Taste Of November

Anyway you slice it, the first weekend of October looks and feels like fall… and actually more like mid-November.  The string of cool nights and mild afternoons has fall foliage taking off across Central Indiana.

Thanks to viewer Manjit Trehan for capturing some brilliant reds and oranges around Legendary Hills in Indianapolis today.  Color should only get better, but a killing frost may take a toll on volume after Monday morning.

The Indianapolis morning low of 35 was the coldest of the season so far.  A indicator of how impressively cold this air mass is… despite a full dose of sunshine, highs in Central Indiana only made it into low/mid 50s.  That’s about  15° below normal, and good for the coldest daytime since late April.

As expected, clouds are increasing in response to an upper-level disturbance that will ride along the I-70.  The boundary layer remains dry enough to keep the forecast area precipitation free.  But the clouds play a HUGE role in the overnight/Sunday forecast.  The mid-level deck essentially acts as insulation, or a blanket.  Keeping low temps up tonight, and conversely keeping highs down Sunday.

I’m actually leaning toward raising these temperatures a few degrees more, based on evening readings that are about 6° warmer than Friday night’s pace.  Bottom-line, the city will be anywhere from 2°-5° warmer in the morning.  Still unseasonably chilly, but not as cold as Saturday morning.   *Update*  The above map is adjusted to account for the clouds and slower cooling that resulted.  Temperatures will be closer to 40 than the mid 30s.  Still chilly, but not as cold as Saturday morning.

Clouds and chilly temps headline the Sunday planner.  Tailgaters you’ll need a coat, and don’t forget to bring a gently used or new coat as well to the game as we collect for Bob Gregory’s Coat For Kids.  I have hope for at least partial sunshine later in the day… but certainly not as bright as today.  Lack of sun will lead to slightly cooler highs near 50°, and help set the stage for an even colder night as clouds clear and the wind goes calm.

The aforementioned atmospheric conditions will be ideal for raditional cooling… as the dry air and crystal clear allows for maximum heat loss.  This will result in the first freeze of the season, and likely a killing frost Monday morning.  Away from the city upper 20s are certainly fair game.

Air mass modification kicks-in Tuesday with highs nearing 70, making it an obvious candidate for Pick-Of-The-Week.  There is a rain chance Wednesday with the arrival of another frontal system, though admittedly slim moisture may warrant eliminating the rain chance.  I’m going bullish on Saturday’s high… lending credence to the trusted European model which has been stellar of late.

Last, but certainly not least, is the dent Indianapolis has put into the rainfall deficit.  What a remarkable rally in the August through October 5th time period… with a whopping 16″ of rain.  So Indy picked up more rain in two months, five days than the prior seven months combined!  That ladies and gentleman is why I love my job.

Enjoy your evening.  Nicole Misencik’s back in the morning and Chikage returns to her normal shift tomorrow too.

It’s been a pleasure.

Sean Ash

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