October starts off beautiful, with sunshine and temperatures in the 70s for much of New England. This is usually the time of year we would be weighing the giant pumpkins at the Topsfield Fair. But this is not a normal year, except for perhaps our weather and fall foliage. We have seasonable temperatures and beautiful trees in most of New England.
Thanks to our deep freeze two weekends ago and abundant rainfall the last couple of days, we have brilliant colors across much of New England, though peak foliage is ahead of schedule by about 5 to 10 days. So instead of Columbus Day weekend for the mountains, it’s really right now and this weekend for the brightest colors.
Looking at Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s’ tallest mountain, we see that some trees have even lost leaves already, but we are at peak foliage for most of Route 100 up the spine of the Green Mountains, one of my favorite rides.
In New Hampshire, the Mount Washington Valley is at peak right now, especially at lower elevations, A visit to Conway, then a trip across the Kancamagus Highway to Loon Mountain is another favorite.
In Maine, the Mahoosuc Range from Mount Abram to Sunday River is also showing off grand color this weekend.
The Saco River Valley is another New England treasure.
And there’s no need to travel for foliage. I just went for a walk around town south of Boston and found brilliant colors, and some trees are ready to start raking underneath. Colors are advancing rapidly from north to south, with peak foliage expected at the South Coast by Halloween, if not sooner.
Thursday afternoon we are between weather systems, with a good amount of sunshine and the warmest we’re going to see for a while, in the 70s with just a few instability clouds and a chance of a shower.
Our Friday features a wave of low pressure on a boundary between very cold air in southeastern Canada and warmer air in southern New England. This will trigger a period of rain in western and northern New England, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s.
Colder air high in the sky will bring sweatshirt weather to New England this weekend, with a few instability clouds and a shower or two in the Green Mountains of Vermont to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. But with more in the way of clouds and sunshine, that lowers the ultraviolet radiation and makes for even more beautiful photographs during the day.
Our night sky is a real treat also, featuring just about all of the planets and two full moons this month.
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The first full moon on Oct. 1 is called the Harvest Moon. The next one is on Halloween, called the Hunter's Moon. But because it’s the second full moon of the month, we call it also a Blue Moon.
Sunday is likely the brighter of the two weekend days before another batch of rain may come in on Monday with a cooling trend into early next week as seen in our First Alert 10-day forecast.