Howling on the way

Just as some of the trees, particularly the oaks, have begun to explode with color in the region, nature is poised to turn down the dimmer switch. Here's the lates foliage report.

This is the time of year when the upper-air battles between warm and cold air gain ferocity, and a powerful front is due to approach tonight with leaf-removing gusty winds and possibly heavy rains.

Fortunately, despite a brief shower this morning, it appears that the nasty stuff is going to hold off until after trick-or-treat time, but the front is likely to have taken a toll on the foliage show by day’s end tomorrow.

In any event, despite a 13-day run of near- to below-normal temperatures, October is going to finish close to 3 degrees above normal officially in Philadelphia.

After a September that was a tad below, this would be the sixth above-normal month of the year.

Philadelphia hasn’t had three consecutive months of below-normal temperatures since the winter of 2003-2004, and a year ago, November snapped a streak of 21 above-normal  months.

What all this might mean for the coming winter is impossible to assess. The early outlooks we’ve seen lean toward below-average snowfall and a late start to winter.

Based on what we’ve seen recently of long-term outlooks – including the hurricane forecasts, which we’ll discuss in more detail soon – we aren’t prepared to believe anything.