December 2020 will go down in the books as a below-average month, a huge swing from an above-average November and a warm fall overall.

What You Need To Know

  • We average a frost every season or two

  • Freezing temps are much more uncommon

  • Citrus damage occurs in 4 hours of temps below 28

So far this month, we've been dealt three bouts of frost for some and even a freeze in Marion County, nipping plants and stressing the more cold-tolerant foliage as well.

Central Florida averages one frost every season or two, so dropping cold enough to develop a rime coating isn't common. Frost usually forms on nights when temperatures dip between 33 and 36 degrees with a calm wind and mainly clear sky.

A freeze is even rarer and occurs on clear and calm nights when temps drop to 32-degrees or colder.

A hard freeze happens when the temp drops to 28 degrees or colder. This is when irreparable harm is done to our tropical foliage.

An example the citrus tree in your yard, which is susceptible to damage when surrounded by this kind of frigid air for at least four hours.

When it comes to preparing your plants for a frosty night, be sure to use sheets or burlap to cover them. Avoid plastic and tarps because they are poor insulators and will let that cold nip the plants.

Plus, if you leave plastic over them the next day, the heat of the sun could damage them even more.

Make sure your outdoor pets have an adequate shelter to stay warm or bring them in on cold nights. And be sure to check their water dish to make sure ice hasn't formed.