of the national weather service who take into account many variables such as precipitation amounts, temperatures, and daylight hours. In southern states, a hard freeze warning is issued in efforts to alert the public that temperatures at 28 degrees or less for a prolonged amount of time are expected. This is important for southern states as many households and buildings are not as well prepared for major shifts in temperatures well below freezing.
A freeze warning in Missouri allows for Missourians to get an advanced notice of a freezing event that can kill many common household plants if not brought inside, along with warning farmers that crops are at risk of death. Thankfully, this years maturity timing for most crops in Missouri were ahead of scheduling allowing for various plant species to become capable of surviving cooler conditions for a limited amount of time.
Freeze warnings are also important because they can give advanced warnings to properly winterize pipes and plumbing to prevent future issues.