After nearly six weeks of above average temperatures to start the fall season, it looks like the usual chill of mid-autumn will finally be settling into the region by the middle of this week.

Meteorologist Greg Koch with the National Service office in Spokane says the Wenatchee Valley and Columbia Basin could be in for their first hard freeze of the season overnight Tuesday and Wednesday.

“If we experience enough clearing, that could produce the first hard freeze for the Wenatchee area this fall. Outlying areas and places further into the Columbia Basin have the potential to be significantly cooler with an even greater chance of a hard freeze.”

Koch adds that unlike the season’s first frost, which has already occurred in most places around the region, the first hard freeze can create numerous issues for people other than gardeners and farmers.

“A low of around 32 degrees will certainly cause some frost and freeze issues for plants. But when we’re looking at temperatures into the mid- to upper 20s, that’s when you have a better chance of experiencing damage to irrigation lines and other things that haven’t been properly winterized like RVs and boat motors.”

Overnight lows are expected to rise above freezing levels in the Wenatchee Valley to end the week, but Koch warns that a strong storm system could also bring heavy cold rains and mountain snow along with gusty winds throughout the region on Friday and Saturday.

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