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The weather matches the calendar for the beginning of autumn

Today – Monday – is the first full day of astronomical autumn 2013 and the weather matches the calendar rather nicely.  A low this morning at the UMW weather station of 48 degrees coupled with a dry dewpoint of 46 helped banish memories of this past summer’s heat and humidity while simultaneously suggesting that jackets and sweaters may be good things to haul out of the closet.  The high temperature today is currently forecast to struggle to the 70-degree mark but that may not feel as warm as it sounds since there are clouds creeping southward in our direction:

The blue text and arrow in the image above indicates fog over the mountains of West Virginia while the yellow text (and blue arrow) shows the clouds moving toward us.  (Ignore the horizontal white lines as they are only a glitch in the visible satellite image.) These clouds indicate a regional moist air mass created by dry Canadian air pushing southward across the Great Lakes and picking up enough moisture for cloud formation.  If this were December or January we’d have to be on the lookout for snow flurries but today Fredericksburg will only experience some overcast that will likely make it seem cooler than it really is.

The dry conditions will continue all week as forecast models are rather stingy with moisture for the ‘Burg, keeping any precipitation out of the area.  Thus this week will feature generally sunny skies with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the low 50s, great weather for throwing open the windows during the day and star-gazing at night.  With Comet ISON approaching for what may be a spectacular sight in November clear weather at night is invaluable for astronomers to track its progress.

Have a great week!


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