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Friday, October 10, 2008

Warm Weekend. Is This Indian Summer?

We are on target with the pace of afternoon temperatures to reach deep into the 70s. A storm in the South Carolina has helped to pump in some mild air, but is staying far enough away to just throw a few high clouds our way. Yesterday we made it to 78F- a few days before I expected the bump to occur, but we all win out. What is important to keep in mind is that this is FOG season. We had it this morning, with the typical 90 minute delays on the Eastern Shore. As the warm air settles in, so does rise in dew point temperatures. The longer nights allow the great chance of temperatures dipping to that dew point and developing fog. This morning, it was confined to the areas by water- such as York Rd in Baltimore County- which is close to Loch Raven Reservoir. Also, a few valleys have trended colder and developed some of that fog. This weekend, I expect it to be more widespread- but just a morning event.

Indian Summer:
This questions comes up just about every fall. Is this Indian Summer? Well, first we have the thank the early settlers of "The Americas", for mistakenly thinking this was India. They noticed warm weather into the fall season, when the same time of year in Europe would routinely trend much cooler. It should also be noted that Europe is higher in latitude and has longer nights/shorter days in October as well.
The most accepted definition of Indian Summer is a string of warm days reaching into the 80s after the first frost. however, I have seen it in some parts of the country defined as 5 days into the 80s. Other definitions lead to it being in November. Either way, some of us, but not all, had a frost early this week. Does it matter? I say enjoy it now, because the long range models have a dramatic cool down by next weekend. I always told my students to look out for a balance of numbers. So Near 80F would be over 10 degrees above normal. That would be balanced out by afternoons in the 50s when the pattern shift arrives.

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