Will we still see a freeze?
Update: As we move into the last week of March, temperatures are trending a bit cooler with highs at or just above normal. While the outlook is still for above normal temperatures through the spring, that doesn't mean there wont be a few dips in temperature that could bring about a few freezes. Most important is watching for a killing freeze ( 28° for more than an hour) which is at least still possible though mid April. Click here for the latest First Warning Neighborhood Weather Forecast.
There has never been an April on record were temperatures have not dropped below freezing. According to the National Weather Service (NWS) the average number of day in April where South Bend was at or below freezing is 10.2. In years following a March with 5 or more days with 70° (or more) , 5 of the 8 had a greater number ( +10.2) of days with below freezing temperatures.
Regardless this run of temperatures in March is unprecedented, this will be one of if not THE warmest March on record. Here's the breakdown on the warmest Marches on record (NWS).
So what does this all mean? Statistically speaking it means that while not in the near future, these above normal temperatures should/will normalize.We're still not out of the wood yet, as far as a spring freeze. If you're planting now, you're making a bet that some Vegas odd-makers probably wouldn't make.
That being said the trend is still for above normal (milder) temperatures through the spring. Click on the attached photo album and you'll see see the latest hard freeze, freeze and frost dates. A hard freeze will pretty much kill anything, where a freeze/frost can kill or damage more sensitive plants.
If you want to start plants or seeds in trays or pots that may a great way to get started early, but be prepared to bring them inside (eventually).