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Nice weekend for peak foliage and a winter preview

Posted by David Epstein  October 20, 2012 07:48 AM

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This weekend over a quarter million of you will head to the Charles River to watch the 48th annual Regatta. The weather will cooperate for spectators and rowers alike. This afternoon may actually feel a bit warm and you will want to dress for weather more like summer than mid-fall. Sunday will be cooler but not cool and bright from sunup to sundown. Next week is looking very nice as high pressure keeps us dry and mild. Cold air will remain locked up in Canada and we won't have any repeats of the "Snowtober" of last year as we look towards the end of the month and Halloween.

Early this morning a dry front is marching east and will eventually end this bout of Indian Summer weather. However, before that happens we will see some sunshine and temperatures rebounding into the 70s today. If you are going to be outside doing any of the fall activities you won't need warm sweaters and sweatshirts as would often be the case this time of year.

As that front pushes eastward later tonight cooler dry air will filter into the region and put an end to the 70 degree weather. Sunday looks to be a great fall day with bright blue sky, temperatures around 60F and low humidity. This pattern of weather is going to continue into next week as the jet stream stays to our north and keep any cold air up in Canada or across the western part of the United States. The map below shows the position of the jet stream later Tuesday next week.(click to make it bigger) jetstream october.pngThe jet stream forms where we have boundary of temperature. To the north of the jet the weather is usually cool and to the south the weather is warm. If this was July, our temperatures would be much warmer with the jet stream in this position. However, the lack strong sunshine generally doesn't allow our temperatures to reach summer levels in fall or winter even when the jet stream moves north.

Next week
Much of the last full week of October will be sunny and mild with temperatures in the 60s during the day and 40s at night. So far we have only had that one freeze the entire month in much of the area so there are still plenty of lawns that are green and even flowers in bloom. With no real cold air in sight, you could still get grass to grow if you planted it this weekend.

Winter 2012-2013
Last year the jet stream rarely came south of our region and thus we enjoyed that very mild winter. I am still thinking this winter will be closer to normal in terms of both snowfall and temperature. winter 2012 temperature.jpg There are many predictions that are out for the upcoming winter. This week the National Weather Service came out with their winter prediction. For the northeast they put us in a region of equal chances. This means that there is an equal chance of an above normal or below normal winter. winter 2012 precipitation.gif While this may not sound very helpful, I think it is indicative of the fact we will be close to normal. We might have a lower than normal 30" of snow or an above normal 50" of snow. However, I am not looking for 10" or 100" this year.

Foliage October.png
Foliage
The leaves are peaking across extreme south coastal Maine and down into much of southern New England this weekend. Sunday will be the best viewing day with the most sunshine but Saturday afternoon will also be good for seeing the leaves. The storm Friday with rain and wind will take a good percentage of leaves off the tree so be aware of that, but I expect the show to still be very good.

Apples and pumpkins
Local farms depend on our patronage this time of year for much of their revenue. If you have not yet visited a farm near you please think about doing so this weekend. Whether you are taking the kids or on a first date local farms provide a great venue to enjoy some of New England's best fall offerings.


Gardening tips

This time of year one of the great perennials in the garden are the ornamental grasses. Ornamental grass gives the garden a different texture and brings movement to the garden. The flowers of the grasses come in a variety of shapes, color and textures. Check out the video to learn more about these great plants.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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