Could Halloween Trick-or-Treating Be Canceled Due to EEE?
It's a burning question when you're 12-years-old. My son knows the lengths that adults are going to in order to try and prevent people, especially children, from getting stricken by the potentially deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus. He's seen football practices ending at 6 p.m. (instead of starting at 6 p.m.). The mosquito-borne virus has put a damper on so many end-of-summer/early fall outdoor activities, but one holiday is on the minds of many kids on the SouthCoast.
Almost everyone is talking about when this first hard frost is going to happen. Like never before, we've been hoping for the temps to dip below freezing for just one night – then the weather can go back to being warm again. Everyone just wants that one first frost to kill all of the mosquitos off. We'll collectively give a sigh of relief and try to get back to some regular outdoor activities before the bad weather hits.
But what happens if we don't have our first hard frost before Halloween night? The first thought is to just move trick-or-treating to late afternoon after the kids get home from school, and wrap it up around 5 p.m. or so, before the sun sets. Aside from losing the spookiness and fun of trick or treating and walking around in the dark, a good majority of the houses will be empty because people won't be home from work yet.
Places like the Silver City Galleria and the Dartmouth Mall are offering indoor trick or treating. Can you imagine how slammed they'll be if EEE is still a threat on October 31?
So just what are the chances that we'll have our first frost before Halloween? Not the greatest, according to data that was provided to us by ABC6 meteorologist Chelsea Priest. Chelsea took a look back over the past 10 years to see when the first hard frost happened. Here's what she found.
First of all, Chelsea explained that there's a big difference between the first frost and the first hard frost. In order to have a hard frost, Chelsea told us that we'd need to have at least four sustained hours of 28-degree weather or colder.
So what are the chances of that happening prior to Halloween night? Looking back over the past 10 years, chances are not that great. Here are the dates of our first hard frost over the past decade:
- 2018: October 22
- 2017: November 10
- 2016: November 5
- 2015: October 19
- 2014: November 15
- 2013: October 26
- 2012: October 13
- 2011: October 30
- 2010: November 12
- 2009: November 7
- 2008: October 23
So, we've got roughly a 50/50 shot of having a hard frost before Halloween. We may have a bunch of disappointed zombies and JoJo Siwa's sitting inside on October 31.