The stretch of sunny, mild weather enveloping the northeastern United States will come to end early next week as rain and much cooler air returns.
Residents should not pack rain jackets, umbrellas and winter attire too far into the closet during the spell of nice weather through this weekend.
“Though the cliff of winter lies ahead, the atmosphere isn't pressing the issue this week,” AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams said. “Sunny days reminiscent of late summer and clear, cool nights with some fog at daybreak will be the theme across the East.”
Those with plans to go to fall festivals, pumpkin or apple pick, hike or check out the fall foliage will have an excellent opportunity to do so over the next few days.
“Nights may be cool enough that heating systems kick on, but during the day they should remain off,” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.
High temperatures will be in the 60s and 70s F for a large portion of the region with the mildest air expected this weekend.
“This stretch of nice weather may have people wondering when the pattern will change and it will turn colder,” Abrams said.
“The change will arrive next week.”
Cold Canadian air will dive into the Midwest, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley before spreading toward the interior Northeast next week, according to Pastelok.
Mild weather thus far in autumn has allowed for savings on heating costs, although that may change with the upcoming chilly weather, according to Pastelok. Heating degree days have been down from September into the middle of October.
A heating degree day is the number of degrees that a day’s temperature drops below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered the temperature at which buildings and homes require heating.
Ahead of this cool push, rain, gusty winds and even a few thunderstorms will cross the region.
How heavy the rain falls and if localized flooding could be an issue will be determined by the speed of the storm and whether tropical moisture comes into play.
At this time, areas right along the Eastern Seaboard have the best chance of getting a thorough soaking early next week.
Disruptions to motorists and airline passengers are projected to mount during this time. The rain and wind could knock down leaves that have yet to fall, leading to slippery spots on the roads and ruining chances to see the last of the fall foliage in some places.
“Snow can fall across the upper Great Lakes and Upper Midwest during this period, enough to lay mainly on non-paved surfaces,” Pastelok said. “However, the Great Lakes are running above normal on temperatures, and some areas away from the lakes can have heavy bursts of lake-effect snow with this colder outbreak.”
Waterspouts are even a possibility as chilly, gusty winds sweep over the Great Lakes.
Temperatures are expected to fall to below normal levels for a time in the wake of the stormy pattern next week.
By the end of October, average highs range from the 40s and lower 50s in northern New England and the upper Great Lakes to the lower 60s across the Ohio Valley and the I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic.