Quick weather changes will take place over the next several days with some showers on tap the next 12 hours before sunshine finally returns Thursday. The showers today will be caused by a front that pushes offshore tonight. Once the front leaves, high pressure and nicer weather will build in to the region. On Friday, the strongest cold front of the season in terms of cold air will push through. Behind this front, brisk air will filter in to all of New England and a frosty morning is likely Saturday. As this will be our first frost of the season you should plan on what plants you want to cover and which plants need to come inside before Friday night.
If you think all the clouds and damp weather is unusual for October you are correct. Normally, October is one of our sunniest and drier months of the year. This year, October is turning out to be quite cloudy and wet something we have not seen much of in 2012. In parts of the Country, the past nine months has been the warmest and in some cases driest period in the history of record keeping. (See image above)
In the Boston area we have had close to normal precipitation since September and we are about 15% below normal for the year. These numbers are small enough that no areas in New England are experiencing any drought.
Later today as the front pushes eastward showers will become more numerous for a few hours and there is even the chance for a thunderstorm. Clouds will clear the area by morning and tomorrow looks fabulous with sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Once the leaves dry, you may be able to some yard work if you are home.
Friday, a more important cold front will cross the region. Behind this front very cold air will filter in to the area. I am confident that Saturday morning will be the coldest morning of the season and a killing frost or even freeze is likely for much of the area.
The first frost usually won't kill everything in your yard, but it will do some damage to tender plants. The biggest threat of the frost is to your houseplants that may still be outside. Be sure to bring those inside by Friday evening. If you don't have a place for them yet in the house (I have to move all sorts of furniture around) you can put them in the garage. I have even put plants in my car to wait out a cold night.
The weekend is looking mixed with sunshine and cool temperatures Saturday followed by milder air with clouds for Sunday. Right now I don't see any rainfall the entire weekend. Highs on Saturday will barely make into the 50s after that cold start. Sunday I expect temperatures to reach into the 60s. Even without much sunshine Sunday it will feel quite nice across the area.
Next week looks seasonable with a few periods of showers but also some sunshine. I don't see any prolonged cold weather yet.
Many folks are reporting the color this year is the best in several years. The colors are vibrant and not muted as they were last year. Some of the best time to view the foliage is the middle of the day when the sun is highest and the colors really can shine.
Gardening tip this week
Leaves are falling and it's time to begin to close down gardens for the season. I am actually starting seeds inside now to plant in my cold frame for the late fall and early winter. You might be surprised how easy it is to continue to grow your own food right through Christmas will just a bit of cover and no electricity. If you want to learn about growing a vegetable garden Mass Hort has a great program called Garden To Table. You can learn about that program and other tips on setting up a garden in the video. This is a great time of year to get your garden ready for spring planting. Don't wait till spring.
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