Even though we’re not quite through with what has been one of the steamiest summers in recent memory, we’re setting our sights on fall, which officially starts on Saturday, September 22, at 9:54 p.m. EDT with the arrival of the Autumnal Equinox. Many of our readers and Facebook fans tell us that fall is the best time of year, full of their favorite things—apples, pumpkins, colorful leaves, and especially cooler temps, which makes for excellent sleeping! So will this fall deliver? Here’s what we’re predicting.
Fall Forecast Overview
We’re predicting that fall 2018 will bring cooler and drier weather followed by a spell of cold and unsettled conditions in November and December.
Now that the days are growing shorter, the leaves are starting to change color. Our readers often ask if the weather has any effect on fall foliage, and while the shorter daylight hours is Mother Nature’s cue to begin the process, weather does play a role in the intensity and vibrancy of colors. “Drought is the enemy of a good fall,” says biology professor Howard Neufeld of Appalachian State University in North Carolina. “The trees have to be in a healthy state, not water stressed, heading into the season.” New England is currently experiencing a mild drought due to the hot summer, which may affect vibrancy for leaf peepers, but the rest of the Northeast is at normal levels. Read more about how leaves transition to their fall colors.
Halloween Weather Tricks or Treats?
The weather should cooperate for trick-or-treaters, although you may need to bundle up as temperatures will be chilly in New England and the Northeast, Great Lakes, Ohio & Midwest, Southeast regions. Fair conditions may turn unsettled in the Southwest, but little goblins gathering candy in the Rockies and Plains states might want to find a warm costume and even think about carrying an umbrella as snow showers are possible. In Washington and Oregon, it’s going to be windy!
Will Your Thanksgiving Be A Turkey?
It may not rain on your parade if you live in the east—the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, that is—as rainy conditions may clear in time for Thanksgiving. But it looks wet and soggy for much of the country, with rain and/or wet snow forecast for all zones, even the southwest. So if you’re traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, be sure to pack the rain gear!
Will Snow Fall In Fall?
Before winter officially arrives, many parts of the country may see some wintry-like conditions. We’re red-flagging December 1-3 and 16-19 for major weather disturbances for New England and Mid-Atlantic regions, which could see widespread wintry precipitation and gusty winds.
Heavy lake-effect snows, with half a foot or more of accumulation, are forecast for the end of November for the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley & Midwest.
In the North Central states, including Montana, which actually saw snow in August this year, may see some more wet snowflakes throughout the fall. Even parts of the Southeast won’t be able to hide from the messy mix of snow and sleet coming to the Virginias and North Carolina at the end of November.
For a more detailed weather outlook for 2018-2019, be sure to check out our long-range weather planner online here.
See the Canadian fall forecast on the next page
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