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Eye to the Sky: Next blast of autumn will be coldest yet

Our unusually warm start to fall is set for its next disruption this week, and this one will be the coolest blast of true autumn air so far.

It won’t be the coldest we’ve been at night; we officially dipped all the way to 34° in Oneida last week, according to the National Weather Service’s data, and got down to 35°, 36° and 37° on other nights. For the week upcoming, we probably won’t dip far into the 30s, if at all.

But in terms of daytime highs, we’re about to see the coolest weather we’ve seen so far.

A cold front is quickly approaching the region this evening, bringing with it a line of showers and thunderstorms that will impact our area early Monday. Behind it, we’ll cool off significantly from the 70-ish temps we saw on Sunday. The high on Tuesday likely won’t get out of the 50s, which is something that hasn’t happened so far this season. (We thought it might happen last week, but we officially saw a high of 60° on Oct. 17 and 62° on Oct. 18). The current forecast from the National Weather Service is for a high of 56° on Tuesday. That might be generous. The GFS model has us struggling to get out of the 40s on Tuesday before topping out in the low 50s later in the afternoon. The ECMWF model, however, is significantly warmer, and in line with the NWS forecast.

In addition to the cooler temps on Tuesday, a fairly tight pressure gradient will be in place, with a low pressure system riding up the eastern seaboard and high pressure moving in from our west. This will result in a persistent northwest breeze on Tuesday that will make it feel even cooler.

Later this week, another round of cool air is in store. This time it’s going to be due to a closed low pressure system that will meander about the region for several days, delivering rainy conditions and persistent cloud cover, which will result in lower temperatures.

It looks like we could see relatively high rain chances beginning Thursday and continuing into the weekend before we start to dry out on Sunday. And Friday may be another one of those days where we see temps struggle to get out of the 40s. The current NWS forecast has a high of 51° in Oneida on Friday, with Saturday not getting much warmer and temps remaining in the 50s even on Sunday.

The GFS model actually has us not getting out of the 40s on Friday and struggling to get to 50° on Saturday. That would be unusually cold for October, though certainly not unheard of. As is the case with this first round of cooler air on Tuesday, the ECMWF model is significantly warmer than the GFS. It has us getting well into the 50s both Friday and Saturday.

We’ll see how the temps pan out. The ultimate verdict will lie in the exact placement of the closed low.

The bottom line: It’s been a very warm month of October but the pattern is about to change for at least the short term. The NWS’s Climate Prediction Center has our region and most of the eastern U.S. swathed in below-normal temperatures through the first week of November. If that’s not your cup of tea, just be patient. We’re forecasted to see a return to the pattern we experienced for much of October, with troughing (and cooler temperatures) over the Pacific Northwest while just about everyone east of the Rockies is bathed in heat (relatively speaking).

Eye to the Sky is a weather blog of the Independent Herald, written primarily by IH publisher Ben Garrett. Views expressed here are those of the authors and should not be considered substitute for official advisories, watches or warnings from the National Weather Service. For the latest, most up-to-date forecast information, see weather.gov/mrx.
Ben Garrett
Ben Garrett is Independent Herald editor. Contact him at bgarrett@ihoneida.com. Follow him on Twitter, @benwgarrett.

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