Chilly Night Ahead

After our Sunday soaker, it sure was nice to see the sunshine again today!  Though, temps were fairly cool; topping out in the upper 50s for most.  A fall-feel has settled in and looks to be sticking around.  The cool temps today will be followed by a chilly night (and Tuesday morning).  I’ve blogged about “radiational cooling” before, but here’s the simple equation again:  clear skies, light winds and dry air will allow for the heat from the surface to escape back into the atmosphere – and our temps will drop fairly quickly overnight.  Here’s a look at some of those low temps:

Now, it’s really not that abnormal to have temps get this cold this time of year… but it will be the first frost/freeze for many spots across Massachusetts, so there is a Frost Advisory and a Freeze Warning posted (in effect between 2am-9am):

The Frost Advisory means that temps are expected to drop into the mid 30s.  You may be thinking, “but if the temperature isn’t 32°, how does frost (ice) form?!”  Answer:  The air temperature reading happens well above the ground; about the height of an average adult, between 5-6′.  Temperatures at that height may be 35°, but 32° at the ground surface.

The Freeze Warning means that temps are expected to drop to 32° or below for several hours, which will kill sensitive vegetation.  You see that big hole not covered by the warning in Franklin and Hampshire Counties?  What’s up with that, huh?!  Well, it’s assumed that the growing season has already ended in that area, so no “heads up” is necessary.  These advisories and warnings shouldn’t send you into panic mode (albeit, “winter IS coming”) but it’s more of a “Mr. Tomato plant will likely not live to see another day…”  Of course, it is the middle of October, after all.

After that wonderful round of rain yesterday (much-needed), we’re in for a mostly dry week ahead.  It looks like the next shot at any drops won’t be until Thursday, and that’s just a slight chance.

Meantime, we’re no longer tracking Matthew – but we are still tracking the Tropics.  Tropical Storm Nicole is churning in the Atlantic and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane at some point tomorrow.  This storm poses no threat to the East Coast, but it looks like Bermuda is right in the path of Nicole.  This evening, a Hurricane Watch was posted for Bermuda, and we’ll continue to track this as we move through this week.

That’s all for now!  -Breezy