Friday night may bring the area’s first freeze of the season.

The National Weather Service has issued a freeze watch, beginning Friday evening and continuing hrough Saturday morning.

Low temperatures with winds are expected to bring the wind chill into the 20s across southern Iowa. The conditions could kill crops and plants, especially ones that are most sensitive.

The watch covers most of central Iowa, though temperatures are expected to drop lower, into the teens, in northern Iowa.

Early- to mid-October is a normal time for a first freeze, according to historical records.

There’s still hope, however. Southern Iowa is right on the cusp of freezing in the latest forecasts. The low Friday night for Centerville is 30 degrees. However, winds could gust up to 30 mph Friday night and Saturday.

The high on Saturday is expected to be in the 50s, with temperatures nearing 60 degrees for Columbus Day next week.

A very powerful cold front prompted the National Weather Service to issue a freeze watch for Friday night across much of Iowa. The front began moving in Thursday. Northwest Iowa expected to see temperatures fall throughout the day.

Across southern Iowa, if temperatures dip below freezing it won’t be by much, and that isn’t guaranteed to happen. Should Friday night stay above freezing, it will be a while before the next chance. Lows for the next week will be in the 30s each night, but temperatures should remain safely — if not comfortably — above freezing.

Kyle Ocker from the Daily Iowegian and Matt Milner from the Ottumwa Courier contributed to this report.

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