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Will Fall Be Fantastic? Get Our Forecast (2018)

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Will Fall Be Fantastic? Get Our Forecast (2018)

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.

UNITED STATES

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.

Fall Foliage

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.

See peak foliage dates for your state here.

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.

CANADA

While many consider Labour Day the unofficial gateway to autumn, it’s actually the Autumnal Equinox that ushers in the new season, which officially arrives on Saturday, September 22, at 9:54 p.m. EDT. But will it also usher in cooler conditions after the hot, steamy summer we had?

You’ve already read our winter forecast for Canada, but here’s a more in-depth look at what to expect for the autumn months:

Canadian Fall Forecast Overview

Overall, the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac is predicting cooler and drier weather during the fall, followed by a spell of cold and unsettled conditions in November and December.

Fall Foliage

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 amount of daylight is what signals the leaves to start to turn, weather does play a role in the intensity and vibrancy of colors.

Drought can affect the vibrancy of the colors you see in fall. Trees have to be in a healthy state as the season’s transition, not water stressed. Unfortunately, the weeks of hot weather across the Prairies and in British Columbia, combined with a lack of rain in some areas, may lead to less-than-vibrant colors for leaf peepers.

Learn how and why leaves change color!

And we all know a good wind storm can take leaves down prematurely. Because we’re forecasting some tropical activity at the end of September and the beginning of October (see Tropical Storms, below), colorful fall foliage could be compromised.

Tropical Storms

According to the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac, we expect an active hurricane/tropical season in 2018 (which officially ends November 30th), and we believe that there will be two risks for a potential tropical storm threat for the Maritimes sometime during the last week in September, and another tropical storm threat for Newfoundland and Labrador during the first week of October.

Will Your Thanksgiving Be Squashed?

Overall, Thanksgiving looks promising for most of the country, except for the tropical disturbance that may linger over Newfoundland and Labrador, as mentioned above. All other provinces can expect a fair but chilly holiday.

Halloween Weather Tricks or Treats?

Trick-or-treaters will enjoy mostly cold and dry weather except for Newfoundland & Labrador (showers), and the Prairie Provinces (stormy), with snow showers over the Rockies. So bundle up those little ghouls and goblins!

Will Snow Fall In Fall?

Before winter officially arrives on December 21st, many parts of the country may see intermittent wintry-like conditions throughout the fall months. In fact, the month of December starts and ends with snowfall for much of Canada. Some significant storms to watch for:

  • December 4-7: A storm brings strong winds and wintry precipitation to Newfoundland & Labrador;
  • December 8-11: Stormy for Alberta and Saskatchewan, and heavy snow throughout the Prairies;
  • December 19th – Wintry precipitation arrives for Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario, bringing gale force winds and heavy precipitation right through to the start of the winter season.

For a more detailed weather outlook for 2018-2019, be sure to check out our long-range weather planner online here.

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6 comments

1 Emily { 09.20.18 at 3:40 pm }

It’s still hot here in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. But come this weekend temperatures start falling. I can’t wait! I love fall and winter.

2 Ron { 09.19.18 at 9:04 pm }

Hoping for snow up here in the mountains of NC! Can’t wait to hit the recliner in front of the fire!

3 DJ { 09.19.18 at 1:08 pm }

“She loved Fall, the best of them all.” My birthday is the last week of November. I would love snow or an ICE cold birthday here in Virginia and North Carolina!

4 Rose { 09.19.18 at 9:55 am }

We also are weary of the late summer heat/humidity and eager for fall. A few leaves are falling here in Spring, TX, lower temperatures “promised” for next week.
Patience.

5 Richard Wilkinson { 09.19.18 at 8:25 am }

I am looking forward to fall. We have been very wet here in Maryland. I love to watch the leaves change.I hope we have a white Christmas this year.

6 GaryD { 09.19.18 at 6:33 am }

Its been Hot here in South Georgia. No Autumn in sight yet. I’m tired of the mid to high 90’s and beyond temps we have had this whole summer. Its time for cooler weather!

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