RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – In this StormTracker 8 Weather University lesson, we discuss the difference between the weather terms of frost v. freeze and their respective alerts.

A frost is simply the formation of thin ice crystals forming on the ground.

Meanwhile, a freeze is when the air temperatures are below 32-degrees Fahrenheit for a period across a region, such as Central Virginia.

There are alerts related to frost and freeze that get issued depending on what the temperatures are outside, and these are called frost advisories and freeze warnings.

General view of a frosty football pitch and goalpost on January 22, 2023 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

For a frost advisory to be issued, temperatures have to dip down to 33-to-36 degrees on nights that feature clear skies and calm winds during the growing season.

For a freeze warning to be issued, temperatures would be expected to be widespread and significantly freezing.

The freezing mark for temperatures is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

A freeze warning is issued during the fall months until the end of the growing season.

(Photo Margarethe Wichert/Getty Images)

Finally, the average first fall freeze date for Central Virginia annually is in middle-to-late October.

Meanwhile, for the cities of Petersburg and Richmond, the average first fall freeze date is early November.

Lastly, for southeastern portions of Virginia, the average first fall freeze date is in the middle of November.