AUSTIN, Texas - This week's big warmup has brought up this weather question: are we done with the freezes so we can begin planting the flowers and start the garden? That may not be a good idea.
Even though we have enjoyed a spring preview in February, this winter has been cooler than average by a few degrees. The freeze count is at 10 for Austin and 20 to 30 outside the city limits.
In Austin, the average last freeze occurs during the last week of February. Everybody else experiences the last one in March. With the air drier in the Hill Country the chances of freezes are high through late March. The latest freeze ever for Austin happened way back in 1914 on April 9th.
Looking back at the last few years, besides 2014, the last freeze happened before March 1st. In fact in 2013 we didn't get another freeze after January in the metro.
So what will happen this year? The winter chill will make a comeback in the coming weeks so I would hold off on the planting.
The climate prediction center also keeps the area cooler than average through April and computer models are hinting at a late freeze again like last year.
If you don't trust the computers or the experts, you can always get help from nature. If the mesquite trees start to bloom or bud the freezes are over.