Wednesday AM Update: A weak coastal storm passing offshore, on a frontal boundary which crossed the area last night, is helping to develop some showers along the coast of New Jersey and along the shores of Long Island. The system will move quickly seaward today, owing to a fast and progressive pattern aloft. Temperatures this morning, away from the coast, fell into the 30s and 40s. Highs will reach only the mid 50s.
It is once the storm system passes, that west-northwesterly winds will begin in earnest — and they will usher in the coldest air of the year to date. Low temperatures on Wednesday Night into Thursday morning may fall into the lower 30s across the interior and 40s even in the city and urban areas. This would likely suffice for the first freeze of the year for many interior locations. But more notably in terms of sensible weather, high temperatures will only reach the mid 50s each day later this week, with a blustery wind expected. It will certainly feel more like autumn than it has at any point so far this year.
The NWS has issued a Freeze Warning for Sussex County in NW NJ from 2:00 to 9:00am Thursday morning. Frost Advisories also in effect for Somerset, Morris, Hunterdon, Passaic, Bergen (NJ) Rockland, Putnam (NY) and Fairfield, New Haven (CT).
Foliage progressing fast: Most of New England has passed peak foliage this week, and is now experiencing significant leaf drop. The mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts are experiencing significant leap drop and have little color. High to peak color remains throughout much of Central New York State and southward into the Catskills, Southeast New York and Northern New Jersey. Peak color is expected to occur over the next 5 days throughout much of New Jersey, NYC and Connecticut — working down towards the coasts. A new foliage map is expected, in detail, on Wednesday.
Comet experiences outburst of light, ISON holds steady: Comet 2012 X1, a smaller comet and somewhat overshadowed by the large expectations for Comet ISON, experienced a significant outburst of light and energy on observations over the last few days. Amateur astronomers reported a 100 fold increase in brightness. The expected peak around magnitude 12 has been increased to magnitude 6-7 later this year. This is below the threshold for naked eye visibility, but enough for smaller telescopes. ISON, on the other hand, remains steady and has not disintegrated as once expected…yet. The comet has brightened admirably over the past few weeks. More information will slowly become available over the next few weeks as the comet progresses into the inner solar system.