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A Near Record Fall Season.

Posted: Updated:
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2006 2006
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If the last few months have seemed unusually mild, the data certainly supports that as this will turn out to be the 2nd warmest Fall season on record, behind only 1931.  I mention that because from a climatological perspective, the last day of Fall is tomorrow and winter begins on Dec 1; regardless of how the seasons are labeled on the calendar.  Also, the temperature forecast for tomorrow will not change the ranking.

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A more recent historical perspective is that just 10 years ago we had an interesting event.  After 8 straight days of 70 degree weather, the bottom fell out on Nov 29, 2006.  The high for the day was 70 but that occurred prior to noon as the noon temperature was down to 43 and the temperature dropped to 28 by midnight.  Freezing drizzle that night turned to snow during the 30th with over 10” measured by the time it was all said and done.  Certainly a recent example of how quickly our weather can change at this time of year.  I mention that because we may be facing a similar scenario the latter part of next week, at least with respect to some very cold air moving our way although the winter weather potential does not currently look to be as potent.  More about that in a moment.

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First, for tonight the clear skies and the much drier air in place will result in a rapid cool-down with temperatures quickly falling through the 40s and into the 30s.  The only limitation on how cold we will be tonight is that we will keep a rather brisk westerly wind component which should keep temperatures from totally bottoming out.  Even so, look for morning lows to drop into the lower 30s for the urban locations and possibly the upper 20s for the more rural locations, particularly in the normally cooler valleys.

A brisk W/NW wind on Wednesday will keep cooler air in place and offset the sunny skies that we will have; as a result, look for afternoon temperatures to be generally in the lower 50s.  Those numbers are actually pretty close to normal for this time of year which is 54/34 for the max/min as compared to today’s actual numbers which were 64/41.

Freezing temperatures are then expected to start the day on Thursday followed by a nice rebound due to a more SE wind component and lots of sunshine as you can see on our forecast page.  Clouds will be moving in on Friday which will impact temperatures and the weekend looks to be overcast with chances of light rain or showers.  Temperatures will be cool, but wintry weather will not be an issue as we will remain well above the freezing mark both at the surface for a fairly deep layer above the surface.  The storm center responsible for the clouds and rain chances still has lots of question marks associated with it, but as you can see on the 7 day QPF, the heavier rains still look to be well south of the state so what we do get will be mostly in the form on light rain, showers, or perhaps some drizzle.

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Temperatures are then expected to rebound back to above normal levels going into early next week before the bottom drops out as mentioned above.  As you can see on the 8-14 day outlook, we should be much cooler than normal for a change during that time frame.  In fact, would not be surprised if temperatures fail to get above the freezing mark along about Thursday of next week.  We certainly do need moisture, but this does not currently look to be a particularly wet system for us although the wetter than normal conditions are projected to be just east and that may change with additional data runs over the coming days.

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So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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