Wednesday 8 a.m.
Unseasonably warm air covers most of the Great Lakes and Northeast. A weak cold front has moved southeastward and, at midmorning, was on a line from central New England to just south of Chicago, where it is stalling. Even where the front has passed, the air is not really chilly. In fact, at Pellston in northern Michigan, the 9 a.m. temperature was 57, same as it was at the same time yesterday. However, as the air warms further on the south side of the front... then the front returns north as a warm front, showers and thunderstorms will break out in its vicinity and to the north. The video shows more.
It feels like summer in the Northeast, but 10 years ago today, I took a picture of the first snow on the ground in central Pennsylvania.
October has a rich diversity few other months can match. Its winds bring fresh surprise at each turn; its days of calmness mean fog that cloaks the dawn and nullifies noon.
October colors scream for attention as summer's emerald draperies are splashed with auburn, set ablaze with firethorn, streaked with burnished copper, then saturated in chocolate just before Halloween.
If March is the chameleon month, October is its cousin. One day is bright and crisp, brimming with fresh vitality; the next is under a dreary roof of slate framed by steel wool curtains... a lint-filter sky.
But, when winter's scouts retreat north for reinforcements, an eerie still is left behind. The quiet is punctuated by the quick tick of a bouncing acorn. The scene of vivid crispness is hidden by a haze that smears the colors. The waning sun is too feeble to stir the grimy soup; fog lingers through damp mornings. Later, the haze tints muted sunbeams on bittersweet warm afternoons. You can just barely feel the hint of bygone summer, but the lengthening shadows and eager evening dusk say warm times are headed for history.
As the sun wearies of its heated climb through summer skies, the woodlands are tossed into an autumn salad bar. The leaner diet of light and the fingers of frost lace the chervil and sage greens of summer with oregano, pumpkin spice and cinnamon. The ocean of summer green now has islands of amber and auburn amidst currents of crimson, the mixing colors changing each day.
Nature has taken its full palette of pastels, earth tones and half shades and thrown them together in a tapestry simultaneously chaotic and yet invitingly familiar. Autumn is our annual sunset, the rich colors and interweaving of light providing our last look at the year, with the winter night temporarily postponed but imminently inevitable.
October's loud colors are matched by its noisy winds. The brittle leaves crackle in the breeze, a sure giveaway it's autumn on those increasingly rare warm south wind nights. The leaves lodge in the lawns, shove into shrubs and burrow into the bushes; the nachos style crunchiness amplifies the sound of footsteps.
Brash noise and sullen solitude. Bold bright colors and dim dreariness. Tossed trees with spiced scenery. How they match life's many moods and tastes. For here in one month is captured the diversity of the entire annual cycle of earthly life. Yet for all of its richness and variety, few of its scenes and sounds will last out the year.
This map shows a draft of our starting time lines and expected accumulation from tomorrow's quick-moving East Coast storm.
A storm that has brought hardship and danger to parts of Texas and Arkansas with an assortment of ice and snow will send a swath of snow northeastward today and tonight. Here is a map showing our overall estimates as of 10 a.m. ET:
That could lead to tough travel at the end of the weekend. This map for Sunday at 7 p.m. ET shows where those troubles could be (north of the line with the label "snow rain line.")
This table shows the ensemble means for the next two weeks at Philadelphia: It suggests that whereas it does turn cold, any snowfall looks quite limited.
It is too early to be confident about any forecast for Christmas Day (or even the week before). However, the GFS model does go out 16 days, and it has a cold look for the Northeast exactly one week before Christmas.
As the flow aloft becomes southwesterly, mild moist air will spread northeastward from the Gulf States. In summer, this creates a hazy, very warm and humid scene for the Northeast. Now though, the warmth is slowly drained away as the moist mild air advances over cold ground. With temperatures near the saturation point, clouds form.