Some Canadians have woken up, checked their weather app, and have been left shouting the "F" word, despite autumn being more than a month away.
The threat of it looms for New Brunswick during the early morning hours Wednesday, with temperatures expected to hover near the freezing mark, according to an advisory issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).
A little early for the "F" word, no? pic.twitter.com/9FqVBlH0ka
A little early for the "F" word, no? Chris Murphy TWN on Twitter: "A little early for the "F" word, no? pic.twitter.com/9FqVBlH0ka / Twitter"
— Chris Murphy TWN (@MurphTWN) Chris Murphy TWN on Twitter: "A little early for the "F" word, no? pic.twitter.com/9FqVBlH0ka / Twitter"
"Patchy frost is expected to form as clear skies and light winds coincide with cool temperatures, especially in low-lying areas," ECCC says in its frost advisory.
"Cover up plants, especially those in frost-prone areas."
Protecting your plants from frost
Plants have varying degrees of cold tolerance, depending on the species. If you're worried about your plants surviving the cold spell, here are some protective measures:
Cover your plants using old blankets, bedsheets, or cloth, to create a heat-trapping barrier.
Add a layer of organic mulch around the base of your plants to retain soil moisture and regulate temperature.
Water your plants thoroughly Tuesday evening, ahead of Wednesday's frost. Moist soil is better at retaining heat.
If possible, consider moving potted plants closer to your house or under a shelter.
You can further protect potted plants by elevating them on bricks, rocks, or stands to prevent direct contact with the cold ground.
How does frost form?
Frost - most simply defined as the dew that freezes on cold surfaces - forms under clear skies, in the presence of calm to light winds, and during cool temperatures, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Some areas are more prone to frost than others. For example, cold air is more likely to settle in valleys because it is heavier than warm air, making these regions more likely to see frost.
Another reason valleys are frost magnets: They tend to shelter areas from stronger winds and usher in the calm air flow that allows frost to form.
From the archives: How does frost form on the inside of your windshield?
Header image: File photo/Getty.