Weather alert: Spectacular days ahead

We are quick to alert our readers to impending atmospheric mayhem, so now we are delighted to inform that the rains have left a sheen of polish on the changing leaves, and that it's only going to get better.

Pennsylvania's foliage specialists have predicted peak color this weekend for the immediate Philadelphia area.

We think that timetable is a big frisky, but based on what we've seen of yellows and reds north and west of the city, it won't be long.

The weather evidently has been cooperating, with generally sunny days and cool, but not freezing, overnights.

Saturday and Sunday should be spectacularly sunny, with near-seasonal temperatures in the 60s.

That will change during the workweek, and arguably for the better. Daytime temperatures are forecast to reach at least 70 in Philly at least through Thursday.

So far this month, temperatures have been uncharacteristically near normal.

But that coming warm spell is likely to keep an impressive streak intact: Philadelphia hasn't had a month of significantly below-normal temperatures since January 2011.

Meanwhile, rainfall for the month has been well below normal. The 0.36 inches measured today at the airport equaled the total that fell the first 18 days of the month.