This past weekend featured a taste of autumn, with low humidity and a north breeze helping Saturday's upper 70s and Sunday's low 80s feel even cooler.
The heat may be returning with the start of a new work week, but another significant shot of cool air lurks for the upcoming weekend, which could be very similar to the weekend we just experienced -- with a cold front bringing storms to the region on Thursday and Friday, followed by low temperatures and low humidity for the weekend itself.
In fact, early indications are that this weekend's cool down will be even greater than the cool down we just experienced. Try this on for size: Output statistics from the most recent run of the GFS forecast model suggests a high of 73 degrees for Oneida on Saturday, after a high of just 77 on Friday and 79 on Sunday.
We don't usually see cold shots like this in late July and early August. Our first tastes of fall usually don't come until late August or even early September. In fact, if Saturday's temperature were to pan out as currently projected by the GFS model, it would tie a record for coolest high temperature. The current record is 73 degrees, set on Aug. 5, 1993.
We may very well not be quite that cool on Saturday, but a cool down is all but certain as we head into the weekend. The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center is issuing very high probabilities of cooler-than-average weather for our part of the country for Days 6-10.
The NWS's Morristown weather forecast office is currently forecasting a high of 77 for Oneida on Saturday, but don't be surprised if that number drops some if the models continue to hold serve.
As this blog noted a week or so ago, it doesn't look like we'll soon see a return to the scorching weather we experienced the second half of July. Currently, the hottest temperature being spit out by the GFS model for the next 15 days is 86 degrees. The model is also showing a very wet period setting up next week (Aug. 9-16), with nearly six inches of rain. I wouldn't consider that very likely just yet, as none of the models -- especially this one -- have performed particularly well in the long range this summer.
Still, it's been an unusually mild summer. July will finish up as being very much average, but still featured only three days of temperatures at 90 or above, giving us just four such days all summer (June 14, July 21, July 22, July 23). Last year, we had more than 30 days of 90+ temperatures. If we make it through the next 15 days without a return of the scorching heat, we'll be heading into the second half of August, and at that point, the heat's days will be numbered. From a climatological perspective, hot days become fewer and cold fronts become more frequent as we move into September.
Eye to the Sky is a weather blog by Independent Herald editor Ben Garrett. Garrett is a weather enthusiast who has long blogged about interesting weather on his personal website. He is not a professional forecaster or a meteorologist and information on this blog should not be considered a substitute for forecasts, advisories or other products from the National Weather Service.