It has certainly been a tale of two extremes to start October, with a dramatic flip to autumn after one of the warmest starts to October on record.
Consider this: Through the first 11 days of the month, the average temperature in Oneida was a whopping 12 degrees above normal. For perspective, our average temperature through the first 11 days of the month was 70.6 degrees. The warmest October on record in Oneida, back in 1984, featured an average temperature of 61.8 degrees. Ten of the first 11 days of this month featured high temperatures in the 80s.
But, obviously, this weekend has been much cooler . . . and the cooler air is here to stay. In fact, the end of the growing season may very well be close at hand.
In the short term, we’ll actually see temperatures moderate a bit. A low pressure system back to our west is going to go north of us, which will pull milder air into the region, and we may crack 70 degrees on Monday. But the warmer weather will be short-lived, as another upper level trough establishes itself over the eastern U.S., delivering temperatures that are probably going to be a little cooler than what we’ve seen so far.
Temperatures are probably going to be stuck in the mid 50s on Tuesday, depending on how much rain and cloud cover we see, and will likely struggle to get out of the 50s for most of the week. And by Thursday morning, after high pressure becomes firmly entrenched on Wednesday and maximizes conditions for nocturnal cooling, we could see our first 30s of the fall season. It’ll be a close call, but at the very least it’s going to be the coldest morning of the season thus far. Further north, across parts of eastern Kentucky, the first frost of the season is possible on Thursday morning.
We’ll warm up a little on Friday but, again, the warm-up will be brief. Because another frontal system will be headed our way. And although it’s a little too far out to say anything for sure, there are indications that the air mass that settles in behind that next system could be quite a bit cooler than what we’ve experienced this weekend. After rain clears out on Saturday next week, we could see temperatures drop into the 30s Sunday morning and the high Sunday afternoon currently looks like it might struggle to get out of the 40s.
Temperatures will begin to moderate pretty quickly on Monday of next week, but there are currently no indications that we’ll return to truly warm weather. The pattern flip that occurred this past week looks to remain entrenched, with warmer-than-average weather across the western U.S. and cooler-than-average weather across the eastern U.S. In fact, one forecast model, the GFS, is currently suggesting that after temperatures top out in the low-to-mid 60s on Friday, we won’t hit 60 degrees again for the remainder of October. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock into that just yet, because sub-60 temperatures for that extended period of time would be quite uncommon, even for late October. But the general idea is that cooler weather is here to stay. And if this pattern continues to hold, we will probably be talking about the first frost of the season, the first freeze of the season and the end of the growing season by the middle or latter part of next week.
And, if this pattern continues to hold, it’s quite possible that we’re going to be talking about the first snowflakes of the season flying around in the air sometime before Halloween. Now, to be clear, there’s currently nothing popping on the models that suggests we’re going to see anything that extreme. But this is a pattern that lends itself to a major storm system developing, which could pull in even colder air and result in a few flakes flying around on the back side of the system. Such a storm isn’t currently being depicted, but it wouldn’t be surprising if models begin to depict such a system in the days ahead.