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Chilly air will take root in the northeastern United States this weekend and will have some staying power through the third week of October.
Millions of people will be trading shorts and short-sleeves for pants, long-sleeves, jackets and sweatshirts thanks to a temperature flip as much as 60 degrees Fahrenheit in some cases, when comparing recent daytime highs to projected nighttime lows.
During the middle of October, average highs range from the middle 50s in northern New England to the lower 70s in southeastern Virginia.
With the exception of northern New England, the first 11 days of October brought temperatures averaging 5 to 13 degrees above average in the Northeast. Highs in many areas were well into the 70s and 80s.
Through much of this week, temperatures will average 5-10 degrees below normal and will feature nighttime lows in the 50s, 40s, 30s and even the 20s in some cases.
"While parts of northern New York state and northwestern New England have already been visited by Jack Frost, frosty air is likely to infiltrate farther to the south and east during a few nights through this week," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
Gardeners may want to harvest sensitive summer vegetables and protect flowers that may be damaged.
A breeze or slightly higher temperatures are likely to prevent frost farther to the south and close to the Atlantic coast.
However, where winds drop off and the sky becomes clear at night, fog may form in the valleys during the weather pattern.
After some wet weather at the start of the weekend, the next batch of light rain is forecast to swing from west to east across the region from Sunday night to Monday night.
The air immediately behind that feature may not be quite as cool as this weekend.
"However, a reinforcing burst of chilly air will aim at the Great Lakes and Northeast by the middle of the week and can bring another round or two of frost to some locations," Pastelok said.
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Beyond the third week of October, temperature swings are forecast. However, as far as the upside of temperature swings, widespread highs well into the 70s and 80s will likely be a thing of the past.
"We will have to watch for a potential big storm spinning up along the coast in the Northeast sometime during the last full week of the month," Pastelok said.
"If that storm comes about and develops to its full potential, some crazy things may happen such as accumulating snow over the Appalachians and heavy rain and gales along the coast."
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