Joe Lundberg

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Memories of the Season Past; Jabs of the Season to Come

October 9, 2013; 11:15 AM ET

Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.

Fall is clearly a transition time. The warmth of summer can linger on at times, such as it did last week into last weekend over the East. There are still hints of summer warmth in the middle of the country, where temperatures climbed into the 80s on Tuesday from the eastern Rockies and High Plains down into Texas. Yet it's clearly a season of change, with fall on full display across the Northeast. Here's the most recent foliage report, courtesy of the Foliagenetwork.com:

Where there's sunshine, you can't help but be a romantic to view the full plumage on display! And to see it 'snowing' or 'raining' leaves on a breezy afternoon as you ride or walk or drive down a lane with a full tree canopy is breathtaking! Grab a pumpkin, make some hot apple cider, and you're ready for a hay ride!

Alas, there are also signs of winter, too. The snow that walloped the Black Hills late last week was a vivid reminder that winter is not far away. As you can see from the image below, though, it's still awfully early in the ballgame for winter snows:

Note that most of central and virtually all of southern Canada remain devoid of any kind of snow cover, which is one of the reasons that, by and large, we have not seen much in the way of chilly air over the past couple of weeks.

Another storm is poised to roll through the Rockies and cut for the northern Plains in the next couple of days, and even though it looks impressive from an upper-level standpoint now, it will not be able to produce any where the same amount of snow as its predecessor a week ago. Here's the 12z Oct. 9 NAM 500mb forecast for this evening:

This will carve out a storm that will emerge over the High Plains by late tomorrow then dart for the Dakotas tomorrow night. In the process, there will be some snow for ski country in the central Rockies, but this time around, it's all rain for a place like Rapid City, S.D. There will be some strong winds ahead of the storm over the eastern Rockies and out on the Plains and some very gusty winds behind the storm over parts of Wyoming and Montana out into the Dakotas Friday and Friday night before easing on Saturday. While there can also be some severe weather with the cold front attached to the storm, that is not expected to be the main event with this storm.

Replacing all of that summer weather in the East this week is a storm that had its origins in the tropics - Karen by name. The remnants of that storm are now a part of the low pressure are off the North Carolina coast that has just thrashed the Outer Banks with heavy rain and high winds over the past 24 hours. That rain has now spread up across the Delmarva Peninsula (I am SO glad I vacationed there this past weekend!), along with the stiff northeast winds gusting over 30 miles an hour. It may have been tropical at one point - hence the tie-in to summer - but it's hardly a storm that conjures up memories of summer! I'd imagine most people in the area being hammered by the storm now are ready to take a nice nap or curl up with a good book in hand!

If you remove these two storms from the picture, you're not left with much, quite honestly. Most of the nation is enjoying a relatively quiet week in this transitional season. Just a little memory of the season past in the Plains and Mississippi Valley down to the Gulf Coast and a little jab of winter's chill sneaking into the West behind the departing storm. Otherwise, just a fine week for the month of October!

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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Joe Lundberg
Joe Lundberg, a veteran AccuWeather.com forecaster and meteorologist, covers both short and long-term U.S. weather on this blog.