Fall colors might linger

As we noted yesterday, the Accu-Weather people are calling for a snowy winter in the Washington to Boston corridor.

The government's Climate Prediction Center hasn't quite jumped on that idea yet, but this morning it did issue its September-through-November outlook.

As you'll see from the map, most of the nation is colored warmly, particularly in New England ski country.

Accu-Weather is banking on a developing El Nino in the equatorial Pacific to juice a storm track across the southern United States that might take a snowy northward turn from time to time.

The government is being a bit more circumspect about El Nino, the warming of vast areas of surface waters that energizes the atmosphere and distorts weather patterns worldwide.

It notes that warming already has occurred and that dynamical models suggest that a full-blown El Nino will take hold.

But it says its fall forecast is based on more prosaic grounds. For one thing, it is riding the trend of recent warm autumns.

Also, it notes that in much of the contiguous United States, soils remain on the dry side, and that favors warming.

One thing we've learned from the past is that warm autumns tend to mean lingering fall colors.

That would be a welcomed development among those making a living off tourism in the north country, particularly if the ski season gets off to a slow start.