At least that’s the title for our weather that comes to mind during the current run of sunny days with bright blue skies, changing leaf colors, and low humidity. Another commonly used term for this recent string of very nice days is “Chamber of Commerce” weather. Either way autumn is here in all its finery, especially today (Wednesday) with a high temperature forecast to be in the low 70′s (F) while this morning’s low temperature of 39 at the UMW weather station was kept from cooling down even further by a thin shield of high level cirrus clouds seen in this visible satellite image from 8:45 a.m.:
Most of the next 6 days will be clear and sunny with the only fly in the ointment being yet another cold front approaching from the west. Southerly surface winds ahead of the front will draw warm moist air northward on Thursday, pumping up the high temperature to the mid-70′s even as the clouds increase. Then a strong upper level “kick” will swing through the Old Dominion Thursday night and create conditions for some strong showers and thunderstorms ahead of the front itself. This is reflected at the surface by the graphic shown here:
See the low pressure (red “L”) over the upper Midwest states that is associated with the cold front? Notice the low pressure is hanging back to the west as the frontal system pushes eastward, kinda like a soccer player leaning backward while kicking the ball out ahead. This type of setup is known in meteorological circles as a “negatively tilted trough” and usually is a harbinger of very stormy weather. Fortunately this is occurring as the Northern Hemisphere is cooling down for autumn and a dangerously strong clash of temperatures – like those that occur in the spring that can lead to widespread tornado outbreaks – is not going to occur.
After the next cold front clears the area on Friday the skies will again clear and our beautiful weather will return for the weekend, with highs in the mid-60′s forecast for both Saturday and Sunday under sunny skies. Enjoy!