Submitted by: Daniel Crawley
Good Monday evening…October has arrived but only in terms of the calendar.
The Eastern half of the United States is stuck in a pattern that features weather that will be much warmer than what you should expect as we now enter the heart of the fall season. Temperatures today jumped up into the 80’s across Western North Carolina and we look to get even warmer as the week progresses.
Why is this happening? It has everything to do with what is going on at the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere. High pressure continues to be very dominant across the Eastern US and that is bottling up any cold back into the Rockies and into Canada. And from all indications we see very little change in that pattern for the rest of this week and into next week.
As you can see on the 500mb charts through the next two weeks, higher heights will be centered over New England while lower height will be from the Four Corners Region up into the Rockies.
The one caveat for our part of the world is that the easterly flow at times can involve some influx of moisture leading to periods of cloudy and unsettled weather in-between times of warm and humid conditions. Temperatures at this time of the year average in the upper 70’s during the day with upper 50’s night…our region is going to remain a good 5-10+ degrees above the norm.
The Climate Prediction Center in the 6-10 Day range pretty much falls in line with the current model thinking…
And today’s released monthly forecast from the CPC generally shows a warmer than normal October for the Southeast US.
So for all lovers of the fall season patience will need to be required at least through the first half of the month…but at some point you have to think that big changes are in the works leading up to the second half of the fall season.
One of the big impacts from this continued warm weather (especially at night) has been a lack of fall color in the mountains. Just now at the highest elevations we are seeing hints of color change. The Southern Appalachian Region is already a good two weeks behind schedule on the fall leaf season.